As much as I look forward to attending the 2022 CES in person after last years’ hiatus, I find I enjoy it more when I reflect on where the tech industry was a decade previously. CES 2012 was more of an incremental type of show, however there were a few items of substantial importance and one of incredible impact.

This was the year of Tesla introducing the Model S, their first whole car of their own design and build … and my god, it was awful. The blog I wrote at the time is still available on this site. But, let’s just cut to the chase … it was a horrible car. The construction was pathetic and I kept wondering why on earth they would choose to show such “construction horribilis” in a world-wide exhibit that showcased their ineptitude.

(this is the actual original brochure from the show)

I wasn’t kind in my description at the time and that opinion still stands for their 2012 model … jump to 2021 and now I own one with two more on order. It’s the most fantastic car I’ve ever owned and I’ll never buy another gas-powered car again.

The CEO of Ford and Mercedes were at the 2012 show and I’m absolutely certain they weren’t impressed either … now the current CEO’s are freaking out over Tesla’s success and tech as they fall behind at an increasing rate daily.

Amazingly Nokia won “Best of Show” for their Lumina 900 phone. I doubt if any GenZ people even know who they are today.

Samsung showed their 1st OLED TV and promised it was going on sale shortly … they lied. They discovered they didn’t have the technical expertise that LG had and canceled production.

At CES 2012 they unveiled the “Eureka Park” section that highlighted only startup companies … this is my fav part of CES today, as it embodies what tech can do to improve lives and is where the actual future can be glimpsed. Of the 88 companies shown at that show, I’m not aware of even a single survivor however.

The top consumer electronics companies in the world were, in decreasing order, GE, Samsung and Sony. Apple was in 11th place and is first today with Samsung still in 2nd

Apple’s newest phone was the “4” … remember it? No? It was one of the last, smaller iPhones and was a huge improvement over the cool, but slow, 3GS model. I’ve always thought the 3GS was the first serious iPhone, and have one to this day in my collection. But the “4” displayed the true usefulness of a smart phone.

Tablets were new and Apple didn’t even release their first iPad until March … at the time of the show, Android tablets were the only choice and Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) was the OS.

The TV manufacturers were unhappy with less than expected sales of 3D, backlit and smart televisions. While 3D is clearly gone, it’s almost impossible today to buy a large TV without the other two.

Basically, if you bought a camera that wasn’t a fancy model, it was a 16mp model for a couple of hundred bucks.

Of course, it isn’t CES without a few weird things … a company called Ecko Unltd showed a portable speaker that looked like a spray can and somehow, they thought that’s important.

I’m considering doing a 20-year anthology for future CES in addition to the ten-year edition … it really shows how our lives are not just different, but radically changed due to advancing tech … for better or worse. Tech, like essentially everything else, can advance the human condition (Tesla) or be a cancer eating away at people’s lives (Facebook) … it’s up to each of us to choose how we embrace the future. If you can’t look back, you’re blind as to what’s coming, and, if it’s actually valuable or damaging.

I’ve said it a thousand times …”tech waits for no one.”

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