(Photo via Twitter)
For technologists building Baltimore-area startups, getting a booth wasn’t necessary for CES to have an impact.
The consumer-focused tech extravaganza held earlier this month in Las Vegas was a chance to pitch their company, and meet with potential partners. Of course, it also offered a chance to check out what’s in development.
The event offers a big stage, and a pair of local companies pitched at events held during the competition.
Tissue Analytics CEO Kevin Keenahan made his first visit to CES to pitch at the Extreme Tech Challenge, which was created in part by Sir Richard Branson. The wound tracking company, which recently closed a $5 million Series A and opened an office in Kansas City, was one of 10 semifinalists.
“It was great exposure and amazing to be mentioned alongside the other companies,” Keenahan said.
Our fourth semi-finalist is @TissueAnalytics, transforming the common smartphone into a sophisticated medical imaging system and saving medical professionals precious time. #xtc2018 #startup #sponsorship pic.twitter.com/5X6u4zytsZ
— SlingshotSponsorship (@Slingshot_UK) January 11, 2018
Elsewhere at the event, Keenahan said Google Home had a big presence. He also noted three companies at the pitch event were building tech around Bitcoin and blockchain.
Columbia-based cybersecurity company Silent Circle’s GoSilent device was a finalist in the Last Gadget Standing competition. A smart inflatable gameball won, but Chief Strategy Officer Joshua Konowe added some context around the threats presented by virtual-enabled assistant devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home during a presentation.
He saw plenty of tech that utilized audio commands around the rest of the conference, as well.
“We will be touching our computers less and talking to them a lot more. Home automation and home information is going to explode over the next 18-36 months,” he said. “What we do with that data is probably what people will be talking about at CES in 2019 and 2020.”
For the companies looking to grow, the event also presented a chance to meet potential clients face-to-face.
“For us, it’s a chance to meet with everyone in one place at once,” said Will Gee of BaltiVirtual, a City Garage–based virtual and augmented reality studio. To meet the same group of companies, we’d have to travel to Seattle, San Francisco, LA, Dublin, Vienna, Shenzhen, etc… Not to mention the great random connections you can make out there.”
Having attended the event before, Gee said there is more progress for virtual and augmented reality.
“For us, the takeaway just a slow but steady move for VR/AR from an early adopter industry to mainstream,” he said.
“The amount of new people we’re now connected with is terrific,” he said.
With new technology enabled by voice or AI, he sees the potential for more free time to do other activities, like working out.
“If you no longer need to drive your car, then the time spent traveling and the experience while sitting in the car shifts – you could take a BurnAlongchair yoga class for example,” Freedman said. “As Amazon’s Alexa, or Google Home, for example, learn your activities, your home will heat up in advance, and your favorite class could pop up on the screen the second you walk in.”
For more on CES, listen this episode of WYPR’s Midday, where this reporter spoke with host Tom Hall, as well as a panel that included Engadget Executive Editor Dana Wollman and Washington Post tech reporter Haley Tsukuyama.-30-
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