Today was CES2016 first press day with 2 major events : conference on digital consumer market trends and CES unveiled with 125+ startup and larger companies presenting innovations & products.
For this second event, a large part of the startup were coming from France and they had most of the more interesting innovation ! that is a great news in my opinion.
CES is waiting for 150.000 attendes this year and shows about 20.000 different products. 500 startups from 29 countries. As Olivier Ezratty told me many time today, on the 500 startup 1/4 are coming from France, and represents half of the non-USA startup.
Market is more and more focusing on mobile & telecom with share of 47% of the global revenues corresponding to a 60% growth in the last 5 years. This correspond to a significant decrease of the more traditional IT and Consumer Electronic sub categories. In this mobile market more than 90% is owned by mobile handset equipments. It is so notable that since this year the wearable market is taking a significant growing place with a growth of 131% forecasted for 2015 and another 59% growth expected in 2016. Wearable is mainly dominated by smart watch then health tracker in volume or smartglass in money.
The Unveiled part shown different activity tracker and health sensors essentially for heart but in my opinion I did not saw any real new innovative things in this direction, they are fitbit like or applewatch like ;
By the way, there is one wearable I really liked : The Nex Band it is a smart band allowing to start custom action on the smart phone. It is really like the flic.io but as a wearable and with more buttons, more capability and on top of the rest a great social interest. This is basically an IFTTT remote controller but what is new is that you can detach any of the gems and give them to a friend. At this time you will transfer him the automation you create. As an exemple you can attached photo sharing access to one gem and give access to these photo by giving a friend this gem. They have created an innovative usage based on something that become more and more common in the last month : the amazon dash button remastered with IFTTT. The system is basically a Buetooth BLE in the band. The gems seems to have a proper and uniq ID, a rgb led and a touch sensor. Autonomy is about 4 days.
Another innovation I really liked is Roost : this is a communication system detecting you smoke detector alarm thanks to vibrations coming from noise and transmitting the information over internet to you. This is really clever as it fit a 9V battery and as a consequence you can install it in any existing detector. Unfortunately it is based on Wifi communication and my personal point of view is that smoke alarm connection based on wifi is the worst : first thing to be done in case of fire is power >> router >> Internet … But the idea is clever and the result is really nice.
The third promising technology shown was greenwaves : they are competing with LoRa and SigFox by proposing a solution to emit at 1Mbps on distance of multiple miles based on OFDM modulation and an optimized way to manage power pic. Basically this solution is providing IoT solution for sound and pictures. The technology is actually prototyping and I’m really curious to see how it works in real life condition with movement, environment and so one. LoRa have promising speed largely under what they are proposing but not really working in many case as the distance is quickly decreasing. More over, it seems that the technology does not request huge processing nor complex electronic to be use and works with standard existing systems plus a small part of home made fpga. Said like this it seems a great disruption based on non disruptive technology… So I would prefer to see it before telling it is going to be a future LoRa. Too many questions still in my mind.
Then three IoT I really liked for children, all from French startups :
Marbotic is proposing a set of letters and numbers you can put on a tablet to interact with a learning application. I really like the technology used : it is simply pads that are doing touch on the screen, each letter or number have his own touch identity the application discover and interpret as an answer. As a consequence the price is accessible. I really like the solution as a tool for learning I regrets that the application set is limited and not open to an ecosystem like partnership with nathan/hachette applications as an exemple.
Yum&done have make the buz 2-3 year earlier with the connected fork, that was one of the un-usefull connected object that make IoT on under the lights. They have actually sold about 28K fork witch is a good result in my opinion for a such thing. It seems that they mostly sell them to laboratories that want to study our behaviors… By the way they are now presenting a connected spoon with a better approach in my opinion : less technology and as a consequence a good price and it is used to create an interaction with childs. Who never have to “do the plane” to get the child eating. Now this spoon & app will do it for you.
The last but also my favorite : Oliba. I was not really convinced by the “never loss my buddy” functionality as it is based on BLE signal loss … a solution I do not trust for object localization for many reason I won’t detail here. But what I like is the capability of the device to tell a story to the baby and be used as a light. It is fun and this bundle of function is in my opinion a good deal.
Last of my favorite is smart me up solution that detects from a camera your gender, age, humor ; it works pretty well for me even if I head concerning age that it is not really reliable. But I think, even if you actually have a decade of error, it sounds interesting in CRM applications and you can have many application in different area. They are also a French startup.
I don’t want to list all I have seen even if I liked them like the french connected thermostat – yet another nest – that is promising to have a better heat management based on your habits and current location (personally I would like to see that in real for the way it is taking the right decision). There was also the new products from netatmo with an external camera + light that sounds promising or the Parrot flower pot and new drone disco. All of this is nice but not exciting. Sphero star wars droïd is by opposition exciting but not providing a great service more than fun. XYZ 3d printing was presenting a printer mixing two colors on one head to obtained a mix of these colors : nice -really nice- but it still limited in terms of color scale – waiting now for the 5-6 color to get an RGB scale.
To finish this list I would like to introduce one of the first connected chair for your working environment. It detects you are on the chair and the movement your are doing. To be clear I did not really well understand what is the pain they are covering but here is not the worst in my opinion. The chair is ready for making buzz but for sure not ready for commercial deployment. The reason are you need for each chair to connect a receiver to your laptop to receive the data (complicated) and what you get is what you know … how many time I spent on this. Your apple watch have the ability to do it better wherever your are. More over the solution will not be able to be adapted in every chair as it is a replacement of one of the wheel of the chair. I saw better technical solution for the same purpose with more accuracy. This was for me one of the fail but not the main one : my favorite was a company presenting as an innovation exactly what Netgear sold with vueZone since 3 to 4 years now : a low power connected camera for home. There is also the connected tooth brush for children : in first approach it looks fun to see your child trying to win a race by washing his tooth correctly but I don’t think I’m the only one to know that doing a such thing is 1st loosing in the educational process against your child but also a really wrong idea to let him use alone his smartphone in a bathroom when he already doing something else… an idea that could be sponsored by Apple or Samsung to dump its market. By-the-way all these product are well designed, fun, all what you want but personally I don’t see them as good investment for the future.
Day was fun, I’m really happy to have seen all these french startup in Las Vegas introducing new product that are the most disruptive or innovative of the overall shown at the Unveiled. This is promising for us, now they have to reach the market and scale. TechCrunch has written a nice post on this, here.