Fujitsu’s Zoolander Booth

Fujitsu had the only booth at CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) which was exclusively staffed by booth babes. They had no inkling of what the products in the booth were supposed to do, and there was not a single person there who knew. I came away more than a little miffed that all I got was a technology tease without substance.

Along one edge of the booth, Fujitsu was demonstrating waterproof electronic tablets against a picture of people using them in the bathtub and next to a kitchen sink, together with a proud announcement that the tablets had a gesture interface. I used a few known gadget gestures by the tablets, and nothing happened. So I turned to a young woman in a Fujitsu shirt nearby and asked her how the gesture interface worked. She smiled blankly at me, looked at the tablets in puzzlement, and confessed she didn’t know anything, but if I were to go up into the booth, I might find out more.

I found no tablet experts, but I did see the Fujitsu femtocell. I write about femtocell/microcell technology, so I was very interested. I turned to another young woman stationed near the cell and asked her which carrier it worked with. She whirled into a lame explanation of what a femtocell is, boosting cell phone signals. Yeah, I know that, but which carrier does it work with, i.e. AT&T? Verizon? Sprint? Finally someone else (not with the Fujitsu booth) informed me that the Fujitsu femtocell only works in Japan. Um, OK.

I turned the corner to find most of the booth babes clustered around a male booth babe clutching a smart phone to his chest. On the screen in front of him, a cartoon image of Miss Japan was telling him exactly how to hold the smart phone. Between garbled instructions on screens and a bevy of guesses from his fellow booth babes, he leaned right, then left.

What is this, I asked? It was some fitness thing, a booth babe told me. Maybe it would tell him how tight his pects are, or something. How does it work? I asked, hoping for a more coherent answer. Thereupon, one of the brighter booth babes let me know smartphones have a “gyro-thingie” in them which can sense how far you’re leaning. In my world, it’s called an “accelerometer” and it’s nothing new, but I guess Fujitsu has rebranded it as a “gyro-thingie” for booth babes who want to measure how babely they are, by Japanese standards.

Had Zoolander and Hansel appeared and instructed the collective staff to have an “I’m Too Sexy for My Fujitsu Shirt” walk-off, it would have been a better, more effective booth. As it was, Peter and I walked away appalled at the extraordinary waste of space and our time. I have no idea what Fujitsu is doing, but it’s clearly not interested in marketing itself to U.S. tech experts.




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