In the Spotlight: Gary Shapiro
Dealerscope: What is the ‘next big thing’ in CE?
Shapiro: Ultra HD is one thing. It’s going to be big and expensive at first, but people want big TV sets, and that’s very, very exciting.
In the long term, I’m excited about the driverless car; it has huge implications for society. I’m excited about 3D printing. I think that will be a really big deal and change a lot of things. I’m also excited about robotics. There are still so many new products to be invented.
Between the Internet and wireless, I am concerned about available spectrum and whether we have the infrastructure to deal with all that. I’m also concerned about the health of the U.S. economy, and about the health of retail. But I’m also concerned that government doesn’t try to do good things and inadvertently do bad things that would hurt innovation.
Dealerscope: When you joined CEA (then known as EIA/CEG) full time in 1982 as general counsel, you had already worked on the Betamax case, which established that consumer use of VCRs for time-shifting was not copyright infringement but fair use. Around that time, the CD was just being introduced and Apple was gearing up its first l launch. When you look back on your beginnings in the industry, did you have a sense then about the profound impact these products and technologies could make in everyday consumers’ lives?