CableLabs has announced plans to replace its members only “Summer Conference” with an open, broad-reaching technology event called “4Front” in June of next year.
According to Phil McKinney, CEO of the cable industry technology consortium, the multi-day event will draw thought leaders and innovators from a broad swath of global industry, focused on a core topic of what technological dreams can be enabled on future ultra-high-speed, super-low-latency broadband networks.
“The goal is to bring these innovators together to drive different conversation around innovation, and answer the question, what does that three to eight years out look like,” McKinney said. “We want other people to get in the room with us.”
CableLabs is targeting more than 150 executive speakers from more than 100 companies situated in 20 countries around the world. Nineteen hours of sessions will be delivered from June 23-24 at the Gaylord Rockies Event and Convention Center.
In conjunction with today’s announcement, CableLabs is debuting the fourth in its short film in its “The Near Future” series, which showcase applications that will be emerging, or somewhat ubiquitous, three to eight years from now, and how our work, home and social lives will be transformed by them.
McKinney has worked with a the same small cadre of filmmakers since his days serving as CTO at Hewlett-Packard under Carly Fiorina. Three years ago, this group began shooting short experiential vignettes, examining how technologies, currently consigned to labs and trials today, will change everyday life in the, well, near-term future.
The latest vignette, titled “Diverse Thinkers Wanted,” is the most challenging to date, attempting to showcase not just how technologies like light-field display and AI will change the way we collaborate at work, but this world will self-initiate Our protagonist in the video, a young women sent to an unfamiliar city to deliver a presentation, finds herself being unwittingly tested by a prospective client she’s supposed to be delivering a presentation to. It's this woman’s ability to thoughtfully and creatively interact with al the various next-generation technologies at her disposal that passes the test and wins her company the contract.
“You’re seeing a little more subtlety this time,” McKinney conceded. “In this new world, you’re not longer witnessing participants stop to think and structure the ask. The technology itself knows when it’s needed to take on the task.”