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India Missing From The Game Changing Conversations At CES 2017

One of the biggest highlights of the CES 2017 has been the increased role and floor space that Chinese companies have taken at the forum

Photo Credit : CES Website


CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro discusses policy with Head of FTC Edith Ramirez at CES 2017

More than 3,800 companies debuted products across a record 2.6 million net square feet of exhibit space at the CES 2017 – an unprecedented number for the 50-year-old forum taking place in Las Vegas till January 8, 2017, that has grown in stature every year.

Among these, the showing from India was modest at best. About 10 exhibitors in all from India have made it to CES. These include Actofit Wearables, AllGo Embedded Systems, alphaTUB Innovations, Aricent, Basil Energetics, Boltt Sports Technologies, CMAI Association of India, Square Off, Tata Elxsi and Wipro.

India Missing
One of the biggest highlights of the CES 2017 has been the increased role and floor space that Chinese companies have taken at the forum. While China has invested significantly for some of these companies to strike the kind of business partnerships and deals that they have at CES this year, the forum does not appear to be on the radar of the likes of Maruti, Mahindra or Tata Motors.

From China, Haier Group has begun exporting smart family products to the US. Chinese smart hardware producer Goertek showcased its smart hardware solutions at the forum. Suning Commerce, one of China's largest ecommerce retailers, is present for the first time at the forum. Another name debuting in the year is Xiaomi.

Baidu Intelligent Vehicle and BAIC Motor Corporation unveiled their partnership at CES to produce and promote advanced intelligent vehicle technology. Under the new strategic partnership, Baidu and BAIC will cooperate on two key projects: to launch car models in the first half of 2017 with telematics solutions provided by Baidu, and to road test the BAIC autonomous driving car by the end of this year.

CES also saw some of Taiwanese innovation. Organized by Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the forum saw leaders such as Ming-Shy Chen, Deputy Director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Los Angeles, and Aymerik Renard, Director of Western Digital Capital at the forum.

Investing In Leadership
“Today’s innovators are working long hours and late nights to change lives for the better – and in some cases they’re saving lives,” said Gary Shapiro, President and CEO, CTA, as he informed that CTA will invest $1 million in five initiatives to help create better paying American jobs that maintain US leadership in technology and innovation.

“Our industry supports 15 million jobs and it’s time those of us in corporate America take an ethical responsibility and ownership in our national future,” Shapiro added. CTA also launched it ‘Let’s Go Humans’ campaign, celebrating innovators and creators who are developing technologies that are improving lives and making the world a better place to live.

Two keynotes from day one did play a role in setting the tone of the on-floor conversations. Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation had unveiled the Ocean Medallion, a first-of-its-kind wearable that acts as a personal digital concierge for cruise guests, in his address. Many attendees on day two deliberated on what this meant from collecting consumer data viewpoint, and also the impact that it will have on the likes of skillsets and staff needed in such companies. The Medallion enables guests to access rooms, make on-board purchases, locate family and friends and so much more to maximize the cruise experience. “Each guest is different and the things that make them happy are different. Our mission is to personalize and simplify the vacation experience for everyone,” Donald said.

Another interesting address was from Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group. This also marked the increased presence from China at the forum, where from the likes of Haier and Baidu who have deepened their US presence, new players such as ecommerce giant Suning also debuted at the forum.

The second day also saw CTA’s Shapiro sit down with Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez to discuss consumer privacy, the Internet of Things, patent trolls and the sharing economy. Ramirez emphasized the need for Congressional action to ensure the functions of internet-enabled devices are transparent. “All of the innovation you see on the CES show floor depends on the use and gathering of data, and that’s only going to accelerate, especially in regard to artificial intelligence and machine learning,” said Ramirez.