It's CES, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

The annual CES show in Las Vegas is a showcase for all the latest and greatest technology, but also can create an opportunity to put the total reliability of all this tech into perspective.

One such case was a two-hour power outage that shut down the central hall of the massive Las Vegas Convention Center. That’s the hall that housed tech giants including Samsung, Sony and LG.

The cause was due to rain, which also paralyzed travel around town, no matter how easily a person could connect with the Uber or Lyft app. Self-driving cars could not beat lengthy traffic jams.

Despite being able to find pretty much anything via Google, the folks at Google may have forgotten to search for Las Vegas weather in advance of the show. Its outside display across the street from the main convention center didn’t appear to be equipped for the rain and had to be shut down on opening day.

Not all glitches were due to rain.

At one robot display I attended, the robot could not decipher commands due to background noise.

In one of the major CES 2018 press conferences at Mandalay Bay, David VanderWaal, vice president of marketing at LG, was sailing along his presentation, backed by a wide array of smart LG appliances.

To highlight how all these things can work together, VanderWaal introduced its cute little robot CLOi, which was to act as the glue from device to device.

It all started quite smoothly.

“To help me show the LG family of AI home appliances, allow me to introduce CLOi,” said VanderWaal.
“Hello, CLOi.”
“Good morning, Dave,” CLOi responded. “I hope you’re well. What can I do for you today?”
“CLOi, what’s my schedule?”
“You need to go to the gym at 10 AM today. Power up. Power up. (power on clothes washer and dryer turned on) Smart learner has set the washer to the sportswear setting.”
“Sounds like the perfect setting for my workout gear. Thanks, CLOi.”
“Am I ready on my washing cycle?”
No answer from CLOi.
Dead silence in the packed, standing-room-only auditorium.
“Even robots have bad days.”
VanderWaal heads over to the LG smart kitchen.
“CLOi, what’s for dinner tonight?”
Dead silence.
“OK, CLOi is not going to talk to me. CLOi doesn’t like me, evidently.”
“CLOi, are you talking to me yet? What recipes could I make with chicken?”
Dead silence.

VanderWaal did manage to demonstrate the smart capabilities of various appliances, since they don’t need CLOi to interact with them.

Good thing.

To its credit, LG went with live demos, which is always a risk, as anyone who has done them is aware.

There have been tech failures since there has been tech. At CES, they just are magnified.

2 comments about "It's CES, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Dan Greenberg from Impossible Software, GmbH, January 12, 2018 at 11:43 a.m.

    There is a story - maybe apocryphal - of the first demostration of speech recognition commands for Windows.  At the start of the demo, someone shouted "erase star dot star" and then someone else shouted "y enter".  And that was that.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, January 12, 2018 at 1:37 p.m.

    Scary clever, Dan.

Next story loading loading..