Seven takeaways from CES in Vegas, the world's largest tech-fest
The Consumer Electronics Show, now in its 52nd year, remains a sexist, diversity-free zone
It has failed in the past to recruit any female top note speakers, and this year CES bizarrely branded a female vibrator "immoral". After giving a robotics Innovation Award to a hands-free, blended orgasm massager called the Ose, it then withdrew it and banned the company from exhibiting. Is this old, white and male institution frightened of women and sex? Probably both.
Although Pharrell Williams did show up to talk about a mysterious new audio tech
At the paid behest of Sony, a teleprompted Williams appeared briefly (the Youtube clip is 55 seconds) to talk about a new sound reproduction technology, 360 Reality Audio, aimed at creating "spherical sound mixes using MPEG-H". Lost you? The Youtube clip had about 300 views when I last looked - unlike the 378 MILLION on his "Happy" vid. Some things cannot be made interesting.
Apple, the largest producer of consumer electronics in the world and the biggest tech company of them all, didn't show up. Again.
Too good for a jamboree, this year Apple churlishly left a message for its competitors: a giant ad on the side of the Spencer Hill Marriott hotel taking a swipe at the privacy practices of Google's Android platform: "What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone." #glasshouses
Behold, the age of the super-sized and rolled up TV - and bendy phone
Both Samsung and Sony showcased a 98-inch (8 foot) 8K TV. Very wide.
LG promised a roll-up TV with a screen that retracts into its soundbar base. Priceless, as yet. And the future of phones seem flexible, with the Royole FlexPai, a folding 7.8-inch display that goes from tablet to phone and back again. For you? Only $1,300.
Its most comical gadgets make sloths of us all
There was Foldimate, ugly as sin and costing $1,000, that folds 25 pieces of laundry in less than five minutes; the £100 Y-brush toothbrush to clean your pearly whites in 10 seconds if two minutes is too much of a chore, the Ovis AI Suitcase that follows its owner like an obedient pet to avoid the terrible bore of having to grip its handle, and the $7,000 Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet, Alexa-equipped, so you can re-order loo paper from your very own throne.
The Chinese stayed away
Amid mounting trade tensions between Beijing and Washington, Chinese firms attending CES fell by a fifth. That's what happens when America gets the Canadians to arrest the daughter of the boss of China's most important tech company, Huawei. I blame the crazy guy with the orange hair.