For at least one week this year the loudest bells and whistles in Las Vegas were not in the casinos; they were found in convention center at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Manufacturers took center stage and the NAM was there to see it live and in person. We walked the show floor and talked to our member companies about their latest technology. We also had an opportunity to hear first-hand from Members of Congress what to expect on Capitol Hill in 2012.
Most conventioneers were exposed to something those of us at the NAM and our members already know: manufacturers are driving innovation in technology. They saw Ford’s latest cars stocked full of computing power. They learned how Microsoft’s Kinect is driving new breakthroughs in how manufacturers can interact with their customers. They explored how Texas Instruments is helping manufacturers reduce waste, increase energy efficiency, and improve safety.
In addition to new innovations, Washington’s tech policy leaders were in town. We talked with staffers from the Hill who are championing legislation to shut down websites that sell counterfeit goods. We heard lawmakers announce intentions to push legislation to protect data of consumers. We heard the FCC chairman talk about the spectrum “crunch” and what that means to companies in the US.
It was clear that all those in attendance now understand even more that manufacturers are the bedrock of our innovation economy – from the technology that fits in the palm of your hand and the kind that you park in your driveway.