Look past the explosion of noise, lights, hype, 150" TVs, and silly gadgets coming out of Las Vegas's CES this week and you might catch a glimpse of what's next for business technology.By now it's fairly obvious that IT departments -- large or small -- do not drive the bus of technology development. Instead, it's mostly consumer technology that pushes the envelope and leads to innovation and adoption of new technologies -- and new ways of using them.
And nowhere in America is the dynamism of consumer technology on such conspicuous display as in Las Vegas during the first week of January. If you've never been to a Consumer Electronics Show (CES), you can't imagine the cacophony washing through the giant convention centers. But you also can't imagine all the cool stuff you can see before everyone else, and that your company will end up supporting whether or not you really want to.
I'm not there this year (with a big "thank you" from what's left of my hearing) but the business and tech press is there in force. Brand new TechWeb Editor at Large David Berlind leads the video charge, with coverage of wireless USB devices, Bluetooh keyboards, military-grad plastic to protect mobile devices, dry inkjet printers, and much more.
And to top it all off, this year featured the Bill Gates' swan song as a CES keynoter, complete with celebrity cameos and jokes. Oh and some predictions for the future of technology, too.
Dismiss CES as just fun and games and your business may find itself outflanked by legions of 12-year-olds wielding breakthrough gadgets that you've never even heard of...