TTWCP-836_02-synergized_smart_devices-jim_barry-consumer_electronics_association: Jim Barry, Media Spokesperson
 of Consumer Electronics Association

On This Episode…

www.cta.tech

Jim Barry, “The Digital Answer Man” is media spokesperson
for the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). He has appeared on countless radio and television programs and Webinars educating people about consumer electronics technology and products. He is the former editor of Video magazine and a 30-year veteran of consumer, trade and custom magazine publishing. During that time he has been an award-winning editor, writer and reporter, the president and CEO of a multi-million dollar corporate division, and the publisher of several consumer and business magazines.
Barry is the former editor and publisher of Dealerscope, a business publication for consumer electronics and major appliance retailers, and editorial director of Bartex Publishing Group, which published PC Retailing and Home Entertainment Marketing. He is also the former president, CEO and editorial director of Boston- based Custom Magazines, Inc.
Barry is a member of the Academy of Digital Television Pioneers and the board of electors of the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame. He is a visiting lecturer at the Boston University School of Communication and has received Excellence in Writing awards from the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for feature writing, news reporting and signed editorials.

 

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TRANSCRIPT

Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.

 

Jim Barry – Consumer Electronics Association

Airing Date: October 17, 2015

 

Craig Peterson: As we have every year for many years, we’re recording interviews out of the Consumer Electronics Show. And of course, the show is all about consumer electronics. In fact, it defines the industry. It is the defining event and of course the Consumer Electronics Association are the guys that put it on and if you want to know about consumer electronics, you speak with Jim Barry. He’s my guest. Jim, welcome.

Jim Barry: Nice to see you again Craig. We have to stop meeting like this. Every January in Las Vegas.

Craig: That’s right.

Jim: At the International CES. And this is, this is shaping up to be the biggest show ever by any measure.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: We have over 40 football fields. That’s 2,200,000 square feet of exhibit space.

Craig: Wow.

Jim: Over 3,500 exhibitors and last year we had 160,000 people from all over the world. It’s gonna be more than that this year. The big growth is actually in the international folks who come here to the show. Last year was 40,000 or so, it’s gonna be more than that this year.

Craig. Wow!

Jim: Yeah.

Craig. That’s huge! It really has grown.

Jim:  Yeah. It’s the biggest trade show in North America.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: The biggest annual tech trade show in the world.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: And again it is a trade show. Not open to the public.

Craig: Right.

Jim: So it’s people who are in the business. But if you think about it, everybody is in the business of technology, or technology is having an impact on their business. So this is really where innovation comes to market.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: And innovation meets commerce every January in Las Vegas.

Craig: It is. It’s in the everything now.

Jim: Right

Craig: We can have been listening to Volkswagen all day.

Jim: Yeah.

Craig: Or you know, it’s in every car.

Jim: Right.

Craig: Every vehicle, every device we can think of.

Jim: Yeah.

Craig: Especially with the Internet of Things.

Jim: Right.

Craig: It seems to be kinda the topic this year

Jim: Exactly. The Internet of Things, you’ll see it shortened as IOT. Also called the Internet of Everything.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: This is really a combination of a couple of things that you and I have talked about over the years while percolating under the surface perhaps. Much better wireless technology.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: Much better digital technology and smaller digital technology and sensor technology. So now you can put sensors in just about anything. Then you can have these devices talk to one another.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: Or talk to the cloud.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: The internet… or work with an app on your smartphone. And now that well over half of us have smartphones, that becomes the way that we can control these things. So the Internet of Everything, I think if you wanted one word for this show…

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: Might be connected.

Craig: Yeah.

Jim: Connected homes, connected cars.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: Connected people with devices in your… a pocket or a purse.

Craig: Well it’s gotten so big, with so many devices.

Jim: Yeah.

Craig: Even the internet itself has had to change.

Jim: Right.

Craig: We went from IPV4 to V6.

Jim: Yeah.

Craig: Coz there’s so many devices. Now, we’ve been talking with people who are using the latest in Bluetooth technology…

Jim: Right.

Craig: In fact you have a whole Bluetooth event here.

Jim: Exactly.

Craig: And it’s incredible. The low power stuff. These devices now will run on a single battery for more than a year!

Jim: Right.

Craig: It’s incredible what they’re doing. LG here with this multi-tasking washing machine that’s internet connected.

Jim: I know.

Craig: Can do two loads at once! It’s incredible where we’re going.

Jim: Right. And LG has been here for years. LG and Samsung, the two real big Korean companies.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: But for me it’s really interesting that connected home devices from some from companies you might not expect at the Consumer Electronic Show. Brands that you would certainly expect to see at a home builders’ show or a hardware show.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: Brands like Whirlpool, which has a huge booth here with a connected laundry and kitchen equipment.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: Dacor, which is a stove company. They have ovens that are connected or that can be controlled with a tablet or with a smartphone. And Carrier…

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: Carrier the air conditioning company. Here’s a…

Craig: There’s old technology. Who needs that?

Jim: A hundred year old company for the first time is at the CES because they have a smart thermostat now.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: First Alert, has now, smart smoke detectors and CO detectors, as well as a smart thermostat. So all those things that most of us have in our homes now will be smart devices and will be able to connect those and control them from just about anywhere.

Craig: So what are the benefits? I know we’ve talked in my show a lot about some of the worries people have with security…

Jim: Uh huh.

Craig: And all these other things. But the benefits are absolutely incredible. And I know all of the members of the Consumer Electronics Association here, which you can find online at ce.org by the way. All of them have been security conscious.

Jim: Oh yeah, well and that is of course, as more of us live in the cloud.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: Or at least our information lives in the cloud and we’re using these devices at home, security, especially in two areas for most of us, security in our financial information.

Craig: Right.

Jim: And security in our medical information.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: And these are places, areas where we’re using a lot of this technology.  

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: So those are big issues. As a matter of fact, at the show we’re addressing those with a cybersecurity marketplace.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: And sessions in the conference. Sessions on cybersecurity. So those are the potential downsides. But the benefits, there are tons of benefits.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: Including putting in a smart thermostat. I was on with a fella the other day who told me he has cut his annual energy bill by two thirds.

Craig: Right.

Jim: By using a smart thermostat.

Craig: There’s the benefit, right?

Jim: So there’s a huge benefit. So, also being able to… There’s a company here called Ring, which has a smart…

Craig: Yes.

Jim: Doorbell…

Craig: Yeah, we have them on.

Jim:  With, right, wireless…

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: With a camera/webcam built in so you can see that FedEx guy, or the UPS guy, or the kids who are at the door.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: You can see who’s at the door. You can let them in and you can interact with them.

Craig: From the office or from the beach where we spend half of our year over there in Bermuda.

Jim: Exactly, exactly. Precisely. So that is exactly… so the benefits are great.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: Without a doubt. The challenges are great because all of these technology, especially as more and more stuff is store in the cloud and the information is going back and forth wirelessly.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: The connected home… is something else we’ve talked about for years.

Craig: Right.

Jim: It’s starting to really get some purchase catch on because wireless technology has gotten so good.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: That whatever generation it is now of wifi and Bluetooth, so very good that you don’t have to lay wires around the house.

Craig. Right.

Jim: Or tear up the walls.

Craig: Right.

Jim: Or worry about hiding them. So that’s the good news. Along with the energy savings we were talking about. The potential challenges are… all that stuff is in the air.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: So there are privacy and security issues as well.

Craig: Right. Which are being addressed.

Jim: Yeah.

Craig: Which is great.

Jim: Exactly.

Craig: Yeah, we’ve had a few guests talking about that.

Jim: Right.

Craig: So as we move into the future, we’ve been talking with guests who have products coming out, Jim, over the next 6 months…

Jim: Uh huh.

Craig: To a year… so we’ve got a little bit of a glimpse of what the future might be.

Jim: Right.

Craig: But it’s definitely connected. We’ve been talking with companies like Velodyne and Mercedes and Ford…

Jim: Uh huh.

Craig: And everyone who are putting sensors in the cars. BMW’s here with an i3 that you cannot crash no matter how hard you try. Right?

Jim: Yeah, yeah… I need that.

Craig: It’s gonna be a, it’s gonna be a safer, better future frankly.

Jim: Yeah. Right. Exactly. And when you think about, you know this is disruptive innovation.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: All of these new stuff… if you’re an old wine company, you better wise up and move ahead with the tide that’s moving. But when you start thinking about things like autonomous vehicles.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: Which, in English, means cars that drive themselves.

Craig: Right.

Jim: When you have those. But if you combine that with another new innovation, ride sharing.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: Lift and Uber. To be able to call a vehicle and you don’t have to worry about the driver.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: You can call it. They have the BMW that we’re showing here with a valet.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: Where you can park it, it’ll find a parking space. You can call it back. It’s kinda like sending the horse off to the barn.

Craig: Right.

Jim: In the old days. So that’s the kind of technology… You know we’re not gonna see that on every street corner in the US or around the world.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: This year… but in my experience, these things percolate for a while and then suddenly they seem to be everywhere.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: And this year, I think, could be that year where more and more of these things really end up in more people’s homes and garages.

Craig: It’s absolutely fantastic. You know, in years passed we talked about these new TVs.

Jim: Uh huh.

Craig: The 4k. Now we’re seeing these OLED.

Jim: Right.

Craig: These Organic LED TVs. Sony cut the price of their handheld 4K video camera.

Jim: I know.

Craig: Down to at 50%. Down to below a thousand dollars.

Jim: Yeah.

Craig: So we’re seeing some incredible innovations in the video realm as well.

Jim: Yeah. Well that’s the remarkable thing you mentioned too. The prices coming down.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: You know for consumers it’s absolutely spectacular. There’s nothing better than consumer electronics as a value for your dollar.

Craig: Right

Jim: 4K UHD, Ultra High Definition television sets are all ready. There are some available for a thousand dollars or less. Really good news with those… couple of pieces of good news… one is the prices are so great. 

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: The other thing is the old… age old question. What is it to watch on a new technology? It was true in colored TV. It was true in High Definition TV. Good news with 4K UHD, some of the more innovative TV programmers like Netflix are already streaming in 4K. They are doing Orange Is The New Black.

Craig: Oh are they this year?

Jim: And House Of Cards. Yes, so they’re producing now.

Craig: Two of my favorites.

Jim: Dish is starting to deliver over the satellites.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: The networks… well the networks isn’t doing it yet. Well, they will. Competition’s the best thing for this.

Craig: Yes. Yeah.

Jim: The other good thing about a 4K UHD set, if you buy one today, it does something called upconverting.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: Which really means it polishes up that picture without getting into too much detail, the picture you’re already getting.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: So you get a good HD signal already.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: It’s gonna look even better on the 4K HD, UHD set until all of that programming is available.

Craig: Well Samsung announced that by 2017, all of their TVs are gonna be smart.

Jim: Yeah. Right.

Craig: So all of these streaming you’re talking about is gonna be built right in.

Jim: Exactly. Smart TVs or connected TVs. In the past as we’d say in Boston, “They were smart but not wicked smart.” Now they are.

Craig: Right.

Jim: Because now it used to be you didn’t know whether it had a full web browser or just streaming Netflix.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: Now they have a more and more of that. You don’t need a separate box for it.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: Or you can still do that if you’ve got a nice TV, if you like, you can get a Hulu box or an apple TV or some other box to go along with that.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: So there’s a little bit something for everyone.

Craig: Everyone. Of course you can find it online. Go to cesweb.com

Jim: .org

Craig: .org cesweb…

Jim: cesweb. C-E-S-W-E-B.O-R-G

Craig: O-R-G.  You’ll find tons of information there about the consumer electronics industry. What was exhibited here this year.

Jim. Uh huh.

Craig: What the future is, and where you can get it. We’ve talked about some of the some of the bigger companies you’ve mentioned. Ring which is a smaller one.

Jim: Right.

Craig: A lot of startups here. Innovation labs.

Jim: Right.

Craig: We can spend all week just talking about what’s here.

Jim: Let me mention another area in that vein. It’s called Eureka Park.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: And it’s in the Tech West. Show’s so big now we have Tech East and Tech West. Eureka Park are just that. Startup companies. In many cases, couple of guys or husband and wife with an idea for a better electronic mousetrap.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: We started that 4 years ago, with 40 or 50 companies. This year it’s almost 400 companies.

Craig: Wow!

Jim: And they’re not like the Samsungs, and LGs and the Audis who are here working with their dealers and stuff. They are here looking for investors.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: And last year there was a company, a little company that came here and they had a, a new, possibly the best one yet. A virtual reality headset.

Craig: Uh huh.

Jim: A company named…

Craig: Some rifty place?

Jim: Oculus Rift. And they were noticed. They were noticed by Facebook.

Craig: Yeah.

Jim: Who bought them for 2 billion dollars.

Craig: Dollars.

Jim: So that’s what a lot of these little companies are looking for.

Craig: It’s almost real money.

Jim: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Craig: Jim Barry has been our guest. Fantastic guest. I love having him on. Of course, you’re always invited back. Cesweb.org to find out more. Jim thanks again for being with us.

Jim: Thanks. Always glad to be with you Craig.

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