CES begins this week and getting an early jump on the major Vegas event, Buzz Knight spoke to the President and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association Gary Shapiro. The CTA is the trade association representing more than 2,200 consumer technology companies and produces CES.
BK: Every year I have asked you to make the case for why radio executives should attend CES. When you consider the state of our business heading into 2017, why is going to the show important for them this time around?
Shapiro: In one word: inspiration. CES inspires new ideas, new approaches, and new relationships. Of course, it is where you can see every new competitor to radio and every enhancement of radio. But it also is where breakthroughs occur, new partnerships are formed, and new ideas are hatched.
CES is a must-see event, enabling attendees to form key insights into major consumer trends and the latest innovations. Unlike other narrowly focused events, CES covers the entire consumer tech sector – from smartphones and self-driving cars to wireless speakers and immersive audio.
At CES 2017, major audio companies, including SiriusXM and DTS will exhibit alongside startups such as Como Audio, showcasing the latest in speakers, radios, audio enhancement technologies, and audio accessories. And don’t miss Hi-Res Audio; it will match consumer demand for quality, immersive audio. CES will feature C-Space as well, which includes exhibits, programming, and special events created specifically to showcase technology’s influence for advertising and entertainment executives. CES also offers a “one stop shop” for radio industry executives to see the latest from streaming and other competitive services.
CES is where business gets done: on the show floor, through our conference program, in planned meetings, and special events. Everyone is on-site in Las Vegas – from suppliers and retailers to content companies and investors. CES remains the most significant event in the world for those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies.
BK: As radio looks to the current and future state of the automotive business, what can we expect to see within that sector at the show?
Shapiro: Drivers are more connected than ever thanks to the sensors and mobile devices embedded in today’s cars. This added connectivity offers drivers more ways than ever to listen to their favorite radio programs and stations. More vehicles are rolling off assembly lines with built-in disruptive tech that goes hand in hand with radio, such as dependable mobile hotspots and advanced heads-up displays. The aftermarket is delivering innovation solutions, too. We’re seeing more car accessories, such as dash mounts for tablets and tiny digital assistance devices that attach to your steering wheel, giving drivers hands-free control over their music.
CES will also feature nearly 140 automotive tech companies, including nine of the major automotive brands. The show continues to reflect the transportation market’s focus on self-driving technology, such as parking assistance, collision avoidance, and self-driving cars. These developments will transform the future of mobility and could remove human error from the driving equation, reducing vehicular deaths in the U.S. by 90 percent.
BK: Who are some of the big keynote speakers and are there particular themes that will be a part of the show?
Shapiro: This year’s CES keynotes will feature some of the biggest names in tech, highlighting innovative solutions that are changing our lives for the better. NVIDIA founder, President and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang will explore the latest in artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, virtual reality, and gaming. We’re also welcoming Carnival to the keynote stage for the first time, where CEO Arnold Donald will announce a first-of-its-kind technology that will revolutionize the cruise ship experience. Five out of the seven speakers are new to CES, including Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, who will discuss the latest in fitness, technology, and health. And Nissan Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn will share Nissan’s vision for self-driving and zero-emission vehicles.
At CES we embrace innovations changing how consumers see and hear the world – whether it’s driverless cars, virtual and augmented reality, or anytime/anywhere connectivity. Breakthrough and disruptive technologies such as these are changing lives!
Buzz Knight is the Vice President of Programming for Beasley Media Group. He can be reached at [email protected]