The world’s largest consumer technology show kicks off Tuesday in Las Vegas with a controversial appearance by Ivanka Trump, who’s getting heat for taking center stage despite her lack of tech experience.
President Trump’s eldest daughter and senior adviser will address close to 200,000 attendees of the Consumer Electronics Show at 5 p.m. EST Tuesday on “employer-led strategies” for apprenticeships and worker retraining, CES has said.
Critics argue that giving the coveted slot to the President’s daughter sends the wrong message after years of ignoring women with decades of tech experience for its top speaking positions.
“What an insult to the YEARS AND YEARS of protesting how few women were invited to keynote & being told it was a pipeline problem while similarly-situated men were elevated,” tech commentator Rachel Sklar tweeted about the decision.
Some critics have threatened to boycott the conference using Twitter hashtag #boycottCES.
The four-day Vegas conference, which had no women keynotes in either 2017 or 2018, has previously blamed its all-male agenda on a lack of women in top C-suite positions.
But Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the conference, has defended the move, telling BBC that “Ivanka Trump will be focusing on … how the industry is working with the government” on jobs of the future.
CES is going XXX
While Shapiro’s not backing down on Trump, CES has done an about-face on another issue that has riled female attendees: Sex toys.
For the first time ever, the giant trade show is giving sex toy makers space to exhibit their wares and compete for prizes.
The decision comes a year after organizers were blasted for their prudish stance on a high-end vibrator while staying mum on female sex robots and skimpily dressed women used solely to sex up exhibits.
At last year’s CES, a $250 gadget called the Osé Robotic Massager, which uses “intricate engineering and robotics” to provide an “elusive blended orgasm,” was deemed “obscene” and “immoral” by CES organizers after CES judges awarded it a prize for robotics.
CES organizers apologized after Lora DiCarlo, the startup that makes the vibrator, slammed the trade show for an “obvious double standard” against female sexuality.
Apple is back at CES 2020 … kind of
The iPhone maker is returning to the massive trade show for the first time since John Sculley was hawking the Apple MessagePad in Chicago in 1992.
But don’t expect Tim Cook to show up with any groundbreaking hardware announcements.
Instead, Apple is sending senior director of global privacy Jane Horvath to Sin City to participate in a roundtable discussion on privacy.
Apple has in recent years been highlighting its privacy-oriented focus as a selling point, with Cook getting into a public spat with Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg as the social network found itself embroiled in data breaches of its own.
At last year’s CES, Apple bought a billboard directly across from Google’s outdoor pavilion setup to tout its privacy credentials. “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone,” the ad read.
Though it won’t operate its own booth on the show floor, Apple will have HomeKit — its smart home platform — on display at partner booths as it seeks to bolster Siri, the smart assistant that has fallen far behind Alexa and the Google Assistant in popularity.
Robots, robots everywhere
Attendees will see a slew of cool gadgets this year, including the Bocco Emo robot, which is said to detect emotions, and the Lovot companion robot, which is supposed to encourage its users to feel “love.”
Attendees will also get to ride the MYXfitness bike, a rival of Peloton that promises a total body workout — thanks to a vast library of videos that include yoga and one-on-one training.