Associations Make an Impression at CES

Whether in the form of 5G wireless, 10G wired, or new industry initiatives, associations are all over this year’s CES, the high-profile electronics show underway in Las Vegas this week.

The Consumer Technology Association’s annual gala of all things gadget-related is back once again—and you’ll find associations behind some of the biggest announcements on the agenda.

The 2019 edition of the Las Vegas event, which officially started Tuesday, is full of association-driven initiatives, some of which you may be seeing a lot of in the years to come. Here are just a few to keep an eye on as you follow the event this week:

5G phones are almost here. This year’s CES promises to be a coming-out party for 5G technology, an initiative with broad association backing that promises to bring higher data speeds without the attached wires. One of the first 5G phones to emerge comes from Verizon, which will offer an adapter for the Motorola Moto Z3 that will allow the existing 4G-capable phone to pick up some extra speed. Samsung, one of the largest mobile providers, is expected to show off a sneak peek of a 5G phone at the show.

So are 5G cars. Also at CES this week is the 5G Automotive Association, which aims to launch a Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) connected-vehicle standard by early next year. Forty-seven of the association’s member companies are in Las Vegas from both the tech side (Qualcomm, Ericsson) and the automotive side (Audi, Ducati, Ford).

The wires are getting 10G, though. Not to be outdone on the buzz train, the cable industry intends to stand out amid the 5G hype by launching the next-gen wired internet technology 10G. The initiative, which will be announced Wednesday morning, is the product of NCTA — The Internet & Television Association, along with CableLabs and Cable Europe. They hope to bring 10-gigabit cable internet to homes around the country. “With groundbreaking, scalable capacity and speeds, the 10G platform is the wired network of the future that will power the digital experiences and imaginations of consumers for years to come,” NCTA President and CEO Michael Powell said in a statement to Multichannel News.

Speaking of wires, USB is getting more secure. The USB Implementers Forum, an industry group that sets standards for the USB wires used just about everywhere these days, will host an open house at CES on Wednesday and Thursday. Last week, the group made waves after it announced its first authentication standard for USB Type-C cables, which could help prevent the use of unauthorized wires on your device.

And CTA has an apprenticeship play. The Consumer Technology Association has a  big announcement of its own: It will launch the CTA Apprenticeship Coalition to expand training opportunities for tech workers around the country. The association is working with IBM at the start, but it plans to collaborate with other tech companies as well. “This new coalition allows us to scale apprenticeship programs nationwide and prepare more workers for the surging number of new-collar jobs that require in-demand skills, but not always a four-year degree,” IBM President and Chairman Ginni Rometty said as CES kicked off on Tuesday.

An eager crowd gathers ahead of CES Unveiled Las Vegas. (Handout photo)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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