There are several reasons to go to 'techie' tradeshows. One is for the new releases of product and technological advances. However from all reports about Computex 2010 this year (June 1-5), it appeared that everything revealed at the event had either been previewed previously at other shows, or had already been leaked to the press. As a result, some of the best items to surface in Taipei were not necessarily the geeky tech products at the booths.
While celebrating its 30th year anniversary, Computex Taipei is just as much about the attractions as it is the distractions. Out of 1750 exhibitors trying to gain the attention of 35,000 buyers, here are some of the best attraction-getters (or distraction-getters, as the case may be) at this year's show.
60-Second SpotWhile this 60-second commercial is intriguing, it's basically trying to 'oversell' a lackluster year of the technology highlighted at this show. While the promo hypes a "computer you can wear," "a music player that's charged by one's movement," a "laptop that is as flat as a piece of paper," an "online party with friends around the world," and "writing a novel just by thinking about it," the video is a welcome distraction for a show that didn't live up to its hype.
Booth BabesThese young ladies are hired for the obvious reasons. They are the necessary 'eye candy' to attract the attention of a good number of the male buyers. There is great appeal when booth babes in futuristic miniskirts are strategically positioned - as they know how to stop traffic right just where you need it. Then while attendees are taking pictures, the company's sales team moves in for the kill and starts hawking their wares.
And if you like what you see, there's plenty more where that came from…
There's even booth babes dressed in USB skirts, in what turned out to be the most unique portable storage system at the entire show, attached with 600 USB memory sticks...
3-D GlassesFunny, that while 3-D technology has been around since the 1950s, it took 2010 to really kick it into high gear. With movies like Avatar and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, audiences couldn't seem to get enough this year. However, the number one complaint regarding 3-D technology is that people hate the glasses… way to go, Nvidia, for finding a way to make them even bigger.
[Note: For more on 3-D glasses, see "3-D Glasses From 'It Came From Out Of Space' To 'Avatar.']
Techie ProtestsYou will always find some folks who oppose technological advancements. This year, that crowd became a little more vocal. Labor unions and environmental groups used this tradeshow as a forum for protesting against a number of companies with exhibit booths at Computex. Though it's unfortunate for the companies involved, it's also quite expected given recent reports of inhumane working conditions at many Chinese manufacturing plants managed by Microsoft, Foxconn, Apple and others.
Computer HeadNobody has been able to determine the purpose of this cape crusader's attendance in Taipei. We don't know if this he is some misguided 'trekkie' who took a wrong turn, or a costume held over from this past year's Mardi Gras Festival in New Orleans.
All in all, Computex 2010 continues to attract large numbers, and probably will for another 30 years to come - as long as there are booth babes - and a little outside drama to keep your distracted! See you next year!