CES 2016 Reflections

When I was a kid, I saw Stanley Kubrick’s movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey. This sci-fi movie made a big impact on me, especially the idea of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a part of lives in space. After attending this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), an event I have attended for 18 years, I’ve realized that AI is indeed here on earth!

Over the past two years, the Consumer Technology Association economists and researchers have been pointing to the emerging technologies of the Internet of Things, Big Data analytics, and the Rise of the Machines (Artificial Intelligence). These explosive trends are now a reality, with many companies fully utilizing them.

In her keynote speech, Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM, highlighted many of the gains in AI. You may remember that IBM’s Watson outperformed humans on Jeopardy in 2011. Five years later, this technology is being fully exploited. Under Armour, the sports apparel company, has adopted IBM Watson technology to utilize sensors and big data to inform you in advance what activities, diet, number of hours of sleep, and lifestyle fits you best. After all, if you buy their products, you probably care about your physical performance and are interested to know how you compare to other athletes your age and weight. This type of technology helps people set goals for themselves and set benchmarks that match their stage in life.

Even more valuable is how IBM has enlisted AI to help save and enhance lives. Medtronic announced a partnership with IBM to develop new ways to tackle diabetes. By accessing and crunching huge volumes of data of anonymous medical records and applying the learnings to your personal metabolism, Medtronic plans on providing proactive advice on your specific exercise, diet, and sleep. Getting personalized counsel like this will (hopefully) prevent crisis situations and save lives, enhance people’s quality of life, and save the health care system (and taxpayers) a lot of money.
What else was stunning at CES? The innovation focus around the world.

The CES Eureka Park area was densely packed with global start-up companies. France had more than 100 startup firms in attendance. In 2014, I attended CES Unveiled Paris. It was clear then that the French government had made a commitment to support innovation – and that continues. Israel also made a strong showing – once again punctuating the high level of innovation in relationship to their population.

Eureka Park, French Quarter

CES 2016 “French Quarter”                                           

The double take of the whole show happened at the Consumer Technology Association party. There I was, among hundreds of technology enthusiasts, enjoying good company and good food – and lo and behold, CEO Budge Huskey of Coldwell Banker Real Estate is introduced as a CES sponsor.  This is so unusual given the real estate industry’s past lack of acceptance that home technology adds value to a home.  Coldwell Banker’s sponsorship was exceptional proof of a big change in focus and awareness. At last, the mass market is awakened to the Internet of Things and the Smart Home.

Gerzberg shapiro huskey rodarte

L. Gerzberg, G. Shapiro, B. Huskey, D. Rodarte

I’m thankful to be informed and connected to the brightest business leaders in the Consumer Technology industry. I have the relationships, keen sense of market and skill set needed to help you take your business to a new level of growth and profitability.

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