R Is for Robot: A Child's Guide to the Consumer Electronics Show

Curl up, little one, and learn all about the gadgets that will shape your future.

LAS VEGAS—The International Consumer Electronics Show has longed billed itself as a concentrated glimpse into the future. The conference isn't merely, it suggests, a "proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies"; it also offers, to followers both in Vegas and outside of it, a taste of Tomorrow. 

What this means, if the conference's claims about itself are accurate, is that the people who should be most excited about CES are, obviously, children. They being the future, and all.

And what that means, in turn, is that CES is perhaps best explained as a kids' story. So gather around, young ones, and hear what the future holds for you—one letter at a time.

A is for the Arcade Games in the Postal Service sector.

B is for the Bikini meant to sell you a metal detector. 

C is for the Color Coordination at the big T-Mobile talk. 


D is for the Drum Show that makes people gather and gawk. 


E is for the Eveningwear that makes gadgets more beguiling. 

F is for the Frames of Foam that capture you when you're smiling. 

G is for the Guitars you can play inside the Gibson tent. 

H is for the Hip-Hop that makes phablets seem jubilant.


I is for the Inflatable Toys people carry on their backs.

J is for the Jazz played on an instrument shiny and black.


K is for the Kangaroos (get it? Because "Joey"?). 


L is for the Lava Lamps, so colorful and flowy.

M is for the Models who make cars seem more attractive. 

N is for the Neon—it only looks radioactive.

O is for Old-Timey Snacks, like popcorn salty and mild.

P is for the Playworld that brings out folks' inner child.


Q is for the QR Codes that offer additional information.  

R is for the Robots that celebrate automation. 


S is for the Skateboards that are fun and quite dramatic. 


T is for the Tote Bags—not sexy, but pragmatic. 

U is for the Unveilings that add suspense and flair. 


V is for the Very Large Mockups that soar into the air. 


W is for the Water Jets that grab onlookers' attention. 


X is for the XXArray, capturing images in three dimensions. 


Y is for the Yogis who bend and stretch and preen. 

Z is for the Zen Garden advertising an HD screen.

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Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She was formerly an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab, where she wrote about innovations in the media.

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