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CES 2019 | A letter from Arrow’s CMO

Arrow’s Chief Marketing Officer W. Victor Gao kicks off 2019 at CES with a question to all innovators and entrepreneurs: isn’t it time you had an easier way to create, make and manage your product?

What did you wish for Christmas? What was your New Year’s resolution? If you are at Eureka Park, chances are that somewhere on your list were a few things that might make it easier for you to create, make or manage that important product you’ve been working on.

For our third anniversary at CES, engineers around Arrow’s global outposts have handpicked some of the most elegant solutions that they’d seen and helped develop in 2018. One such solution is a 3D Time-of-Flight platform with depth mapping applications in advanced driver-assistance systems for autonomous vehicles, measurement and machine vision for industrial robotics and geomorphological studies for Earth as well as extraterrestrial missions.

Another solution is an AI-based visual analytics tool with custom applications in retail and health care. The interface is intuitive enough that a beverage company with minimal technology infrastructure could use the tool to track inventory level and consumption patterns, reducing its carbon footprint by optimizing inventory movement. Yet the solution can also scale up to mixed-initiative scenarios, enabling a data science staff to take turns with the AI querying and suggesting what can be learned from a dataset.

This latter application could be particularly powerful for advanced medical research, where a physician would be able to not only ask the AI a specific question but get a feel for what would otherwise be an inhumanly massive volume of medical image scans.

Our engineers will be unpacking these designs and more at the Engineer’s Lab in Eureka Park.

If the smartphone is any harbinger, the economic value of products will continue to shift from hardware to software. Yet in our countless conversations with entrepreneurs throughout the year, the No. 1 problem they tell us is that they can cobble a prototype or code in Jupyter all night long but run into a wall as soon as even small patch production is required. That’s not to mention obsolescence planning, various environmental and conflict minerals compliance or secure assets disposal. Fret not: You don’t have to know any of this yourself. That’s because our supply chain and services experts have developed a plug-and-play model that connects your business into today’s complex global manufacturing stack and manages it for you so that you can focus on the core technology breakthrough.

If any of the above resonates with you, do stop by and give a go at our advanced haptic arrays, which offer an immersive, self-guided experiential walkthrough of how we can help.

In collaboration with EE Times (Disclosure: Arrow is the parent company of EE Times), we have pitched up a broadcast booth and will be live-streaming conversation with intriguing people and companies that we discover on the floor, including a mystery guest show host for all you music fans. Across from Eureka Park at the Venetian, we will be hosting a 2019 tech trends briefing with Wired magazine editor-in-chief Nicholas Thompson on Tuesday morning. Can’t listen to the broadcasts because you’re at work? Our coverage will be available a day after the show on any of your favorite podcast platforms. As usual, our product manager, Kathleen Timbol, and resident engineer, Dave Finch, have completely over-engineered the sound, using seven types of microphones and even more acoustic treatments so you could feel the vibration at the show yet the voice of our guests still comes through studio-sharp. Audiophile or not, we think you’ll enjoy a listen.

By most measures, in 2018, humanity has already crossed or will cross in early 2019 a significant threshold: More than half of us will be online. That means that more people and ideas will be empowered, and it is even more important to stay true to the quality-of-life goals of innovation. For as many of us that live in comfort by the foothills of the Rockies, the citadels of Shanghai or the harbors of Copenhagen, many more could use basic electricity for lighting, shelter and sustenance. Even within urban centers or deep heartlands in the developed world, a thoughtful approach to making the benefits of technology more accessible ought to be as much a part of the product design as the technology itself. For some examples of how we are helping innovators take on this challenge, come ask us about our work with startup Unlimited Tomorrow on a 3D-printed prosthetic arm with virtualized muscle memory that is less than a tenth the cost of the price of a regular prosthetic limb or a durable, portable and affordable Solar Suitcase that we helped nonprofit We Care Solar design that has been providing electricity to remote health clinics in Uganda.

If you need recommendations for what to see or whom to speak with at CES or if you have any story tips, my email is vgao@arrow.com. Here’s to a great start of 2019 to all. We look forward to hosting you.

 

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