The Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2020) was held on January 7-10 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES is recognized as the world’s gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for 50 years, featuring the entire spectrum of transformative technology that continues to redefine markets and shift business models.
CES 2020 saw more than 4,400 exhibiting companies debuting over 20,000 tech products to some 170,000 attendees across more than 2.9 million net square feet of exhibit space. From global tech brands to pioneering startups, the innovation at CES 2020 will revolutionize markets and change our world for the better.
The Irish Opportunity
Dylan Terry, Enterprise Ireland Development Executive based in San Francisco, and Eva Mahon, Enterprise Ireland Development Executive based in Seattle, attended CES this year with an eye toward identifying opportunities that may impact Irish companies.
“CES is America’s largest tech show, but it has a very International feel with 34.9% of attendees and 40% of media personnel coming from outside of the US,” said Terry. “This provides Irish companies with exposure to a broad, international audience, at a scale not seen at other tech shows.”
CES touches on many verticals, with conference topics spanning 5G/IoT, entertainment/content creation, vehicle technology, digital health, smart home, and AR/VR. This is reflected through the varied exhibitors ranging from traditional consumer electronics companies (Samsung, Toshiba, LG), ‘tech giants’ (Amazon, Google, IBM), to automotive OEMs (Honda, Ford, Audi, Mercedes). Such diversity of topics and exhibitors makes CES a unique show for Irish companies to attend.
Mahon explained that mobility was probably the sector with the most traction this year. There were various concept development announcements from automotive manufacturers, including; Audi, Hyundai, Toyota. Tech giants Amazon and Sony have partnered with automotive manufacturers, emerging as newer players in the space.
“There are, without a doubt, opportunities in the auto sector for IoT and connectivity-focused companies,” said Mahon. “We can expect a lot more from our cars of the future, with considerable developments in connectivity, improving the customer experience.”
Other trends included foldable devices, still at the infancy stage, but following Samsung’s initial release last year, there have been more prototypes released in both the mobile device and computer industries. AI was also a hot topic; its applications are seen across various aspects of life from smart homes to Delta’s AI problem-solving tool.
“The growth of large corporations, utilizing technology to expand their scope into new industry verticals was astonishing,” added Mahon. “Toyota, for example, unveiled their prototype community of the future that will be built near Mount Fuji. This city will fundamentally be built around autonomous vehicles and smart homes, striving for a vision of sustainable living.”
Enterprise Ireland Reception Event
Terry and Mahon said that the Enterprise Ireland networking event was very well attended, bringing together a diverse group of EI portfolio companies, industry executives with an Irish connection and those interested in innovative Irish technology companies.
“Our reception was an opportunity for peer-to-peer networking among our portfolio companies, allowing them to network and share experiences with one another,” said Mahon. “A topical area of discussion was the different strategies utilized by Irish companies at CES; some find it vital to have a physical footprint, i.e., a stand, whereas others just use the week as an opportunity to organize meetings with key customers and prospects.”
Enterprise Ireland was very fortunate to see an excellent representation of portfolio companies, including Black Knight, Cubic Telecom, Design Partners, Drop, FoodMarble, Jinga Life, Manna, Soapbox Labs, Sweepr, Taoglas, Video Elephant, Wisetek, and Xunison.
“We also invited industry executives from large tech corporations like Samsung and General Motors, who were curious to learn about the latest advancements coming from Ireland,” said Mahon. “This allowed us to showcase Ireland as a technological leader within the wider industry, at what is the largest tech conference in the US.”
CES 2020 was particularly exciting for Design Partners. They received a CES Innovation Award for their design collaboration with Logitech and celebrated several exciting new product launches with some of their clients, including Dell.
“CES is a great opportunity for us to meet new and existing clients to collaborate on future design innovations together,” said Cormac Ó Conaire, Creative Director, Design Partners. “Our mission is to Elevate Human Potential, and events like this give us an insight into what new products, technology, and trends are emerging that add real value to people’s lives.”
Niall Moloney, the VP Business Development for FoodMarble, commented that this was their fourth year at CES. The show represents an excellent opportunity for FoodMarble, allowing them to connect with many of their US business contacts, including potential retail and distribution partners, as well as investors.
“CES was a great success for us, and the event allowed us to connect with a number of key customers we have been talking to throughout the year,” said Moloney. “In addition, there are lots of interesting networking events around the show which allow us to connect with peers, new potential customers, and investors.”
Moloney added that while CES presents a perfect platform to showcase technology products, the show does require a lot of work, and it’s essential to try and arrange as many meetings as possible in advance.
“There are many great ancillary events that run alongside the event, including interesting talks and networking events,” said Moloney. “CES can prove to be a great gateway into the US market for consumer electronic/digital-based products.”
In addition to on-floor and reception event participation, several Enterprise Ireland clients made significant technology and partnership announcements. Click through the following links to read the full announcements:
Drop Collaborates with Panasonic to add Marvelous Microwaves to the Drop Platform
Horseware Ireland Announces Revolutionary Fitness Tracker for Horses Powered by Taoglas
Cubic Telecom and Manna Enable Connected Drones
Dublin Start-up Sweepr Secures Investment from Amazon Alexa Fund
Xunison Presents Three New Devices with Cutting Edge Smart Features