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This commentary is available as both text and video; enjoy both or either ... they are similar, but not exactly the same. To see past FaceTime commentaries, go to the MNB Channel on YouTube.

Hi, Kevin Coupe here and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy … and in fact, this week, you’ll actually have to watch the video if you are interested in my FaceTime commentary.

That’s because it consists of a series of clips compiled as I wandered this year’s version of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas - my first time attending CES.

It is, as I note in the video, exactly as overwhelming as I expected it to be. This seemed to be a transitional year for CES, without a blockbuster announcement of some new technology or killer app that seems destined to change all of our lives; in fact, this seems to be a transitional year for technology in general, with even Apple struggling a bit to find its footing in the marketplace at a time when there seems to be no next big thing to unveil.

Sure, there was plenty of VR. And AI. And 5G. And self-care-oriented products (including one massager, the Osé, that used microrobotics so impressively that it got an innovation award from CES that was then stripped away when it was determined that the item was less about self care and more about being an instrument of pleasure, though that strikes me as a distinction without a difference, or maybe a difference without a distinction). And a huge number of voice activated gizmos. And even a 96-inch 8K television that was amazing … though in addition to be wildly expensive, one has to remember that it is likely to be years before 8K content is available, so owning one would be like having an Aston Martin DB5 sitting in your driveway and absolutely no access to fuel.

Rather than make advance choices about what booths to visit in advance, I decided to simply wander and see what grabbed my attention. There were a couple of surprises. And even, in the end, some lessons and organizing principles that occurred to me.

Keep in mind, this is designed to be both random and thoughtful, but neither comprehensive or encyclopedic. Just one Content Guy’s impressions and musings …

Here’s the good news, though. Next week, we’ll be following up by posting a new Retail Tomorrow podcast that I hosted, in which some terrific guests and I drill down not just on lessons from CES, but about the nature of innovation and technology and their role in the current and future retail continuum. I found it illuminating, and I think you will, too.

KC's View: