Las Vegas is reviewing the potential implementation of blockchain, a database technology in which information is decentralized and maintained communally. Las Vegas is examining with partners to harness the best application uses which will increase productivity and service delivery to our community.

Las Vegas is one of an increasing number of “cities flirting with blockchain,” which was also the title of an hourlong panel Thursday at CES, where experts in the emerging technology urged attendees to focus less on how it works and more on what it will mean.

Smart cities of the future, the smart governments of the future, will have to go ahead and have the blockchain as part of their leadership.

Blockchain was presented as an element of smart city innovation, where municipalities implement technology into their infrastructure to improve day-to-day experiences for residents, whether for mobility, environmental or other outcomes.

During three separate panels Wednesday and Thursday, experts in the smart city field discussed the movement’s benefits and hurdles and concluded that digitizing the urban space was a must-do in the 21st century.

Las Vegas has entered the fray with its innovation district, spanning a large swath of downtown and offered as a test environment for public-private partnerships. Experts said access to infrastructure appeals to the private sector and that smart city adoption would require participation from private stakeholders to make it financially viable. Municipalities also must not ignore traditional infrastructure upgrades, the experts said, because they typically act as the framework of technological tie-ins. Las Vegas is seeking to be a leader in new civic technologies, because it “fits with the spirit of the community.”

 

 

CES 2019: Las Vegas high school students pitch business ideas

At the last day of CES 2019, several high school students from the Clark County School District pitched business ideas among some of the most innovative companies in the world.

Three groups of students shared their business plans with a panel of three entrepreneurs at the third annual Student Business Pitch Competition, presented by the Consumer Technology Association.

A unique opportunity

The three groups presented their ideas at the Las Vegas Convention Center, just feet from exhibits showcasing some of the most advanced consumer technology, like the first commercial foldable smartphone and robotic delivery dogs.

Lugo and two teammates from Northwest Career and Technical Academy won first place for their pitch, an app called MoneyByte. The app would help teenagers and young adults manage money and have smartwatch connectivity.

It’s so important for (high schoolers) to have … more companies, more people to make opportunities for them, so they can get to know what they want and what they’re passionate about.

Other pitches included a device from Southwest Career and Technical Academy students that prevents cybersecurity attacks, which won second place, and a cooled gaming chair from Rancho High School students.

All three teams completed CTA’s online course, the Future Innovators Program, and competed in a district-wide competition.

The Future Innovators Program was developed with education technology leader EVERFI. The digital program is meant to close the nation’s skills gap and teach students to think entrepreneurially about business.