CES: Drone Safety, Privacy Issues Addressed by CEA's Gary Shapiro During Keynote

Gary Shapiro Speaking at CES - H 2013
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Gary Shapiro Speaking at CES - H 2013

Consumer Electronics Association president and CEO Gary Shapiro touted the potential of drones — already the source of growing interest for filmmakers who anticipate use as a camera platform — during his opening keynote on Tuesday at CES in Las Vegas. But he also warned that there's work to be done before the market can truly evolve.

He asserted that drones can be used for applications ranging from "checking oil pipelines to delivering medicine to remote areas, but we must focus on concerns about safety and privacy." He expressed optimism that the Federal Aviation Administration would act quickly to address regulatory issues and enable the market to evolve.

In September, the FAA approved operator exemptions for certain aerial production companies with an eye toward enabling safe use of drones in film production. Later this week, CEA is scheduled to join various unmanned aircraft systems organizations and the FAA for a CES press conference focused on a new drone safety campaign.

Read more FAA Approves Exemption Allowing Drones to Fly on Movie Sets

Also during his keynote, Shapiro asserted that CES is about innovation and the future, while projecting consumer electronics industry growth during 2015, from $216 billion in the U.S. during 2014 to $223 billion.

In addition to drones — which CEA forecasts could become a $1 billion worldwide business by 2018 — he discussed innovation in vehicle intelligence. "We will get to the driverless car, but the industry does need [to pay attention] to government efforts to [control technology] in the car," he warned.

On 3D printing, he asserted that uses would continue to expand beyond rapid prototyping to creating food and even artificial limbs.

Speaking on the potential for technology in health care, Shapiro added that CEA is investing $10 million in the CEA Foundation, whose purpose is to find ways to use technology to improve the lives of seniors and people with disabilities.

Email: Carolyn.Giardina@THR.com
: @CGinLA