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Tuning into CES remotely is just not the same, or so I’m told. Nothing can compete with being one of the 180,000 attendees jostling to see what tech will bring this year and beyond. So I cannot offer you an overview of what CES 2019 was all about (see Dean’s column for that). I can, however, say that Google stole the show, for those not at the show.

Watch the video above. Google built a freaking massive, rhyming, catchy, musical of a ride for its Google Assistant announcements.

If you’re reading this on your computer, I recommend switching to your phone and watching it there. Your mobile device’s accelerometer is simply the best way to have a look around during the 360-degree video. But using your mouse, finger, or even Google’s forgotten Daydream all work, too.

This video doesn’t just sum up how to execute well at CES because it ties together Google’s announcements while also being entertaining. The key is how accessible it is.


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I saw various social media posts about this ride. I wanted to try it. And I did — without having to fly to Vegas and wait in multiple lines.

My point isn’t that CES should be replaced by some virtual version. We still need events that bring us together to physically show us the latest and greatest tech. But as I say every year — many products that debut at CES never even make it to production. Their short lives, if you can call them that, end today with the conclusion of this year’s show.

But the Google Assistant features talked up on the ride are rolling out to millions of users. Many of them require just a smartphone and an internet connection, even if the work being done in the background is highly complex. And the same goes for this video — which is exactly what makes it so appropriate.

It’s great that CES is a stomping ground for what the future has in store. I’m all for new gadgets, weird inventions, and crazy ideas. And of course, few have Google’s level of resources. But this is something all CES exhibitors should keep in mind: If you’re going to invest a ton in your booth, do everything you can to make sure it can reach more than just those 180,000.

ProBeat is a column in which Emil rants about whatever crosses him that week.


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