Mooly Eden, the VP of Intel's PC client group got behind a steering wheel video controller to add verisimilitude, but never mentioned the demo was actually pre-recorded. Neither did anyone else from Intel. So Eden's effort with the steering wheel were misleading, but otherwise pointless.
So? I'd rather watch a good video than a bad demo
I realize there's nothing that would persuade many people to try a live demo of cutting edge technology on stage. There are too many legendary demo failures that were embarrassing because they failed but became icons of irony for the way they failed.
- While demonstrating Plug and Play for Windows 98 on stage at Comdex '98 (and on live TV), Bill Gates got to experience the Blue Screen of Death that was the bane of Windows customers. It delayed the demo but didn't kill the show, or the product.
- Windows 7 had a similar problem with the touchscreen capability on a live Japanese news show in 2009.
- As Steve Jobs tried to demo the miraculous new iPhone 4's connectivity, the WiFi failed on stage; twice. It wasn't the first time Jobs, known as a demo god for his stage presence and ability to fix balky presentations, ran into a glitch or two during demos. The iPhone 4 survived.
All were higher-profile failures far more indicative of weakness than Intel's because they highlighted problems the products had at demo time and continued to have long after going into production.
All went into production needing to prove themselves against a barrier of customer skepticism much steeper than before the public failure.
Never follow children, animals or use a computer on stage
"Live demo" is the ticking time bomb in any vendor-marketing team's life.
If it works and the tech is actually impressive, there is nothing that shows a new technology's advantages than a demo choreographed to do exactly that. So there is a lot of pressure from internal champions (who want to prove to their bosses the project hasn't been a waste of money) to run the real thing.
There is just as much pressure from the PR staff, event-production specialists and performance-development consultants (producers and directors with either aspirations to or experience in actual live theater) for a demo will perform as it's told, just as the human performers are supposed to do.
IDG News Service