So what was the worst thing about the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas? The long lines? The thick crowds?
The answer: The press conferences. Many were very long on fluff and very short on substance. Minor technology advances and fair-to-middling products were trumpeted as if their introductions marked watershed moments in the history of high technology.
For example, Sony Electronics, in a glitzy press conference attended by hundreds of media representatives, literally rolled out a new digital music player which seems destined for some museum of tacky technology: The Rolly.
The best way to explain the Rolly, which will ship this spring at a price still to be determined, is to let you see the darn thing in action.
Yep, that’s it: A small egg-shaped digital music player which rocks and rolls and spins with the music and has little clamshell caps at either end that pop open and snap close with the beat.
Somehow I don’t foresee the day when many of these things will be scuttling across the floors of high school lunchrooms, college dorms or the platforms of commuter rail and bus stations. The target audience seem to be limited to computer geeks and audio nuts who love scaring their cats.
In Sony’s press release, Steve Haber, the senior vice president of Sony Electronics’ Digital Imaging and Audio Division, says that the spinning gizmo, “… isn’t just another gadget; the Rolly is a sophisticated piece of entertainment technology.”
Yes, it’s an interesting, er, spin on high tech, yes it has two gigabytes of flash memory, yes you can stream music to it via a Bluetooth wireless connection and, yes it can display about 700 colors as it spins around, but I still don’t get it.
Text and video Copyright 2008 Stadium Circle Features