MESA Members at CES 2018: AI, Blockchain, IoT, OTT and More


The Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) will again be well-represented at the 2018 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show, taking over Las Vegas Jan. 9-12. This is the second of two stories looking at what some of MESA’s members will be showcasing at the largest technology show in the world.

Accenture: The expanding connectivity and uses of artificial intelligence (AI), the fueling of the Internet of Things (IoT) by fifth-generation (5G) networks, and the growing consumer applications of blockchain technology will be key stories to watch at the show, according to Gregory Roberts, managing director of Accenture’s North American high-tech industry practice.

“Additional stories to track will be products becoming more software-smart and the use of in-vehicle AI to drive the connected car market,” he said.

The expanding connectivity and uses of AI will be a central storyline at CES, he predicted, adding: “The story will be about more pervasive use of the technology than at last year’s CES, spanning a wider range of applications, connecting to more devices and networks.”

AI has “reached an inflection point” where it’s no longer thought of as “artificial” or an “interesting technology trend but rather a real, expected and routine part of people’s business and personal lives nearly everywhere they go,” he said. AI will be featured in self-driving cars, video games, smartphones and various other devices shown at CES, he predicted.

Roberts called blockchain “the hottest new technology on the horizon,” saying attendees can expect the trend to continue at CES, which will mark “the first time blockchain will have generated notable interest at this event.” Blockchain “could help organizations become more decentralized as well as more democratic, efficient and secure,” he said, predicting: “Over the next five to 10 years blockchain will likely disrupt many industries.” The technology “offers promise across a wide range of business applications, including consumer electronics, payment processing and banking, healthcare, online music, content micropayments and private transport, to name just a few,” he said. Although attendees “may not see blockchain technologies and products physically displayed” this time at the show, the technology “will be a focal point in presentations and demonstrations of advanced and emerging technologies,” he said. Accenture will be exhibiting at the Aria.

During CES, Accenture will also be releasing new findings from its annual digital consumer survey of 21,000 consumers in 19 countries.


The company, which was acquired by Nielsen in February, will preview 2018 initiatives across its Video, Music, Sports and Automotive businesses.

In addition to new product demos, Gracenote will showcase its Personalization business that officially launched in September with more than 27 million Gracenote Video ACR-enabled smart TVs already in the market, it said. The company will also preview a real-time viewership Dashboard that it said will “enable new, person-level consumption insights and drive the addressable TV experience of the future.”

Other business updates we can expect to hear about from Gracenote at CES will focus on next-generation cross-media search, discovery and interactive experiences. Relating to Video, the company will highlight “new music video playlisting and artist search functionality for pay-TV operators, next-generation interactive program guides for VOD viewers and cord cutters, plus a preview of a new Voice offering,” the company said.

On the Music front, attendees will get a preview of its soon-to- be launched data product that will drive more personalized music discovery and search experiences, as well as “experience advanced music identification technology in action,” the company said. Relating to Sports, Gracenote will showcase “fresh UI/UX designs for pay-TV operators and automakers” and attendees will “see dynamic sports highlights technology, data analytics and a sports predictions platform,” it said. And finally, for Auto, attendees will get an update on personalized infotainment platforms for the connected car powered by Gracenote data and technology as well as “see what’s next for entertainment in autonomous vehicles,” it said.

Gracenote will power advanced music recognition for Mixcloud, the world’s fastest-growing digital audio streaming platform, it said Dec. 20. Using Gracenote MusicID music recognition technology, Mixcloud will more accurately identify copyrighted audio content on its music platform to ensure proper royalty payments to rights holders, it said.


At CES, IBM will demonstrate how it’s “infusing” the company’s Watson AI platform “across the auto enterprise to help OEMs and suppliers transform their products, operations and customer services,” it said.

The company will have a variety of automotive-focused demos, including:

• Accessible Olli – Attendees will see how IBM is working with Local Motors to bring Olli to places ranging from the National Harbor in Maryland to Frankfurt, Germany, and how the company is using its AI capabilities in an effort to create the world’s most accessible mode of transport for those with disabilities or impaired mobility, it said. This will be located at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC).
• Watson IoT – Attendees will learn how Watson is being “embedded across the entire manufacturing chain, developing new ways to realize and monetize value through connected vehicles, transform operations through new efficiencies and product quality and create differentiating experiences for customers to drive brand loyalty,” IBM said. This will be located at the Venetian.
IBM executives will also be sharing their expertise during multiple speaking engagements at CES:
• “The Big Ideas: Leaders in Digital Money” 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9 at The Venetian, including Jesse Lund, VP-IBM global blockchain market development. Topics to be covered include blockchain and the future of money in 2018, as well as robo advisors/AI.
• “Digital Hollywood: Multi-Screen Strategies for Internet TV — Technology and Content” 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9 at LVCC, including Hillary Henderson, IBM senior offering manager-media and entertainment (M&E).
• “C Space Storyteller: IBM” 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9 at the Aria, including three IBM representatives: David Mowrey, director-Watson Media & Cloud Video; Jordan Bitterman, CMO-Watson Advertising; and Greg Pizzuti, director-M&E industry. The session will explore how AI is “reshaping the M&E industry, providing ample opportunities for brands and streaming services to drive impact and for consumers to benefit,” according to the panel description. The panelists will offer insights into how businesses can leverage the latest advancements in AI and prepare for the future of the industry.
• “CES Mainstage: The Future of AI” 10:15 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 11 at LVCC, including Cameron Clayton, GM-IBM Watson Content & IoT; Al Lindsay, VP- Alexa Engine Software at Amazon; and Andrew Shuman, corporate VP- Cortana Engineering at Microsoft. The session will explore how, “from self-driving cars to digital assistants and big-data analysis, artificial intelligence is changing the way we work and play,” according to the panel description. The panel of experts will also predict the state of A.I. five years from now.

Verizon Digital Media Services

Verizon Digital Media Services (VDMS) will be part of the Oath-owned space at the Cosmopolitan during CES and will be well-represented during conference sessions.

At 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 8 at LVCC, Chris Carey, VDMS chief revenue officer and head of business development and strategy, will be speaking during the panel session “The Next Generation of OTT.”

At 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9 at LVCC, Jason Friedlander, VDMS senior director-product marketing, will be speaking during the Digital Hollywood conference track panel session “Multi-Screen Strategies for Internet TV — Technology and Content.”


Wipro’s focus at CES will be on driving convergence in the connected world, according to the company’s website.

The company will be showcasing several innovative solutions that it said will “have deep impact on the way enterprises do business.” First, on the automotive front, it will focus on the future of automobiles. According to its site: “In the era of autonomous vehicles, every car is considered a potential breadwinner. Our contextual connected cockpit has capabilities of integrating multiple discrete domains on various converging technologies for autonomous vehicles. Each autonomous vehicle can function as a cab/rental service when it is on idle mode.

The vehicle can automatically manage expenses such as maintenance, fuel charges” and toll fees, as well as online purchases, vacations, shows and movies, etc. Attendees will be able to see such possibilities through Wipro’s connected cockpit demonstration, it said.

Also demonstrated by Wipro will be smart media solutions for a connected experience. According to its site: “The TV viewing and media landscape is undergoing a transformational change worldwide. Wipro is engaged in this technological change and helping customers” via “innovative” media solutions including “robust and scalable video platforms that allow easy integration of Cloud-based media workflows, Next-Gen TV and multiscreen solutions such as ATSC 3, Hybrid TV and automation solutions for devices and video services.”

Finally, Wipro will demonstrate IoT and digital physical convergence. According to its site: “Manufacturing companies have digitized engineering and manufacturing through digital definition of the product (CAD), mock-up, product lifecycle management (PLM), enterprise resource planning, manufacturing process management (MPM) [and] manufacturing execution (MES), thereby creating engineering and manufacturing digital lifecycle value chains to track what is engineered and manufactured.” Its solution/use case demonstrates the product as-a-service business model and future service transformation concepts from smart and software controlled products, it said, adding that the product to be demonstrated at the show will be a smart washing machine.


Sony will showcase the latest products and updates to its line of electronics, including 4K TVs, digital imaging, home entertainment and sound, mobile devices and projectors. For more information, or to watch the live press conference stream on Monday, January 8, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. PST, visit