Netflix hid a fake bio-tech booth in the middle of CES
Venture beyond tech whales like Samsung and Sony, beyond the rows of smart speakers and giant TVs and you’ll discover that there are weirder things to be found at CES. That might be why Netflix’s trojan horse public relations move, establishing a fictional vendor booth deep within Las Vegas Convention Center, worked a little too well.
Well, I cheated. I was already briefed (through press release) that “Psychasec” wasn’t a genuine CES exhibitor, despite this fully-fleshed stall you see here. Nope, this is a fictional company from Altered Carbon, the next big-budget sci-fi series from Netflix that seems to borrow heavily from Blade Runner, at least in visual delivery.
Most of the other attendees, a mixture of business people, media and other exhibitors were immediately curious of the glossy white stand with two sexy, realistic mannequins on display at the front.
When they ventured inside, an army of slightly too pretty attendants, dressed-in-white offered vague sci-fi responses to questions (“It’s about transferring your conscious to a new, better body”), while screens all around scrolled through the benefits of replacing your body for a new (sexy, stronger, smarter) model. The aforementioned staff clutched tablets to take email addresses with promises of more information come February 2nd. Plenty took the bait, genuinely curious of where this company was based and whether this was all even possible.
The twist, if you can call it that, happens once you turn a corner, and you’re confronted with a vacuum-sealed human. This is another mannequin, although with some carefully-placed condensation inside the bag, made it rather unsettling. Naturally, I had to poke the “person” in a bag. Morbid fascination.
So what about the only real thing here? The show itself, Altered Carbon, is set three hundred years into the future, at a time where human bodies are now interchangeable: Death just isn’t a thing. From the glimpses I saw here, it looks like Netflix is putting plenty of cash into the show — and I don’t just mean renting a plot in Las Vegas. Expect some action, navel-gazing thoughts on what it means to die, and a firearm or two. The show launches globally on February 2nd.