I am just back from an amazing week in NYC topped off by attending The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) Hall of Fame annual awards dinner. 12 industry leaders for the class of 2017 were inducted into the prestigious Consumer Technology (CT) Hall of Fame – CTA created the Hall of Fame in 2000 to honor industry visionaries and pioneers.
Dean Kamen, FIRST, Segway
Ray Kurzweil, Google
Arlene Harris, GreatCall
Mike Lazaridis, BlackBerry/RIM
Mitch Mohr, Celluphone
Charles Tandy, Tandy/Radio Shack
Darrell Issa, Congressman, Directed Electronics
Marcia Grand, TWICE
Team: Dr. Leonardo Chiariglione/Dr. Hiroshi Yasuda, JPEG/MPEG
Team: Frank McIntosh/Gordon Gow, McIntosh Laboratory
The inductees are selected by a group of media and industry professionals, who judge the nominations submitted by manufacturers, retailers and industry journalists. It was an honor to participate as a judge for the first time this year. The process is steeped in industry history and the wealth of information from my fellow judges provided a priceless education.
The event itself is an elegant evening held at the Rainbow Room, atop 30 Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. Most memorable is the opportunity to hear firsthand so many stories of dauntless inventors, engineers, retailers, journalists and entrepreneurs who conceived, promoted and/or wrote about the innovative technologies, products and services that connect and improve the lives of consumers around the world.
Concluding the evening, futurist, inventor, author and entrepreneur Ray Kurzweil accepted his award and then gave a few predictions on where he sees the industry heading. He said, “Technology is accelerating. It’s growing exponentially. Technology is also miniaturizing. We will have devices that are as powerful as our cell phones today that are the size of blood cells in the 2030s, and they will go through our blood stream, keeping us healthy.”
He went on to state, “Technology has been making life better. Over the next decade with biotechnology, we will get little devices that are robotic, intelligent and can augment our immune system. I think the future is going to be dramatically better. Despite the darkness that I’ve alluded to – there’s still a lot of human suffering – it is the advance of these exponential technologies that is going to help us overcome age old afflictions like disease, poverty and environmental degradation. If we keep our focus on both the promise and the peril, we’ll have a very bright future.”
Go here to read for yourself the background of each inspirational honoree.