CAN Info-tech 2016: More for business than Innovation
Subisu CAN Info-Tech 2016 is currently being held in Bhirkuti Mandap, Exhibition Road, Kathmandu from 29th January to 3rd February. I visited the event on the business day (31st January) using VIP passes generously provided by Mr. Sajak Raj Baidhya. The only perk of the VIP pass is that you don’t have to sit in line to buy a ticket. Apart from that, the VIP pass didn’t serve any other purpose.
Comparing the exhibition with previous year’s exhibitions, the trend seems to be moving from displaying the latest and most innovative electronics to mediocre and money making electronics and schemes. I had expected to see at least some of the latest gadgets available around the world. I didn’t find anything new there. Laptops were one of the most common items on show on the event, but high end laptops and gaming laptops were nowhere to be seen.As Subisu is the main sponsor of the event, finding their stall as the biggest one there was not a surprise. They have put up a huge screen to show off their cable TV quality. Apart from Subisu, other ISP companies were also one of the main attractions of the event. Classic Tech, Worldlink, Websurfer and other ISPs had impressive and CAN exclusive schemes for people looking to get internet connections in their homes. Apart from that, companies selling solar panels, generators and energy saving bulbs were also abundant. I had asked one of the stalls how much it would cost to go completely off the grid, and run a house totally on solar power. I don’t think he understood the question, and gave me an answer of Rs 71,000. Similar lack of knowledge in the product that they were selling was a common problem among the sales representatives of many stalls. There was supposedly a drone on display from an action camera stall, but unfortunately, it wasn’t there when I checked. There was also a lack of 4k TVs and projectors. In previous years, there used to be a lot of branded phone companies showing their latest phones, but this year SONY was one of the only popular companies offering their phones. Brands like Samsung, Apple and LG didn’t have any stalls in this year’s show. Their gap was filled with cheaper smart phone companies like Huawei and Micromax. Apart from the obvious tech stalls, there were also stalls which showcased equipment which allowed disabled people to use computers in the second hall. I also found a few stalls showcasing bizarre looking electric scooters. Finally, there were stalls selling cheap electronics and accessories, like data cables, storage devices and speakers. As someone who has been visiting the exhibition almost every year since my childhood, this year’s event was a massive disappointment. The event was supposed to be a tech show with innovative products, but ended up being a show for ISPs to get more customers, and businesses to sell their overpriced products.