Verizon launches innovation award during lame keynote

Verizon keynote
Not even football could save this keynote

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell? Check. Ford Motor Company's CTO? Check. Verizon's Venetian keynote at CES had all the makings of an entertaining evening, but the show fell flat in both wow and news.

CEO Lowell McAdam, who presided over the hour-plus look at how Verizon is helping shape the technology - and therefore lives - of the future, did announce the nation's largest carrier is launching the Powerful Answers Award.

The award will hand out $10 million total with top winners taking home $1 million for offering solutions to compelling issues in the field of health care, education and sustainability. The contest will launch March 31, according to a ticker on a dedicated site.

McAdam encouraged the exhibitor-filled room to register for the award, noting Verizon will help turn winners' ideas into real products and services.

"I really believe we are at a tipping point to use great technologies to make a real difference," McAdam offered as a closing remark.

Maybe next year...

The keynote featured walk-ons and sit downs between McAdam, Goodell and Ford's Paul Mascarenas.

A video of NFL clips with copious amounts of mobile phones and tablets (even in coaches' hands on the sidelines, something we can't remember ever seeing) mustered up the largest applause from the audience.

Mascarenas talked at length about the company's new AppLink initiative and introduced a video all about Ford's Evos concept car.

"It's a future design that offers that personalized experience where the vehicle gets to know you as opposed to you getting to know the vehicle," Mascarenas said.

While the talk of future tech gave us a look at more exciting announcements and partnerships to come, the keynote was devoid of real substance.

Verizon launched FiOS and introduced 4G LTE during the last several CESs, so the 2013 version, by comparison, was a a let down.

McAdam briefly mentioned the company hopes to develop a way to broadcast live feeds over LTE, but quickly shifted to other topics.

Maybe next year's keynote, coming at a time when we should hear about the winners of the Powerful Answers Award and live LTE broadcasts, won't wilt under the Vegas lights.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.