I am sitting at Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show. To the right of me, a reporter is playing solitaire on her iPad. To the left of me, a reporter is reading mail on her iPad. Judging by the sneakers on their feet, this is not their first major trade show. They know how to survive here.
The lights go down, the music blasts and the giant projection screens light up. The biggest address of the biggest consumer electronics show in the world is about to start and a blogger across the aisle is typing what is probably live coverage. The guy’s got speed.
“Ladies and gentlemen….,” says the announcer.
And what do the reporters on both sides of me do? They turn off their iPads, put them away and in preparation for action, and pull out… spiral notepads and pens. I pulled mine out too just to blend in.
And another cool thing about merging of realities? Ballmer was talking about how now you can invite your friends to watch football with you, all of your avatars tailgating together. Not sure about the taste of virtual beer, but they’re probably working on it. The crowd made all the appropriate appreciative noises at this announcement. The best part was that they hadn’t sent their avatars to this event – they actually showed up in person. Hopped on the plane, booked a hotel. All so that they could touch and feel and be with likeminded people. And they loved the avatar idea. Amazing how we like to live everywhere at once.