Consumer Electronics Show 2019: A ringside view

Consumer Electronics Show 2019: A ringside view

LAS VEGAS: CES. Billed as the world’s largest consumer electronics show which brings in about 180,000 visitors who queue up and walk miles visiting 4,000 plus exhibitors who are showing  off the latest in tech over 2.5 million square metres of exhibition space.

Yes, you heard it right, 2.75 million feet and it is spread over three zones Tech east, Tech South and Tech West. But the three zones cover the masssive Las Vegas Convention Centre (LVCC) and several other glitzy gambling marquee properties such as MGM Grand, The Venetian, Sands Expo, Palazzo, Aria, Rennaisance, Westgate, Mandalay Bay, and what have you where exhibitors will be flogging their wares in order to strike deals for the new tech they are show casing. Organised by the Consumer Technology Association, it will be held from 8-11 January.

Of course, a stellar line up of conferences has been drawn with several global leaders lining up to speak. Among those who will be delivering official keynote:

  •     LG Electronics president & chief technology officer  I.P. Park
  •     CTA president &  CEO Gary Shapiro and CES executive vice president Karen Chupka
  •     IBM chairman, president &  CEO Ginni Rometty
  •     Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg
  •     AMD president & CEO Lisa Su
  •     U.S. secretary of transportation Elaine L. Chao
  •     AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan and MediaLink chairman & CEO Michael Kassan

Now one may ask why is going to town about CES by attending and sending out reports on it?

Well for one tech, telecom and media are converging – the lines between traditional television, streaming media, IoT are increasingly becoming finer with players crambling to get a centre spot in the consumers mind and a big share of his  or her wallet. Telcos, media companies, broadband service providers, entertainment, news and sports, broadcasters, OTT providers, cable TV operators, DTH providers, are forging alliances or acquiring or merging with each other – even in tech slowlane driving India.

Then CES has a special zone for media, entertainment, advertising and brands in the Aria area where one can bump into leading brands and CMOs on the Story Tellers stage,  including IBM’s Michele Peluso, Unilever’s Keith Weed and Proctor and Gamble’s Marc Pritchard, MasterCard chief markerting and communications officer Raja Rajamannar, and Cadillac CMO Deborah Wahl. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, senior executives from broadcast, pay TV and OTT tech solutions providers will be discussing the future of video. Immersive media has a string of conferences and keynotes lined up giving us an update on the progress in this segment.

There is a glaring focus on esports where Twitch global content development and emerging markets general manager Kendra Johnson,  Razer global esports director David Wan Tat Tse and Immortals exec chairman Noah Whinston will be talking about the role that technology has to offer this exciting exploding segment.

Clearly, giving our readers a ringside view of technology for media and entertainment from an Indian perspective is what we are setting out to do at CES in the harsh and punishing town of Las Vegas,  Last night when we landed in Vegas it was chilly and raining cats and dogs. This morning as this report is being filed, the skies are mostly clear with a few clouds, and the sun is shining bright.

Yet CES can be rewarding for many. Ask the many hopefuls who keep inserting coins into the slot machines at the various casinos for hours on end. And yes some do hit minor rewards if not the jackpot. We are hopeful that you will too. 

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