Friday Poll: Does CES even matter anymore?

With software now king and tech giants staying away, how is the Consumer Electronics Show still relevant?

Funkier times: Can CES get its groove back?
Consumer Electronics Association

If you've never been to CES, it's a little like wading through a tsunami of shiny plastic and thousands of people.

The annual tide of techno-froth rises and falls, and what's hot this year is not next year. Sometimes the experience can come across rather like the proverbial sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Especially considering that tech giants are staying away en masse. Of Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Samsung, only Samsung has an official presence at the show.

Apple hasn't participated since 1992, though hundreds of companies at CES show off Apple accessories, and Microsoft recently dropped out.

It's true that the spectacle is a truly awesome salad of 3,000 exhibitors and more than 150,000 attendees where important relationships are kindled and deals are struck. And CES has helped launch the careers of consumer favorites like the VCR, CDs, camcorders, and HDTV.

These days, though, hit products more often have their debut outside of the auspices of CES -- at Apple unveilings, other events, and above all through social media.

Meanwhile, the cloud gets more and more focused. What I want is content, not machines, and while I still need mobile devices, it might be hard to justify the massive costs and hype needed to sustain an old-school trade show like CES.

What do you think? Is CES still relevant to what you buy? Vote in our poll and add your comments below.