Cable and Education: Welcome to the Classroom of the Future
In August we released the third installment of our vision videos: "The Near Future. Ready for Anything." In the video, we imagine a future where kids use technology to learn and solve problems and can’t wait to come back to school on Monday. Skeptical? You won’t be after you see what their classrooms might look like in the near future. Cutting-edge technology powered by multi-gigabit super networks will expand their learning environment beyond the physical walls of the school as far as their imagination goes, making education a fun, collaborative and truly enjoyable experience. Take a look for yourself!
Head-Mounted Displays: AR/VR
AR and VR technology has been gaining some traction in the last few years among gamers, but education is one area where it can really shine. No kid would ever fall asleep at their desk wearing a sleek head-mounted display! They can interact with virtual and real-life objects at their own pace, explore and discover new worlds alongside their classmates and be back in time for lunch. Now that’s a class trip we’d all look forward to.
We call it a wall, but this technology breaks down boundaries like no other. It creates a collaborative environment where kids from different schools and countries can interact in real time. How fun would it be to learn a new language or work on a common project with your peers who are hundreds of miles away? The learning opportunities are endless. Low latency networks powered by the cable industry are the key to making this concept a reality.
Artificial Intelligence Media
It’s a friend. It’s a guidance counselor. It’s a teacher. A future AI-powered assistant can take on all these roles and more. An invaluable addition to anyone’s day, it can interpret its owner's feelings and predict his or her needs at the right time. When it comes to education, it can be a great resource for information, giving our kids the right tools to become the best they can be.
Internet of Things
We’re already seeing the benefits of having multiple connected devices in our homes, but that’s just a start. IoT technology, such as sensors and other devices, connected to one powerful network has the potential to transform the way we learn, giving us the information we need when we need it. Imagine how much faster your class experiment will go if you could collect and interpret data in an instant? And that’s just one possible application out of many others.
Light Field Table
Fans of sci-fi will be excited to see this tech in the classroom! What if you could see digital chemistry elements suspended in the volumetric space right before your eyes? They are holographic, so you can conduct virtual experiments with simple hand gestures. All the future scientists and engineers will agree, this is one fun lab class you won’t want to miss.
Light Field Holodeck
Put all your other collaboration tools away, because this one is a game-changer. A light field holodeck can project media into volumetric virtual classroom or workspace where everyone can meet using their photorealistic avatars. Participants can work and communicate with each other as if they are in the same room even if they are miles apart in real life. With enough bandwidth, this will become the collaboration tool of the future. You can read more about how we're enabling this technology here.
There’s one requirement all these innovations have in common: a powerful broadband network. To make this vision a reality, we need multi-gigabit networking solutions that can support seamless life-like experiences. CableLabs, along with our members and partners, is working to bring these ideas to life, one innovation at a time. Check out our “Behind the Technology. The Near Future. Ready for Anything. " video in its entirety here:
Technology in Your Everyday Life: Why You Should Pay Attention to Innovation
If you were around 30 years ago, you may recall using a payphone, writing a check, or strolling down the street with your Walkman. All of those conveniences of 30 years ago don’t seem all that convenient today. In just three decades, the span of CableLabs' entire existence, we went from analog to digital, from payphones to smartphones, from libraries to the internet. Now we wake up every day ready for the next big thing.
While you may get excited about the latest new device or app you probably don’t give much thought about what lies behind the next big thing. So long as the device or app works why should you care?
Reason #1: Cybersecurity
Like it or not, your life is online. This comes with many benefits, like convenience and accessibility, but also a few risks.
When CableLabs was formed in 1988, a huge chunk of our innovation efforts focused on television and improving the viewing experience. Fast forward to today: your TV is now connected to your network, just like your phone and a myriad of other smart devices you can’t live without. Many of them have digital eyes and ears, a.k.a. cameras and microphones, that aren’t secure. That’s why a lot of our work today centers on cybersecurity. Whether you’re streaming a YouTube video or making an online payment, it’s very important to use secure devices.
Cable operators have a long history of successfully defending against attackers seeking to steal your service, customer data and video content. We’ve enabled cable-based security technologies to be leveraged in the wider internet ecosystem, including in Wi-Fi hotspots, smart grid devices and medical communications through our subsidiary Kyrio. The cable industry also provides broad-based technology thought leadership on security through substantial contributions to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG), Wi-Fi Alliance and the Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group (BITAG), among other leading technical bodies.
Reason #2: Networks
You may not realize it, but bandwidth and network speed have become just as important as your other utilities. You can’t have the next big thing without them.
Just like we don’t care about electricity unless the lights go out, we don’t pay attention to how much data we use until it’s gone. We download and upload all day long without giving it much thought unless there is congestion somewhere on the network. As new bandwidth-hungry technologies, such as VR/AR, AI, and autonomous vehicles, become more mainstream, the demands on network bandwidth will increase. One of CableLabs’ main focus areas is building better and faster networks capable of supporting these new and future technologies.
Reason #3: Sustainability
Technology and its byproducts affect our planet, so how we innovate and use technology is just as important as the benefits it provides.
Recycling is great, but we can all do more. CableLabs’ unique position within the communications industry gives us an opportunity to drive policy priorities that focus on greener, more energy-efficient products. Through technological development and voluntary energy agreements with manufacturers, our industry has achieved rapid energy efficiency gains—proof that we can drive sustainability. That’s great for business and even better for our planet.
These are just a few of the many reasons to stay on top of technology and innovation trends. We’ve been doing it for the last 30 years! Please watch our Near Future videos and click below to visit our 30th Anniversary site to learn more about CableLabs and how our technology affects your everyday life.
CableLabs Unveils its Vision of the Future of Education
According to a 2018 national Education Week survey, the majority of education leaders report that digital technologies are an important supplemental resource used to personalize the learning experience based on each student’s strengths, weaknesses and preferences.
How can children be prepared for a work environment that looks nothing like today? How can subjects be taught that don’t yet exist? And how can students be well equipped for future problems that are currently unknown? In order to be prepared for this vision of the future, education needs to teach a lifelong love of learning.
Today, CableLabs is here to invent a better future. We created the Near Future film series to serve as an inspiration for innovators. As the industry-leading provider for broadband, we want to guide those creating technologies and experiences supported by the broadband platform. Our vision uses network technologies to help create a compelling learning environment for students of all ages. The technologies make environments more creative, collaborative, and personal, always leaving the students wanting to come back for more and ready for anything.
Now, take a peek into our vision of the Near Future...
Meet UpRamp Executive Director and CableLabs VP of Ventures and Outreach Scott Brown
Scott Brown is the Executive Director of UpRamp, backed by CableLabs. He is the driving force behind UpRamp’s mission to connect radical entrepreneurs to the most powerful network in the world.
UpRamp was established in 2016 as a platform to connect cutting-edge, agile startups with the connectivity industry with programs designed for every stage in the entrepreneurial life cycle - from idea to IPO. CableLabs members around the world look to UpRamp as a way to engage with startups, drive innovation and promote entrepreneurship. UpRamp runs several programs, including its flagship program, the Fiterator. The Fiterator is a three-month program for later stage startups to help them secure product-market fit and guarantees deals, not demo days. UpRamp also runs the Innovation Showcase series, which presents up-and-coming tech startups to the industry at several events throughout the year, including CES, CableLabs Summer Conference, and CableLabs Inform[ED].
Scott is an eight-time startup founder with a strong history of building companies from inception to profitability. As an active angel investor and advisor, he has helped hundreds of startups perfect their pitch with a framework he created called (C)lean Messaging. In 2016, Scott was credited with inventing the world's first bacon-wrapped tot.
Now, meet the man bringing radical entrepreneurship to cable.
5 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About CableLabs
No matter if you work for or with CableLabs (or just thinking about it), we bet there are some things on this list that’ll impress you.
Half a billion individuals (and counting) use CableLabs’ technology every single day.
Over the last 30 years, CableLabs has been releasing a steady stream of innovative technologies into the world. Today its projects span multiple industries, everything from medical equipment to cybersecurity to VR gaming and beyond, so chances are you or someone you know is using CableLabs technology. Not bad for a 30-year-old company.
Today, 345 million homes are serviced by cable technology. Guess how many homes had cable in 1988 when CableLabs was formed? Check your answer here.
The modem in your house probably has Cablelabs’ stamp of approval.
Remember the dial-up days when your internet browsing sessions were routinely halted by someone picking up the house phone? You can thank CableLabs for rescuing you from that particular loop of disappointment. CableLabs’ DOCSIS® specifications have helped the industry develop cheaper, reliable and way more convenient cable modems that most of us have in our homes today. In fact, nearly 2.3 billion DOCSIS cable modems were shipped since 2000.
Do you know the year the first DOCSIS specification was launched? Find the answer here.
Without CableLabs, you probably would still be stuck watching the same 10 channels.
Most people agree that the current variety of 500 or so digital cable channels is nice to have. This wouldn’t be possible without MPEG, the digital video encoding standard, enabled by CableLabs in 1996 and still used today. It allowed broadcasters to put 20 channels inside of one, so in a way, you can thank CableLabs for your channel surfing habits.
CableLabs won an Emmy for DOCSIS.
Did you think the red carpet is rolled out only for the Hollywood elite? After the release of DOCSIS 3.0 in 2010, CableLabs won its first Technology & Engineering Emmy Award for enabling "the delivery of television via broadband data systems." And that’s not all. Many cable companies are planning to launch Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1, the latest iteration that allows the use of the same spectrum for upstream and downstream traffic at the same time, by 2020.
CableLabs is in the matchmaking business.
Over the years, CableLabs has helped transform the cable industry from video entertainment to broadband, digital delivery, wireless and fiber technologies. But it doesn’t have a monopoly on great ideas. Through unique programs like UpRamp, CableLabs can now seek out innovative startups and put them in touch with their bigger, more established counterparts to help bring more state-of-the-art technologies to market. Since the start of the program, CableLabs has introduced over 500 startups to the cable industry.
Unlike any other company out there, CableLabs splits its budget between R&D and long-term innovation. Find out why here.
For a more complete look at CableLabs’ history, be sure to click below and check out our brand new 30th Anniversary. It chronicles CableLabs’ contributions to the industry and offers a glimpse of what’s to come.
Summer Conference 2018: Register For Our Game-Changing Event
This year marks our 30th anniversary here at CableLabs. Join us at our Summer Conference 2018 August 5-8 in Keystone Co and help us celebrate while you learn, mix with your counterparts from around the world and enjoy spectacular Colorado.
We’ve put together a special conference this year to mark our momentous milestone with some game-changing innovations, presentations, demos and an impressive line-up of speakers. We’ll discuss enormous efficiency increases, from both technical and business perspectives, to help the global cable industry join forces and become bigger, sharper and faster, together. Keynote speakers include:
Annie Duke: As a World Series Poker Champion, author and National Science Foundation Fellow, Annie leverages her experience in the science of smart decision making to excel at a variety of pursuits. She brings her background in cognitive science and poker together to understand how we make decisions, the obstacles that prevent us from making our best decisions and how to create practical solutions that make decision making more rational.
Brad Shaw: Chief Executive Officer of Shaw Communications and a 30-year veteran, Brad will share how his company has disrupted the industry and redefined how a cable company can thrive in a fast-changing environment. Brad sits on our Board of Directions and his valuable input contributes to many of our innovations.
Tim Urban: Creator of the stick figure illustrated blog, Wait But Why, Tim is one of the internet’s most popular writers. Elon Musk is such a big fan that he asked Tim to interview him about his companies, resulting in the in-depth Elon Musk Blog Series. His Why Procrastinators Procrastinate presentation was the most-watched TED talk of 2016.
We know many of you come to “take a peek at the future” and you'll be covered. Take a look at the agenda to get an idea of the hot topics, from 5G rollouts to crushing latency in networks to Micronets to Blockchain, and much more. Don’t miss our CTO Roundtable, with members from Europe and the US, giving their take on technologies from DOCSIS 3.1, IP video and next-generation architectures.
CableLabs subsidiary UpRamp works with some of the brightest emerging technology companies in the world. They will introduce you to 6 such companies who are changing the landscape of our industry. We know you’re a hard crowd to impress, but these 6 companies will grab your attention and get your creative wheels turning. We will also be introducing the companies in the 2018 UpRamp Cohort.
Connect with our Speakers
You told us you want to connect on a deeper level with some of our presenters, and we’re introducing a new app which will allow you to set up a 15-minute meeting with anyone on our schedule. It’s a great opportunity to form bonds and get all your questions answered by our expert presenters. Watch this space to get more info. Or better yet, sign up now for the conference, and get early access.
What’s a Party without a BBQ?
CableLabs subsidiary Kyrio will host a Colorado-style BBQ on Monday, August 6 at Keystone Stables, with transportation provided. Come out, meet your fellow attendees and help us celebrate our 30th.
CableLabs Member? Stay the Extra Day
On August 9, we are hosting our Behind the Curtain event at our Louisville, Colorado labs. Not a part of our regular program, but this event is something extra you shouldn’t miss. You’ll get a chance to see and hear about the disruptive technologies we’re working on behind closed doors. It’s a perfect chance to view demonstrations, get involved, and collaborate with us on positioning and rollouts of these exciting new technologies.
Register now to reserve your space for our special 30th anniversary Summer Conference 2018. We can't wait to see you in Keystone!
A Journey Back in Time: CableLabs 30th Anniversary Documentary
It's our 30th anniversary and half a billion people have a reason to celebrate with us—that’s how many people depend on our technology every single day. But since we can’t throw a party for that many people, we’ve decided to put away the confetti and celebrate another way—by creating a documentary about CableLabs that we can all enjoy and share with the world.
Since CableLabs first opened its doors in 1988, we have always looked ahead, trying our best to predict the world's technological destiny. This documentary gave us an opportunity to take a look back at how we got where we are today. In the process, we spoke to many individuals whose lives were touched by CableLabs throughout the years, including some of the former and current members of the senior leadership team. We hope their stories inspire a new generation of technologists and innovators who are working on shaping the future at this very moment.
We hope you enjoy our documentary as much as we enjoyed making it.
Big thanks to the folks who took the time to share their memories with us. Our documentary would not have been possible without them.
Click below to find out more.
CableLabs is Celebrating the Big Three-O
Happy anniversary, CableLabs!
Thirty years is a respectable milestone. So what makes it so special? While gathering material for the CableLabs anniversary site, we were fortunate to spend some time with the people who know it best— its founders, employees and members. Their leadership helped grow CableLabs into a global innovation powerhouse and laid a strong foundation for its future. Let’s look at the last 30 years through their eyes.
The CableLabs Pitch
Dick Leghorn came forth and said, "Look, this is silly. We've got an industry where proprietary standards are largely driven by manufacturers and suppliers, who are making it subscale.”
– Dr. John Malone, Founder, CableLabs
In 1988, the cable industry was experiencing a rapid, but poorly controlled growth. At one point there were 11,000 cable providers dividing the country into tiny markets. While the bigger players may have been able to afford some R&D work internally, the little guys didn’t stand a chance. If cable were to remain competitive against telcos and broadcasters, something needed to be done. CableLabs provided a way to plan and fund critical R&D projects and bring together the scale needed to drive the industry standards. Plus, it facilitated the transfer of relevant technology to its member companies. This kind of collaboration was unheard of in the United States and a critical turning point for the cable industry.
Defining and Driving Industry Standards
“It started with the agreement that we would all get together and use a digital compression standard and that CableLabs guys would be defining and driving that standard. We were really, at that point, taking over television technologically in America.”
– Dr. John Malone, Founder, CableLabs
The nineties brought in a tsunami of innovation. Breakthroughs like hybrid fiber coax boosted Cable’s bandwidth capacity and laid the groundwork for the expansion of the internet. Around the same time, compression technology came into play. Suddenly, cable companies could put 20 channels inside of one, bringing the total number of channels to a whopping 500! CableLabs was instrumental in defining and driving MPEG, the video encoding standard still used around the world. This marked a pivotal point in time when broadcasters finally conceded technological leadership to CableLabs.
Bringing the Industry Together Like Never Before
“CableLabs pulled the industry together—the vendors and the operators—and came up with a standard, the DOCSIS standard, that really drove us to be able to scale our cable modem business.”
– Nomi Bergman, Former Member of CableLabs Board of Directors Technology Committee, Former President of Bright House Networks
Before DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification), cable modems were launched in a proprietary fashion, lacking the scale to make them affordable to the average consumer. DOCSIS changed all that. It was a true shining moment for CableLabs. Not only did DOCSIS help bring the scale and the price of cable modems to where they needed to be, it turned the cable industry into a digital machine. This would not have been possible without the kind of collaboration CableLabs facilitated.
Adapting to Change
“The meeting that really turned the industry, in my opinion, was the one with Bill Gates. Bill had told us that he was ready to have me drag people up there [Silicon Valley] and tell them that he could build a digital set-top box that would fully comply with the standards that we were looking for in volume for under 300 bucks.”
– Dr. John Malone, Founder, CableLabs
As the industry matured, skeptics emerged. Cable could not wait any longer—it needed to make a digital set-top box. There was just one major hurdle: the price. Today, $300 seems like an astronomical number, but back then, creating a digital box at this price was a herculean task. Most manufacturers quoted double this amount. Despite the sticker shock, CableLabs heeded Gates’ advice and moved ahead with the project. Microsoft’s involvement gave cable the additional credibility it needed to transition to digital delivery and quiet the skeptics for good.
Bringing Everyone to the Table
“One of the more memorable CableLabs meetings was about 15 years ago. Ted Rogers, then the CEO of Rogers, was telling us with great passion that it was critical that every operator in this room embraced wireless and got into wireless. I really do think he might've stood up on the table. I caught that bug from Ted Rogers and had been passionate about it ever since.”
– Nomi Bergman, Former Member of CableLabs Board of Directors Technology Committee, Former President of Bright House Networks
By providing a platform for lively discussion, CableLabs was able to facilitate collaboration among a wide range of member companies of different size, interest, scale, and circumstance. Some of them hardly did anything technical without consulting CableLabs or collaborating with other industry members through CableLabs. This exchange of ideas and knowledge was and still is instrumental to CableLabs’ success.
Spreading Out to Other Industries
“Kyrio's mission is to help expand and bring the technologies of CableLabs to other industries. We've worked with the smart goods industry. We've worked with the medical industry. We've worked with IOT lighting manufacturers. As the technology evolves, we will continue to bring our expertise and our knowledge to those other industries as well as cable.”
-Mitch Ashley, President & GM, Kyrio
As a nonprofit, CableLabs’ main purpose is to serve the interests of its members within the Cable industry. But a few years ago, CableLabs’ leadership decided it was time to think bigger. The launch of Kyrio marked a monumental shift in strategy, allowing CableLabs to take its innovations and expertise to other industries beyond cable. It provided a path to commercialization and quick deployment of cutting-edge technologies that impact millions of lives all around the world.
So, why is CableLabs special?
In the words of John Malone, “CableLabs is a unique animal.” Not many companies are able to respond and adapt to rapid change while still staying true to their mission. Even fewer can serve the interests of an entire industry and unify it in a way CableLabs has. Over the last 30 years, CableLabs has solidified its reputation as the engine of innovation. Let’s keep this engine running for the next 30 years and beyond.
To learn more about CableLabs’ history and its impact on billions of people around the world, please visit our 30th Anniversary website.
A Letter to our Members on our 30th Anniversary
Dear CableLabs Members,
Beginning this week and throughout the rest of this year, CableLabs is celebrating 30 years of innovation and we wouldn’t be here without you.
On June 9, 1988, John Malone sent a memorandum to all U.S. cable operators inviting them to be founding members of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. with the following objectives:
- To provide a central source of timely, evaluated information about technical developments of interest to the industry
- To plan and fund critical R&D projects that are likely to be supported only on a cooperative basis, and
- To facilitate the transfer of relevant technology to member companies and suppliers to the industry.
In a memorandum written 30 years ago, Malone outlined the need for a Cable Industry R&D Consortium, saying:
“The cable industry needs a sustained, long-range, integrated R&D effort to exploit technological opportunities, to avoid being overwhelmed by technological challenges, and to attract supplier initiatives to cable’s needs in the face of competing demands. This kind of strategic R&D must be supported on a cooperative basis because no single company can fund a comprehensive R&D effort. In addition, the industry needs a central clearinghouse for monitoring, evaluating and reporting current and prospective technological issues.”
In the 1990s, we developed technology that is now instrumental for the Mobile LTE industry. Fifteen years ago, we were laying the groundwork for technology that now enables high-speed fiber around the world. For three decades, we’ve shaped the conversation around technology, from strategy and innovation to policy and industry standards. From DOCSIS, Coherent Optics and facilitating the MPEG standard to developing more secure networks around the world, we work on technologies that have become the bedrock for the entire industry.
After 30 years of research, development and innovation we have already created technology required to support people and networks years from now. Through our innovation funnel, we will continue to identify needs ahead of the market to help create technology that not only disrupts the industry but becomes the foundational basis for the future.
- Over half a billion people are touched by CableLabs technology every day.
- More than 200 patents have been granted to CableLabs employees.
- Over 50% of U.S. households have at least one CableLabs technology in their home today.
- Over 500 startups have been introduced to the cable industry via CableLabs’ accelerator UpRamp.
- CableLabs subsidiary, Kyrio, works with some of the world’s largest companies and provides exclusive access to the newest technologies in R&D, innovative ideas, product testing and competitive intelligence.
- Over 700 million devices are now sporting the CableLabs logo
When CableLabs started in 1988 the World Wide Web was just a concept, cell phones were the size of bricks, the first T1 backbone was added to ARPANET, MS DOS 4.0 was released, Linksys was founded, personal computers had found their way into about 15 percent of U.S. households and CompuServe dial-up started at about $6 per hour for 300 baud rate.
What are things going to be like in 30 years? Nobody really knows, but our job at CableLabs is to conceive and design the future. The work we do has global impact, not just for our members but for the lives of their customers. We are researchers, scientists and innovators who are looking to the future and collectively we are a key piece of the fabric of society.
With participation and collaboration from our members, we’re looking forward to shaping the future of the industry in the next 30 years and beyond. To our 60 members across the globe, thank you for being a part of the CableLabs team.
Click below to read more about our global impact.
Meet CableLabs Innovation Project Manager Gabby Gordon
At CableLabs, we are proud to employ working mothers and fathers that promote meaningful change for future generations. "What impact could we have?", "What challenges would we face?", "What solutions might be possible?" As a woman in technology and a mother of three, these are some of the questions Project Manager Gabby Gordon asks herself every day.
Gabby Gordon started her career with CableLabs in 2015 as the Service Delivery Specialist for the Lab Services team. During that time, she helped support the successful launch of the CableLabs DOCSIS 3.1® Certification program. In 2017, Gabby transitioned to CableLabs subsidiary Kyrio as the Customer Success Specialist. At Kyrio she worked closely with cable operators and technology partners in leading the delivery of key services for critical testing areas such as certification, interoperability and custom wired and wireless testing. Gabby was also responsible for rapid onboarding of new and existing customers across many lines of businesses.
In mid-March, Gabby rejoined CableLabs as part of the Strategy & Innovations team as a Project Manager. She now helps coordinate the design and development of a wide range of Innovation and R&D ideas. On top of her work schedule, Gabby is a busy mother of three young children ages 10, 8 and 2. As one of the rare Colorado natives, she enjoys spending her free time outdoors with her kids skiing during the winter, fishing during the summer and recently embraced her fear of speed taking up mountain biking. She is inspired to provide an example for her children as a dedicated mother, friend and employee.
Now, meet the woman helping enable innovation at CableLabs.
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