Technology

Innovation at CES 2017 transcends industries and spurs emerging markets

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LAS VEGAS: The latest emerging innovation across every major industry takes center stage this week at CES® 2017, with product launches that propel global markets from automotive, sports and fitness, software, healthcare, entertainment and more. Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM, CES 2017, the world’s largest innovation event, runs through tomorrow, January 8, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Keynotes and Headline Speakers

During Friday morning’s keynote, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf introduced the 5G future, a new kind of network with unprecedented scale, speed and complexity. "5G will be the tipping point that builds on LTE and finally enables IoT," said Mollenkopf. During the keynote, Qualcomm introduced the Snapdragon 835, the first 10 nanometer mobile processor that can deliver extended battery life, built-in security, eye-based authentication, secure audio, on-device machine learning and immersive experiences.

Under Armour Founder and CEO Kevin Plank took the keynote stage Friday afternoon and emphasized the importance of branding saying that “the key to any brand is to have personality and point of view.” Under Armour is innovating by putting technology front and center, investing $1 billion in health and fitness tech. Plank unveiled three new models of the company’s Record Equipped shoes, which give performance feedback based on workouts. Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all-time, joined Plank onstage to demo the shoes and talk about UA Healthbox, powered by UA Record, the world’s first connected fitness system. The keynote wrapped with the unveiling of a new line of sleep apparel, dubbed Rest Win Repeat, in collaboration with Patriot’s quarterback Tom Brady, designed to rebuild the body while it rests through infrared technology.

Top industry executives and influencers joined global government officials at the annual Leaders in Technology Dinner on Friday evening. Ford President and CEO Mark Fields shared the company's vision for how the future of mobility will be transformed by connectivity. "Imagine what could happen when the way you get around looks completely different. Cities will change. The way we work and play and socialize will transform. And it will all be enabled by connectivity," said Fields. He announced that Ford Sync is expanding to deliver cloud-based services and that soon all Ford vehicles will be controlled remotely with the FordPass app. He also recapped Ford's recent partnership with Toyota to form the SmartDeviceLink Consortium to establish industry-driven standards for in-vehicle apps.

Conferences

Day two and three of CES 2017 featured SuperSessions and conference tracks focused on technology trends and policy issues, as well as C Space Storytellers and the Sports Business Innovation Track.

Friday’s SuperSession Powering the Sharing Economy to Transform Lives featured panelists from Grab, the Prime Minister’s Office of Singapore and Lyft. Panelists discussed the potential of the sharing economy to democratize transportation and make travel an enjoyment, not a burden. Annabel Chang, director of public policy, Lyft, explained that among her company’s customer base, “Most people do not live within a quarter mile of a transit stop. A significant percentage of our riders take Lyft to a transportation hub, then take public transportation on their final leg.”

The Self-Driving Cars: New Rules of the Road SuperSession moderated by USA Today’s tech reporter, Mike Snider, discussed with top executives from Blackberry, Intel and Mobileye how a collaborative approach between automakers, hardware and software developers is driving the rapid pace of self-driving innovations. The panelists agreed that in order to reach the expected goal of having self-driving cars on the road by 2020, the industry needs to fully solve the convergence of IoT and artificial intelligence.

Friday’s SuperSession The Power of Hidden Figures, sponsored by IBM, focused on illuminating the story of women and minorities in traditionally non-cinematic roles: advancing the math and science fields. Moderated by journalist Soledad O'Brien, panelists included actress Octavia Spencer and representatives from IBM, New York City Department of Education, 20th Century Fox and Girls Who Code. IBM highlighted its organic commitment to diversity and inclusion over the past century.

The Opportunities for the Global Innovation Economy SuperSession, moderated by Time Inc.’s Alan Murray, examined with CEOs from Flex, Ford and Intel how consumer technology companies are leveraging their power to build global brands and advance innovation in a rapidly changing world. The panelists - Mark Fields, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company; Brian Krzanich, CEO, Intel Corp and Mike McNamara, CEO, Flex – discussed how globalization and digitalization have been the two great trends in innovation over the last 50 years and what we can expect moving forward.

C Space Storytellers

During the Turner session, Otto Bell, vice president and group creative director of Courageous, Turner’s first-ever brand studio, announced the beginning of the “Post-Text Era” where images and video do all the talking. Courageous is developing new ways to utilize technology to reach viewers from 360 cameras to VR.

At the Facebook session, Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, VP of ads & business platforms, Facebook sat down for a fireside chat with Sony’s Josh Greenstein, president of worldwide marketing & distribution. Bosworth and Greenstein discussed how mobile and social media platforms are shaping Sony’s marketing campaigns to reach targeted audiences. Bosworth noted Facebook provides a myriad of platforms for marketing customization and distribution to targeted audiences.

Executive producer of BBC Earth Productions, Charlotte Jones, provided a deep dive into the opportunities of storytelling through VR and AR during BBC’s Storytellers session on Friday. Collaborating with Oculus VR, BBC Earth Productions is creating interactive movies and games to be experienced by consumers using Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR.

Twitter CMO Leslie Berland opened the company’s Storytellers session Friday afternoon with a look back on 2016 using Tweets. Twitter has positioned itself as more than a social media platform. By changing the rules of storytelling, Twitter is able to capture news and real-time moments through its users.

Sports Business Innovation

Technology spans all industries including sports. The Sports Business Innovation track, presented by Turner Sports ran a series of jam-packed sessions that featured Gary Bettman, Commissioner NHL, Don Garber, Commissioner, Major League Soccer, Scott Blackmun, CEO, U.S. Olympic Committee, Brian France, Chairman and CEO, Nascar, Dan Gilbert, Majority Owner, Cleveland Cavaliers and Alejandro Agag, CEO, Formula E.

These big names from professional sports leagues and partners took a deep-dive into the future of sports tech. The series focused on topics including: how to extend the fan experience, what the future of arena technology looks like and how virtual and augmented reality can become part of the experience, generational differences in content consumption and viewing patterns, and how data analytics effect personnel management and player performance.

Innovation Policy Track

Friday’s panel The Trolls and Tech: How to Fix Patents was moderated by CTA’s Michael Patrick Hayes and featured Tyler Grimm, legislature director for Rep. Darrell Issa; Athenahealth’s Colin Anawaty; Tech:NYC’s Julie Samuels and InterDigital’s Rob Stein. The panelists discussed the harm and damage patent trolls can do to businesses, as well as how Congress can find a reasonable solution for patent reform. US Patent and Trade Office director Michelle Lee gave the panel's opening statement surrounding the agency's recent efforts, reform and projects to combat the problem. US Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) made a surprise appearance, delivering closing comments and explaining how patent trolls can devastate small companies.

Saturday’s panel New President, New Congress? What’s Next included Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH); Rep. Eric Swalwell, (D-CA); Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), with moderator Tiffany M. Moore, VP, congressional affairs, CTA. The session showed bipartisan agreement about many policies needed to promote innovation and support technological leadership, including high skilled immigration reform, endorsing strong encryption, flexibility for emerging sharing economy business models and making more spectrum available for commercial and public use. Attending his 35th CES, Rep. Issa emphasized that high skilled immigration reform would be one of his priorities, saying, “We need to make sure the companies who want to expand get the resources they need, including talent.”

Friday also featured the Stars of CES Awards, presented by What Hi-Fi recognizing the top 10 audio and video products launched at this year's show. The complete list of winners can be found at WhatHiFi.com.

Saturday’s always popular Last Gadget Standing, presented by Living in Digital Times, featured the top products unveiled at CES 2017. Hosted by David Pogue from Yahoo! Tech, the innovations showcased included cutting-edge wearables, smart home technologies and connected networks. The Matrix Powerwatch, which never needs charging or battery replacement and displays how much electric power your body is generating and accurately measures calories burned was crowned the winner.

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