CES 2013: Qualcomm and Steve Ballmer deliver surreal keynote speech

Twitter goes into meltdown as Qualcomm opens CES 2013 with Sesame Street's Big Bird, Guillermo del Torro, Desmond Tutu... and Steve Ballmer

Qualcomm has opened the CES 2013 show with a keynote speech that left journalists and online viewers baffled, as this piece by The Verge amply demonstrates.

The keynote was designed to demonstrate Qualcomm chips being used in a variety of situations, but ended up leaving journalists scratching their heads and wondering it what they'd just watch actually happened.

Qualcomm started with low-key actors speaking hammy lines such as "I'm John but better known by tornado... I just pwned half the world so eat a tornado on 53. Woooooh!" All delivered with the excessive over-acting of a children's television show. Another actor played a more young suited executive with such lines as "imagine photo cat videos meets Gangam Style" and then kept repeatedly saying "boom".

Then Qualcomm's CEO, Paul Jacob's took to the stage, before Steve Ballmer ran onstage to join him waving his fingers in the air. A surprise turn, but welcome after the strange and uncomfortable intro. Ballmer and Jacobs outlined all the apps available for Windows 8 and the new Surface tablet.

Then things took another surreal turn. Film director Guillermo del Toro took to the stage to show off an incredibly violent clip from upcoming movie, Blade 2. As Twitter user Joshua Topolsky said, "NOTHING says Qualcomm like a vampire attack".

Nothing, apparently, except following it with Sesame Street's Big Bird who arrived on stage to work with a Qualcomm developer (also dressed up in a bird suit).

If this combination of hardcore violence and bird-suited developers hadn't confused people enough, it segued into a personal message from Desmond Tutu. We're not making this up. "Finally something weirder than an exec talking to Big Bird while wearing another Big Bird's skin", said Ross Miller on Twitter. Tutu praised Qualcomm's involvement with world health initiatives.

The show ended with an acoustic performance from Maroon 5, which was over-dubbed with Dido for online viewers, we presume because of licensing reasons.

Website The Verge has a highly entertaining piece here and they've also kindly edited a highlights video (watch here).

Click here to watch a rebroadcast of the whole event on the Qualcomm website.

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