CES 2019 unveils next-gen innovation to the world


The next generation of innovation took centre stage at CES 2019, as companies large and small unveiled technologies that will revolutionise the way we live, work and play. Attendees experienced all that fuels the expansion of tech into new areas such as 5G, artificial intelligence, smart cities, resilience, sports, vehicle tech, digital health and more. The event is owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), CES 2019.

CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro took to the CES keynote stage on 8 January to share CTA’s state of the consumer technology industry. He was joined by CTA executive vice president of CES, Karen Chupka, who gave attendees a preview of what they’ll experience this week in Las Vegas including vehicle technology, digital health, smart cities, sports tech and more. Shapiro announced the release of CTA’s newest book, Ninja Future, which explores the accelerating pace of innovation and gives a 360-degree view of the latest tech trends. Next, Shapiro announced the launch of the 2019 International Innovation Scorecard, an evaluation of 60 countries and the EU across 25 indicators, ranking how well they support innovation. He was joined on stage by cabinet-level officials from three countries named Innovation Champions in the Scorecard: Dr Liam Fox, secretary of state for International Trade and president of the Board of Trade for the U.K.; Mona Keijzer, state secretary of economic affairs and climate policy of The Netherlands; and Mailis Reps, minister of education and research, Estonia. The three accepted awards on behalf of their countries. In closing, recognising the benefit that diversity offers our industry, Shapiro announced that CTA will invest US$10M in venture firms and funds focused on women, people of colour and other underrepresented start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Following Shapiro’s address, IBM chairman, president and CEO Ginni Rometty explored what’s next for IBM across data, blockchain, AI and computing. Rometty was joined on stage by Delta CEO Ed Bastian, and the pair discussed how the proliferation of data is helping better serve travellers. Next, executives from Walmart and Exxon Mobile demonstrated how technology is improving the food supply chain, optimising the power grid and enabling new energy solutions. While Rometty explained that data is the “world’s greatest natural resource,” she noted “scaling these technologies is what really matters.”

Companies across all industries have unveiled AI solutions at CES 2019, creating a customised user experience across a variety of markets, including smart cities, sports tech, vehicle tech, digital health, robotics and beyond. More than 60 exhibitors were featured at the AI & Robotics Marketplace.

In addition to the CES Corporate Keynotes, the CES 2019 conference programme featured industry leaders and visionaries on more than 250 sessions focused on disruptive industry trends that will shape the future of consumer technology.

During the session, “AI Use Cases: Health, Mobility and Cybersecurity,” executives from USAA, Philips and Veoneer detailed opportunities with AI as the technology advances. The panel also identified several challenges in its use to solve pressing problems in health care, mobility and cybersecurity. The need for high quality and clean data emerged as an important priority to support the growth and evolution of AI in solving problems.

CES is considered to be the only global event that brings the full 5G and mobile connectivity ecosystem together. Carriers and mobile operators demonstrated how 5G will transform industries at CES 2019, enabling everything from digital health to smart cities to self-driving cars.

On the afternoon of Tuesday, 8 January, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg took the keynote stage to discuss Verizon’s future for 5G. “5G will change everything…5G is the promise of so much more than what we have seen from wireless technology,” Vestberg told CES attendees. Vestberg highlighted how the next-generation wireless network will not only be a “quantum leap” in speed, reliability and connectivity for everyday users, but also enable next-gen technology. He was joined on stage by Mark Thompson, CEO of The New York Times, as Verizon showcased how the improved network will connect journalists all over the globe, enabling new technologies like virtual and augmented reality to bring readers closer to the story than ever before. Skyward, a commercial drone company and Verizon partner, plans to use the telecom giants 5G network to connect one million drones, and performed a live, autonomous drone flight in Los Angeles that Vestberg launched remotely from the keynote. In the coming year, Verizon plans to launch 5G networks across more cities and phones, ensuring anyone – whether it’s a brain surgeon or your neighbour – can take advantage of 5G’s benefits.

Resilience at CES 2019 showcased technologies and response innovations that help keep communities healthy, safe, warm, powered, fed and secure. The “Tech to Feed the World,” panel featured executives from Impossible Foods, Soft Robotics, IBM Food Trust and Freight Farms discussing how technology is evolving the food industry and solving some of the world’s biggest issues like food waste, food shortages and environmental damage. Leaders in tech are innovating to ensure a sustainable planet by creating tools that drive smarter food practices, restoring trust between consumers and producers with blockchain, and creating products that give new options to those with food restrictions.

Caption: CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro discussed his new book "Ninja Future" with Liz Claman of Fox Business at CES 2019 (photo: Consumer Technology Association)

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