By Michael Price for Coalition for a Connected West
It’s hard to think of life before high-technology, and when you attend International CES, it’s impossible to see a future without it. This year’s International CES was exciting and offered a glimpse at the other side of the horizon. It demonstrated how technology has completely integrated with our daily lives.
Well over 100 companies from CCW states were represented among more than 3,100 exhibitors. With an estimated 153,000 attendees, it was a great opportunity for companies to increase exposure and introduce new products.
International CES is so large that it takes up the entire Las Vegas Convention Center and several major hotels along the strip. Coalition for a Connected West Executive Director Michael Price spent his time scouring the showroom floors for local companies to give them an opportunity to tell their stories, and bouncing between sessions.
Technology is often used as tool to improve health and wellbeing. Michael captured an inspiring story about a business creating innovative technologies that improve our quality of life. He interviewed Kevin Semcken who is CEO of Colorado based Able Planet. Able Planet started with a mission to help those with hearing loss, in a stagnant market:
Technology is also used to combat other health challenges, including the rising obesity epidemic. Colorado based GeoPalz takes a fun family approach to the problem with its recently launched iBitz product. iBitz tracks family exercise activities with a combination of wireless technology and games. Here’s company representative Glynde Mangum:
[FCC photo] On the national stage, Federal Communication Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski made an exciting announcement. Everyone who’s traveled in the airport or visited a coffee shop knows that there’s an invisible Wi-Fi traffic jam that sometimes slows down your connection. Chairman Genachowski revealed during a one-on-one chat that it would release more unlicensed spectrum for public use. According to the FCC’s announcement, “This will increase and free up the unlicensed spectrum available for ultra-high-speed, high-capacity Wi-Fi – known as ‘Gigabit Wi-Fi’ – by us to 35 percent.”
[Insert photo of Mike w/Penn or Teller] Officially CES is about exploring new technology, but unofficially it’s also about having fun. You can’t go to Las Vegas without seeing a show, and technology has even found it’s way into famous Vegas acts. Michael went to the Penn & Teller show, which uses cell phones in the opening trick of the act. In fact, the trick is recorded by a smartphone and the participants usually post the video on YouTube. SPOILER ALERT – Here’s one video of the trick posted by a member of the audience:
Overall, the West was well represented at CES and CCW was proud to see so many amazing companies there. If you were there or if your company exhibited, be sure to share your experiences on our Facebook page. We can’t wait for 2014!