(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Tech trendspotting joins the many other forms of handicapping taking place this week in Las Vegas, as the International Consumer Electronics Show descends on the desert from Jan. 6-9. The massive trade show brings together more than 2,000 companies, along with the investors, reporters and connectors who make it all happen.
Amid the focus on driverless cars and laser TVs, a few Baltimore-area companies are sliding in for some attention. Below is a brief summary of what each will be presenting. We don’t play favorites, so they’re in alphabetical order. And if we’ve missed any, let us know.
The Greek high-end speaker company with a regional headquarters in Columbia is fresh off a fall splash at IFA 2014 in Berlin. The debut of Crystal’s WiSound Technology allowed audiophiles to dream of a 360-degree sound-field, without yards of speaker wire to untangle at every move. The company has also been making waves with its BluDac Bluetooth receiver. We’ll see what’s on tap for CES.
Another company with a Columbia operation, iBiquity recently partnered with radio app maker TagStation to roll out a radio service that is ready for the connected car. iBiquity offers digital HD radio, which would combine with TagStation’s app technology to offer access to radio stations across the country via analog and satellite. Along with smartphone users with pairing capabilities already in their cars, the companies are hoping to market the new product to car companies who are interested in building the radio service into the dash of cars that are equipped with internet.
This social marketing startup is homegrown and headquartered in Columbia, and they’ve been selected as the official photo-sharing app of #CES15. Throughout the trade show, a Pixe Social team will roam the crowds and encourage attendees to share photos of their favorite moments on social platforms. For fully-sanctioned sharing, the startup also partnered with the trade show organizers to create a CES Pixe app.
The German company with a U.S. headquarters in Columbia is a featured exhibitor at CES. The company makes wireless communications and audio-video testing equipment, which is marketed to consumer electronics makers.
Rohde & Schwarz announced two new HDMI 2.0 6G video test modules as the trade show began on Monday. According to conference literature, the company is also highlighting recently released wireless signal testing and audio testing products.
Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank told Bloomberg Businessweek that the local sportswear giant is a “technology company” that wasn’t going to “cede anything to Silicon Valley.” So here’s his company, lining up a big presence at one of the top tech trade shows.
The Locust Point-based company entered the wearables market with Armour39, a chest strap that tracks health and workout data. Under Armour also showed they were stepping into innovation with last year’s MapMyFitness acquisition, and they’re kicking off 2015 by debuting the first result. The company is launching UA Record, an app that aggregates fitness and personal health tracking data from devices like FitBit. In order to compare notes and stay motivated, the app also allows users to connect with others who have similar goals. As USA Today points out, this means you can follow Gisele Bundchen.
Bundchen won’t be on hand in real life in Vegas, but Under Armour has a big schedule of other athletes and fitness pros lined up on Wednesday, Jan. 7. The Baltimore company will host a booth (Sands, Level 2, #73915) that has a full of slate of scheduled celebrity appearances, including trainer Gunnar Peterson, surfer Brianna Cope, golfer Jordan Spieth and FOX NFL Insider Jay Glazer. Leaving hometown fans even more jealous they aren’t there, Cal Ripken, Jr., is also on the guest list.
Under Armour is also getting involved in the conference portion of the show. Also on Wednesday, a pair of the company’s program leaders will talk about using data and technology to help athletes better their performance. The two speakers at the 3 p.m. session are Under Armour Performance Director Paul Winsper and Mark Oleson, director of the company’s Digital Products and Innovations department.
The Hunt Valley-based smartphone case makers, which is a unit of Baltimore-based Tessco Technologies, is rolling out a host of new products at CES. So far, the top billing is going to the company’s Regen cases for iPhone 6 and 6+. The cases features “self-healing” technology that removes surface scratches from the case within hours. Ventev is also rolling out a leather wallet case.
Along with phone protection, Ventev also has phone power. The company brought a line of new mobile charging stations to CES that they’re dubbing Powercell. The most premium offering features a built-in USB cable, AppleLightning cable and USB port, allowing for up to three devices to charge at once. It also plugs into the wall. There’s also a standalone portable battery charger, and 2-in-1 USB/AppleLightning cable. Make up your own Swiss Army knife pun.-30-
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