CES 2020 kicked off on Tuesday with all of the manic excitement to which its hordes of attendees are accustomed—and with the added feeling of optimism in the potential of a new era.
“We’re beginning another decade of profound transformation: The Roaring 2020s,” said Consumer Technology Association (CTA) president and CEO Gary Shapiro during the CTA State of the Industry Address. “We started the last decade excited to experience the Internet of Things. I feel an even stronger vibrancy here at CES 2020: the art of the possible.”
Shapiro then welcomed Karen Chupka, executive vice president of CES at the CTA, to outline some interesting stats and trends surrounding the show. “Every year we tell you that this is going to be our best show ever,” she said. “And the interesting thing is, every year it’s true.” CES 2020 features more than 4,400 exhibitors and 1,200 start-ups representing every major and emerging industry. Headlining themes for this year, according to Chupka, include artificial intelligence—which she called “the star of the show”—5G connectivity, smart cities, and digital health.
“All of these technologies hold the promise of a better future for people all around the world,” Shapiro said. “And all of us here at CES have an incredible opportunity to actually shape that future.”
To turn this rhetoric into action, Shapiro announced a global tech challenge to find solutions that speed the adoption of health tech innovations in East Africa. Developed in partnership with the World Bank Group, challenge finalists will have access to a pool of up to $1 million in funding. “Together, we’re working to reward scalable, innovative solutions that seek to tackle challenges in digital health, digital gender divide, and climate change in regions that need it the most,” Shapiro said. “We encourage companies, including all of you in this room, to apply for the challenge.”
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