My team and I spent CES away from the noise of the main hall, looking instead for the up-and-coming innovations in tech and emerging media. Most of the best opportunities tend to be off the strip in closed-door meetings and unique demo opportunities. We travelled from the UNLV Robotics Lab to multiple Innovation Cocktails to VC demo-days, deeply imbedding ourselves at Eureka Park where the hottest new startups showcase “what’s next.” Here are the five companies that brands should know about:
Kino-mo holo-displays dazzled at Eureka Park. 3D visuals of Big Macs, Nike shoes, Pikachu’s, and even investor Mark Cuban’s face danced overhead as hordes of passersby looked up in awe. This cost-effective and scalable hologram-like solution presents a unique opportunity to captivate audiences with high impact displays out-of-home, in-store, or at events.
See it in action:
LifePrint is the first augmented reality social network that allows videos come to life – yes, you can literally print videos. Following a remarkable run this holiday season where the printer sold out globally in Apple stores, LifePrint will continue to make OOH, print, and in-store applications come to life while enabling brands to print out videos globally, at scale.
Everyone at CES was talking about voice-activation from Siri to Alexa, but one company is well ahead in creating voice-activated content: Ear-Play. Ear-Play is a new storytelling medium for audio entertainment lovers. Experience deeper immersion and emotional connection as you become part of the story in conversation with characters you love. The branded content opportunities are immense and the scale between Alexa and Siri make this a very special opportunity for brands.
As robots begin to think and see, Tanvas promises to let humans “rediscover touch.” Using surface haptics technology, Tanvas enables real-time control of the forces acting between a fingertip and the touch surface, which creates multisensory experiences and rich interactions. This lets users feel the textures of clothes before buying online, add a new layer of engagement to gameplay, or create memorable on-site experiential activations. Tanvas unlocks a new level of creative freedom and interactivity without any need for a headset or hand trackers.
Developed as an app for the visually impaired, Aipoly gives sight through artificial intelligence. Simply point your phone at virtually any object and a voice describes what you’re looking at. The algorithm it uses covers over 10 million (and growing) objects, so it can identify nearly everything including plants, clothing, food, animals, art, you name it. The commercial opportunity here is great as well. Scan a box of Frosted Flakes and find info on the product, where it’s sold, and deals.
The truly game-changing, first-to-market opportunities aren’t always easy to find given the sheer size and noise of CES, but these five companies stood out from the rest. Possessing the ability to provide advertisers unique ways to connect with their consumers, these early stage companies will help brands cut through the clutter by providing never-before-seen ideas and driving loyalty and brand impact.