CableLabs’ Sneak Peek of the Innovation Trends to Look for in 2019

a woman using a VR headset

2019 is here, and it’s exciting to think about what new technology and media experiences might be in store for everyone in the next 12 months. It’s also almost time for CES—the Consumer Electronics Show—which kicks off next week and where emerging technology trends, devices and gadgets make their debut. CableLabs also just released their latest tech predictions video, many of which will dominate the CES showfloor and transform a wide range of sectors in the coming months. Let’s look at the latest innovations, highlighted in their video, that are due to make a huge impact on the industry and on consumers, and which will require the robust broadband networks that America’s ISPs are rolling out today:


CableLabs CEO Phil McKinney explains that artificial intelligence capabilities in 2019 will extend to prediction model applications. For example, consumers might see systems and devices that can foresee network outages before they happen, enabling for better preparation. Broadband providers, like Comcast, are already experimenting with and implementing AI and machine learning in their customer care programs that deliver personalized experiences and are capable of handling complex customer requests.


eSports has been around for several years, but it is expected to experience a spike with the recent legalization of online betting. eSports, known as professional competitive video gaming, is a popular TV viewing activity among the gaming community. Turner has tapped into the eSports space in a big way with ELEAGUE, its professional eSports league and championship gameplay that airs on TBS. With eSports now translating well to TV, and with powerful broadband networks allowing for the delivery of this immersive online gaming experience, the number of eSports fans is sure to rise in 2019 and beyond.

Edge Computing

Edge computing is the technology that’s needed to enable things like social virtual reality experiences—in which people can “meet up” virtually with their friends, family or colleagues in real time. IoT devices typically send data to a central cloud, but the idea behind edge computing is to process that data locally to reduce backhaul traffic and latency.

3D Printing

3D printing is not a new concept, but this year, McKinney says manufacturers will produce real working parts for installation and use. 3D printing is bound to disrupt almost every sector, from the auto industry to the medical field to outer space innovation, you name it.

Morality of Innovation

CableLabs included an ethics component to their top five predictions, which is noteworthy given the latest discussions around “fake news” and the use of technology for fraudulent purposes. As innovation and technology continue to emerge, many industries will need to collaborate to ensure that content produced is used to benefit consumers and will add true value to their media experiences.