Thursday, January 23, 2014

Seven Innovative Companies at CES 2014

I attended the +Consumer Electronics Show (CES) for this first time this year with +Immersive Dynamics, a stealth new start-up from Atherton, and absolutely loved it. While there, I ended up taking a few videos with my +Samsung Galaxy S III of various different cool companies and products.

One of the first companies that I demoed was +Playworld Systems, a company that creates "innovative commercial playground equipment that brings the joy of play to people of every age." The game consisted of having to run around and tap all of either the blinking red or green lights. It was super fun and a great way to wake up and start my day. The model is called a Neos 360 Accessible  and retails for $28, 665.


The next company I interviewed was +dualo Instru, a French start-up founded in 2011. The Dualo du-touch is a new high-tech portable musical instrument that makes improvising, reading notes and learning music more easy and accessible. Described on their website as a "controller-synthesizer-sequencer," it comes with more than a 100 different musical instruments, and you can upload your own samples as well. The Dualo du-touch performs looping, has a motion sensor for tempo, pitch and effects modulation, two sliders, and you can record, upload and share your songs, as well as download others. The Dualo du-touch market price is around $1000.

+Kiwi Wearables is an exciting innovative start-up breaking into the wearable field. The Toronto company's mission is "to build wearable technology that helps people live healthier and happier lives." Here, one of the Founders, Zaki Patel, describes how this wearable sensor detects motion (via an accelerometer and gyroscope), temperature and sound, has a microphone for recording, and connects via wifi and Bluetooth. The Kiwi Wearable mobile app is available on both Android and iOS and is described on the website as having five main different applications of use - move, insights, gesture, sound and lock. It can be worn on your wrist, collar or arm (or essentially anywhere) and only weighs 1oz and has a battery life of 5 days. They are currently selling for $99 on +Kickstarter and their website, and will ship at the end of July. Developer kits are also available for $80 and will ship at the end of this month. It will be interesting to see what new types of apps developers create on the open platform next month. 
Lee Hampton gives an overview of the New York start-up Canary, a smart alarm security device. The Canary is equipped with a high-definition camera and sensors - temperature, humidity, air quality, motion, and an accelerometer. Lee describes how it connects via wifi or Ethernet to your home and then alerts you on the mobile app or web when the smart-sensors are triggered. The machine learning algorithms and the computer vision analysis allow it to adapt to you, your home and family, so that it will only notify you when something is fishy. It is retailing for $199 and will ship in July.
Amy Rainbow Winters is a creative innovator from the UK getting into the new wearable fashion field. She describes her companies mission as seeking "to express the emotive and aesthetic capabilities of emerging technologies through illuminated textiles, sensors, colour-changing inks & nanotechnology." Here she demonstrates one of her pieces, and explains how it changes color from green to blue to red based on the individual's amount of activity/motion. She has a wide array of different products from scarfs to dresses to necklaces, all of which have some type of high-tech special effect or feature. You can see and purchase her "fashionables" in her online store.
+displair, described as the "touch screen of the future," will change the way we interact with technology and information. It displays a translucent digital image in the thin air and one can draw, manipulate objects, and project and interact with pictures due to its gesture recognition technology. I can't wait to see these in the market. They will be retailing them to the mass market at around $4-5k.
Modular Robotics, founded in 2008, is a Colorado company part of the +MAKE movement. It allows children to easily learn about robotics and programming with these smart-legos. Just snap them together and discover the capabilities of each piece and create interesting new robots with different functions. Their Cubelet Kits range from $160-$520 and the MOSS builder kits range from $150-$400.