Innovation Overload: CES 2019

It’s peak season in Vegas; but an influx of gamblers, golfers, and vacation-goers is not what increased Sin City’s population by roughly 150,000 over the past week. It was innovators, both from the U.S. and all over the world, who trekked to the Nevada desert for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to see and showcase the most up-to-date consumer technology.

A haven for the wildly inspired members of the modern tech industry, every year, CES gives innovators the opportunity to showcase their cutting-edge creations. Spanning a total of 2.75 million net square feet of exhibit space, with over 180,000 attendees from 150 countries, and over 4,500 exhibiting companies, CES is the biggest technology event in the world. Here, visitors are likely to stumble upon self-driving cars, gaming devices, drones, robots, and transparent televisions, just to name a few.

As CES rung in its 52nd year, I couldn’t help but recognize the vast strides innovators and creators have made over the past century. This left me wondering; what was it like at the very first CES? What kind of products were being showcased then, and how did they set the foundation for the products of today?

In June of 1967, roughly 17,500 attendees flocked to New York City to witness the unveiling of the latest pocket watches and TVs with integrated circuits. Within the ten years following, products including the VCR, digital watches, the Laserdisc player, Atari Pong and the VHS VCR would make their debut as well. Needless to say, it is unlikely that anyone in attendance throughout the 60’s and 70’s could have dreamed up the products being showcased on the CES floor today.

Chef Martin Yan of SensAsian Restaurants demonstrates Haier’s Smart Kitchen Solutions at CES 2019.

This monumental technological progress is made possible by strong IP protections. For every company at CES, from the startups looking for funding to the multi-billion dollar companies debuting their latest gadgets, intellectual property protections built the foundation that allowed them to transform their ideas into the products that can improve the lives of consumers.

In countries where IP is protected, technology advances; this relationship is made apparent through the GIPC International IP Index. The U.S. is a testament to the benefits that maintaining up-to-date IP regulations can bring. Our market’s ability to rely on a strong IP foundation has provided significant business and industrial growth, as well as increased job creation. GIPC found that IP protections supports more than 45 million jobs around the country. Check out how IP protections have impacted job creation in your home state or states around the US here.

IP is the foundation of groundbreaking innovations; at CES, this is heartily reinforced. Cultivating economies that encourage continued innovation is of the utmost importance for policymakers today. We’re in the midst of a technological revolution, an innovation overload, and CES attendees and show casers are way ahead of the curve.

USA Today

Frank Cullen is the vice president of Domestic  policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center.

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