[All CES 2024 Unveiled images credit Daniel W. Rasmus and Serious Insights LLC]
The Computer Technology Association starts off the CES week with a major coming-out party called Unveiled. Press and analysts have the opportunity to meet innovation award winners in a more intimate setting than the massive CES show floor. And we don’t have to hunt them down.
Big companies like GE and LG sit alongside new or lesser-known names like Dracula and ViXion. Next-generation GE washing machines and LG Gram laptops compete for attention with Dracula Technology’s diminutive light-gathering panels and printed batteries and ViXion’s always-in-focus glasses.
Although technologies with a direct relationship to business processes or applications take some investigation when wandering even Unveiled’s abbreviated invitation list, there are technologies of interest.
But I’m going to come back to those because the bigger story is that each of the exhibitors is a company, regardless of what they sell, that actively pursues innovation at its most fundamental level. They are small, often funded just at the edge of survival, yet they persevere.
Large organizations don’t spend enough time with start-ups. Sure, Microsoft, Google, Salesforce, and all the others have their investment arms and their start-up relationship teams—teams mostly focused on partners rather than the wild ideas that make Unveiled so entertaining. That is all well and good, but it is self-serving and myopic. Big firms need to bring their product teams to wander CES not with an eye toward acquisition, copying or cannibalization, but with a focus on learning and energy, different paths and options, and bravery in the face of naysaying.
Vaonis, for instance, was showing off its Hestia astronomy appliance. Sit a phone atop their device, and it will help users find a celestial object of interest. A tiny telescope Kickstarter that opens the night’s sky to people who might never use a telescope but who take pictures with their iPhone or Android device every day. The Hestia, puts astronomy photography within reach of most consumers.
The Vaonis Hestia is a brave project that attracted 13,983 backers and raised $4.1 million dollars.
Then there was AIRiWEAR by Purepath, a UV-based personal environment cleaner. When asked about review units, they looked at me like that was the first time they had been asked. The units will ship soon to customers first. It’s hard to share products like a big company when you are a small company.
The takeaway for businesses isn’t just the tools or technologies on display, but the spirit that underlies each of the enterprises that made the trek to Las Vegas to display their latest passion. Even the likes of GE and LG employ people who put their hearts into the products, but unfortunately, the practices and the processes of large companies too often buffer those employees from struggles faced by start-ups.
CES 2024 Unveiled offers a microcosm of invention that large tech companies need to embrace to keep themselves relevant and their people engaged in ways that ignore KPIs, eschew timelines, and toss design principals, at least for a few minutes, to allow them to challenge assumptions and see the world through a new lens.
CES 2024 Unveiled: Solutions for Business
CES 2024 Unveiled was not without solutions that can be applied today in businesses. It wasn’t all reading between the lines.
Here is a list of interesting exhibitors that offer insightful alternatives to existing approaches that are ready to be tested in the market, or already have been and are ready to expand their customer base.
Note that not all the products at CES Unveiled will be available immediately or even referenced via the weblinks below.
Dracula: Energy capture and storage for indoor devices.
TALKR.ai AI-based conversation management for customer service.
J5create’s Thunderbolt 5 docks.
Idyllic Technology’s new replacements for barcodes and RFID that are cheap, energy-efficient and easy to create.
Microej software development models that modularize IoT for cross-platform deployment.
Timekettle personal and server-based translation tools.
Mymanu’s Clik Pro on-device translation headsets.
Targus recycled materials ambidextrous mouse and docking solutions.
LG gram Pro laptops with Intel Core Ultra processors, NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSDs, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics.
For more serious insights on CES 2024 click here.