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New tech and ideas flood 2015 CES

12 Jan 2015

The 2015 CES International was the largest in history with 2.2 million net square feet of exhibit space and 3,600 exhibitors, including 375 start-ups which is more than ever before.

There was also a record number of innovative technologies showcased, from automotive electronics, personalised health care solutions, unmanned vehicles, connected devices, 3D printers and gaming equipment.

“The International CES has broken every record as wireless, sensors and the internet combine and entrepreneurs present innovations which enhance the human condition and solve problems in health care, transportation, safety and connectivity,” says Gary Shapiro, CEA president and CEO.

Shapiro says, “This CES vastly exceeded our expectations. The show inspired and likely gave almost every attendee a sense that innovation will provide solutions to a range of global issues from the environment and agriculture to transportation, health and safety.”

The Internet of Things (IoT) was a key topic for discussion at the event. David Kirkpatrick, Techonomy founder and CEO, lead a coversation on IoT, data security and business practices.

John Chambers, Cisco chairman and CEO, says soon every business will be a tech company as evertyhing connects to the IoT.

“To keep up with the pace of change, companies can’t be afraid to think exponentially, in other words, think like a startup,” says Chambers.

The panel identified the primary problems with IoT, including the problem of who owns the collected data. Neil Smit, Comcast Cable president and CEO, says the principle of transparency is going to be critical.

Along with IoT the smart home will continue to evolve, as was discussed in the SuperSession moderated by Grant Clauser of Electronic House. The panel noted security is the top feature driving growth in this market.

Panelists discussed how to best sell the smart home concept to consumers, and it was agreed that retailers must build an experience so all of the smart home’s capabilities can be previewed. The panelists also noted that manufacturers must create user-friendly and open systems to allow for ease-of-use applications across all platforms.

Nick Woodman, GoPro president and CEO says, “People don’t buy things, they buy solutions.” He says, “Storytelling is everything.”

The Last Gadget Standing was a competition where attendees voted for their top gadget that was launched at the event. The MeccaNoid robotics building system was chosen as the favourite. Similar to an elector set, with MeccaNoid owners can build a four-foot tall humanoid robot that features built-in voice recognition.

Online voters chose SCiO, the world’s first molecular sensor, as their top gadget. SciO is an optical sensor that fits in the palm of your hand, scans and detects what an object is made of, and gives information on it’s nutrition content.

Healthcare was also a key focus at the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC). Here 10 start-ups shared an idea in a five minute presentation to a panel of CES guest judges, with the prize the opportunity to share their pitch to Sir Richard Branson on his private Necker Island.

One winner was Breathometer, an FDA-registered medical device which uses sensors to monitor alcohol consumption and detect halitosis, diabetes, asthma and various types of cancer. Doctor on Demand was another winner, which is an app that users can use to communicate with board certified physicians for non-emergency issues and therapy. Wanderu, a ground travel aggregation platform, also won the opportunity to pitch to Branson. The other finalists were invited by Branson to go to Necker Island at their own expense.

John Penney, Starz chief strategy officer, says, “The technology here demonstrates how solutions to global challenges can be effectuated through innovation. This year’s show brought an incredibly strong narrative of interdisciplinary interaction across an array of markets and industries. Tremendous!”

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