CAN InfoTech: A Tech Trade Show, Third World-Style

Two-hundred-and-eighty-six booths, and not an iPhone is sight. In fact, a lot of the gadgets on display here were first released in 2007. Welcome to CAN InfoTech: the CES of Nepal.

BoingBoing's photo tour of the January conference, held in a country with a near-50 per cent unemployment rate and a per-capita GDP of $US1200, paints a picture of a sort of proto-CES, in which Apple is a new and novel brand, many of the attendees don't have mobile phones, and electric generators are a prime attraction.

I'm not sure why, but I assumed a trade show like this would be inflected with a different feeling. Instead of complaining about ebook reader overload or a crowded trade floor, attendees would glimpse a technological future that a lot of the world lives in, and that they too could one day enjoy. But no: A trade show is a trade show, all the way down the economic scale. It's a way for innovators and hucksters alike to get the word out, for better or for worse, about the thing they're trying to sell right then.

Head over to the source for the full photo set, because it's utterly fascinating, from the 2008-vintage Sony catalogue on display to the cellophane-wrapped display laptops. I'll never complain about CES again. (This is a lie.) [BoingBoing]

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