CEL Manila 2008

CEL Manila 2008

Lots of wasted space.

Lots of wasted space.

Consumer Electronics Live! 2008 was disappointing. From its buggy, uninformative Flash-based website to a sparse SMX Exhibit Hall (it wasn’t even the last day!), this was another sign that modernity in this third world country is too brittle, too shallow at this point.

People weren’t really welcome to touch the shiny stuff. Of course there were several exceptions, and thankfully one of those was SENCO, an Apple Authorized Reseller in the Philippines. But even that fell short. Nobody demonstrated the cool multi-touch capabilities of the new MacBooks, for example. There was no effort to convince you that they had great products. People will tell you, yes, Apple products are great, but how do they tell you why they’re great?

Of course most of them used the tried and tested formula: models, music, cars, and other mindless gimmicks. Nokia, Sony, Canon, HP, T3 Magazine, and My Phone/My Screen strut their stuff like money was no object, but that was it. Olympus and Epson were almost invisible. How very representative of the great divide separating our nations’s rich and poor. Panasonic’s spot was unimaginative and only called attention because of the sheer size of its TV screens.

No special shows, no product launches, only the expected raffles and marked down rates. I wanted diverse and cutting-edge technology, with little legroom to spare. Obviously, I can’t help comparing this to the PIKOM PC Fair in Kuala Lumpur, which was far more grand.

Perhaps the only good that came out of this were exactly two solar energy applications—one as a charger, the other as a race car.

So anyway, from the very little I bothered photographing, these are what caught my eye:

You can find a few more photos at my Flickr photostream.

3 replies

  1. what is the tag code all about? i’m a newbie and want to use the tag .
    i like your observation about the great divide between the rich and the poor , but both worlds love to have those tech gadget anyway. the difference is that the rich can afford it easily. Modernity in terms of accessories and tech gadgets as consumer product is intended for the can affords, the majority of the gadget consumers are left behind, the poor.

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