Sustainability at CES 2023 (S2:E48)

January 26, 2023

Still basking in the tech afterglow of CES 2023, Gianmarco Ferrari, Marketing Manager for NFC/RFID and NVM Americas at STMicroelectronics, joins us to discuss the innovations in sustainability he spotted at the influential trade show earlier this month. A longtime Identiv partner, STMicroelectronics creates technology that prioritizes people and the planet while minimizing its overall ecological footprint.

Full Transcript

Voiceover (00:01):

You are listening to Humans in Tech. Our podcast explores today's most transformative technology and the trends of tomorrow, bringing together the brightest minds in and outside of our industry. We unpack what's new in physical access, identity verification, cybersecurity and IOT ecosystems. We reach beyond the physical world, discuss our digital transformation as a species, and dive into the emerging phygital experience. Join us on our journey as we discover just how connected the future will be and how we will fit into that picture. Your host is Leigh Dow, VP of Global Marketing at Identiv.

Leigh Dow (00:43):

Thanks for tuning in. Today we're talking with Gianmarco Ferrari, who is the Marketing Manager for NFC RFID and NVM America at STMicroelectronics. So glad you're here with us today.

Gianmarco Ferrari (00:55):

Glad to be here, Leigh. Thank you for having me.

Leigh Dow (00:57):

Of course. A small teaser. Identiv and STMicroelectronics have a long history of partnering together on some really great projects for the IOT. In fact, we have an announcement coming soon, which we will discuss at another time. I know you just returned from CES, which is one of the largest and most influential consumer electronics shows and tech events in the world. It's held in Vegas every year during the first week of January, and it really truly is where the future of technology lies. I wasn't able to attend this year. I usually do go, but I've been many times and I just love seeing all the new high tech products and services and getting a peek into what the future of technology is going to look like. It's such a super great place to geek out, right? Because you see things that aren't even in your own industry. So what was your experience at the show this year?

Gianmarco Ferrari (01:49):

Yes, so I would say that after missing the show for the last two years attending CES has been very refreshing. It's been a very good start for the year. From what I saw, the attendance and the energy for both exhibitors and visitors had been great. We had a good feeling from our colleagues in Europe coming from electronic, but before coming to Vegas, we didn't know exactly what to expect this year. But we've been pleasantly surprised and positively surprised about the energy and the attendance of the show. I have to say, from the ST perspective of the organizers here, a private event for customer, and it was a complete success. We had more than 300 meetings.

Leigh Dow (02:39):

Oh wow.

Gianmarco Ferrari (02:40):

Private meetings and demo tour of our 30 plus technology demonstration station. So very happy to see many industry leaders face-to-face again and just excitement to be back to Vegas.

Leigh Dow (02:56):

The last CES I went to was January of 2020, so it was the last big trade show before things really started shutting down from COVID. But what I noticed even at that show, and my understanding is this year it's even more so, is that it's gotten very automotive focused, like a huge automotive contingency at the show and then a lot of robotics, which is always fun and exciting to see. And what always resonated for me at that show, that's so interesting is, I mean you could be at that show for two weeks if it went on for two weeks and you still wouldn't see everything. It's so spread out and there's so many different market segments represented. It's just such a massive, massive event.

Gianmarco Ferrari (03:40):

I agree. I totally agree with you, yeah.

Leigh Dow (03:45):

So yeah, at such a massive show, how do you plan your time around business meetings and take the time to soak in all the latest news and technologies connected to your business?

Gianmarco Ferrari (03:55):

Well, it's pretty easy because I basically only had time for meetings. I was only sporadically been able to go to the main floor for meetings, but I will say they said with CES evolving from a consumer only focus to IOT more mobility event, there is a very large presence of customer and solution and the strategic and focus sector for ST, most of which we were engaged in. We were engaged prior to the show and couldn't tell anybody. But we saw many of this at innovations that we were presented prior to the show. So at least I got to see that part. But let's say even if we work with the key players, I'm always impressed about innovations presented at CES, especially as you say, this smart mobility, AI and virtual reality, which to me they're mind blowing and over my understanding sometimes.

Leigh Dow (05:06):

It is funny that they still call it the Consumer Electronics Show. The last time I was there they were debuting the Bell and I think it was Honda or Hyundai, they were debuting the new Uber air taxis. And I remember thinking, okay, so what consumer is out there like "Yes, I'll take one."

Gianmarco Ferrari (05:29):

I agree. I agree with you. And you say more mobility and many sector, even agriculture, if you look at the innovation from John Deere is that it's mind blowing and definitely not just a consumer show.

Leigh Dow (05:43):

Yeah, for sure. So sustainability really took center stage this year and STMicroelectronics creates hidden technology that makes sustainable change possible. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Gianmarco Ferrari (05:56):

Yes, of course. I will say sustainability has been a key priority in our business model and culture for many years. So it's definitely not a new concept for us. We believe that our innovative technologies play a key role in enabling customers to contribute, to overcome global environmental and social challenges. And today, we are accelerating our sustainability together with our supplier, with customer, employees, and shareholders. I would say that sustainability of these means creating technology that enables customer to improve people's lives, means prioritizing people and the planet, minimizing our overall footprint.


And in a world that is looking only on the short term for us, that means also creating long-term value for stakeholders and partners. With this perspective, I said during CES, we've been showcasing how our innovation makes sustainable change possible and helps customer to bring their ideas to life, which means also translating, let's say an accelerating society transition to clean, safe and smarter systems. Our demonstration, our focus on ST three strategic trends, which was smart mobility, power, energy and IOT connectivity. Of course along with lets say enabling sense of technology, imagine artificial intelligence and better processing. So we're definitely in that line. Additionally, I stayed in on the sustainability discussion. Let's say back in 2020, just to give an example, we publicly committed to carbon neutrality by 2027.

Leigh Dow (08:04):

So what do you see as some of the advancements in new tech in NFC technology and solutions?

Gianmarco Ferrari (08:12):

Yes, that course I'm responsible for NFC for the Americas and that's a very hot topic for me. And I say NFC is becoming more and more a mainstream technology for connectivity, not only for payment. And I will say it's infrastructure and ecosystem is finally such to allow mass deployment in many vertical markets. During CES private event where we've been showcasing some of the latest trends in NFC, such as NFC water charging for small IOT devices, NFC for a PhD communication to enable, let's say NFC enabled healthcare devices like a NFC enabled blood pressure monitor or glucose meter to basically exchange data through the NFC protocol. We'll be showcasing NFC enabled sensor and processing node applications, sensor nodes that they can transmit sensor data through NFC. And of course, the smart mobility, we'll be showcasing NFC for the car digital key with a triple C compliancy, which is now mandatory for a digital key for cars.


And talking about sustainability, we showcased our latest NFC technology using Identiv eco-friendly lake and we did everything, more space to show more because I mean we're limited in the technology mostly to show, but there is a lot of excitement. There is a lot of new trends and I've been, in one of the few visits I did on the main floor, I met with the WPC Consortiums and the original case in the key were recharging for cordless kitchen appliances, which using NFC as a communication between the countertop and appliances. So NFC is spreading through many verticals, so many standards and many as a use case where they can definitely augment people's lives.

Leigh Dow (10:36):

Anything else you want to share with our audience with respect to NFC or RFID?

Gianmarco Ferrari (10:43):

What I would say overall, I definitely look forward to 2023 as a revived energy for innovators. So we're definitely excited for designers that are coming from a supply chain constraint and thinking about keeping up the production to finally be back innovating. So it's very exciting for the all industry and as demonstrated also during CES and of course, I look forward to, let's say, great projects together.

Leigh Dow (11:21):

Excellent. Well thank you so much for joining us today and for our audience, please like and subscribe if you enjoyed this podcast.

Voiceover (11:29):

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