FCC, IoT and Netflix Help Kick Off CES 2016

LAS VEGAS—Less than a week after calendars flipped to 2016, thousands packed their bags for Las Vegas for the first major conference of the year, CES 2016. The conference kicked off on Wednesday, Jan. 6, with a number of keynotes and sessions covering a wide range of topics. Among them were the likes of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who discussed one of the year’s big issues, the upcoming spectrum auction.

During the “Insights with the FCC and FTC SuperSession,” Wheeler explained how the auction, which is less than 90 days away, is an opportunity for broadcasters to think how they want to do their business. He also talked about how spectrum can support emerging technology, like the Internet of Things: “The auction is essential to the kinds of things that are going on downstairs on the show floor.”

Speaking of the IoT, Ginni Rometty, the chairman and president of IBM, talked about her company’s role in the next phase of IoT, cognitive computing, and the challenges of making sense of all the data that is being captured and created. CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro also announced that IBM and CTA are forming a research partnership to study IoT.

Streaming giant Netflix was also on hand to give a keynote speech. Reed Hasting, co-founder and CEO of Netflix, and Ted Sarantos, chief content officer, discussed a number of the new original series that the platform will premiere in 2016, as well as announced that Netflix is now available in 130 new countries, including India, Poland, South Korea and Turkey.

CES 2016 concluded Jan. 9 in Las Vegas.