Cana­dian del­e­ga­tion lands at CES

Coun­try has sent 62 firms rang­ing from star­tups to estab­lished com­pa­nies as part of of­fi­cial group

Toronto Star - - BUSINESS - MICHAEL LEWIS BUSI­NESS RE­PORTER

An in­frared sen­sor that traces ob­jects in three dimensions along with a fit­ness rower equipped with an im­mer­sive HD touch­screen are among Cana­dian prod­ucts be­ing show­cased at the world’s largest con­sumer elec­tron­ics show in Las Ve­gas this week.

Toronto-based Av­i­ron In­ter­ac­tive Inc. de­buted its flag­ship row­ing ma­chine — which it says aims to bring a “more con­nected, col­lab­o­ra­tive and com­pet­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence to tra­di­tional fit­ness equip­ment” — at the Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics Show (CES) as part of the first of­fi­cial Cana­dian trade del­e­ga­tion.

The group in­cludes 62 com­pa­nies rang­ing from star­tups to estab­lished ven­tures, with a num­ber of ad­di­tional com­pa­nies at­tend­ing on their own and not as part of a del­e­ga­tion.

Twelve of the 62, all from On­tario, are ex­hibit­ing at the Cana­dian Pavil­ion space across from the north hall en­trance of the Las Ve­gas Con­ven­tion Cen­ter. CES is a mas­sive show that last year fea­tured more than 4,000 ex­hibit­ing com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing more than 600 star­tups and an ex­hibit space of 2.6 mil­lion square feet.

On­tario Min­istry of In­ter­na­tional Trade com­mis­sioner Mauri­cio Ospina, who said he ad­vo­cated the coun­try pavil­ion con­cept adopted at CES this year, said a large num­ber of com­pa­nies from the western prov­inces are part of the del­e­ga­tion at­tend­ing the show, which be­gan Tues­day and wraps up Fri­day.

He ex­pects next year’s Cana­dian team to be even larger and fea­ture a sig­nif­i­cant Que­bec pres­ence.

Early stage com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Cloud DX Inc. of Kitch­ener, were set­ting up their dis­plays and demos early Tues­day be­fore meet­ing with po­ten­tial part­ners and dis­trib­u­tors in the hopes that their prod­ucts will be li­censed by larger plat­forms.

It’s a show where col­lab­o­ra­tive meet­ings abound, li­cens­ing ar­range­ments are crafted and where “peo­ple are in the mood to do a deal,” Cloud DX CEO Robert Kaul said in an in­ter­view from Las Ve­gas.

Kaul said he’s op­ti­mistic the com­pany’s small del­e­ga­tion can gen­er­ate in­ter­est for Cloud DX dig­i­tal tools that mea­sure health and well­ness, in­clud­ing Pulse­wave, an up­per-arm blood pres­sure cuff that con­nects with a com­puter or An­droid tablet so that users can see their heart­beat on the screen.

“You don’t come down here cold,” Kaul said, sug­gest­ing that meet­ings with a num­ber of big play­ers in the con­nected health-care space have been pre-ar­ranged. “It should be fun,” he added. Andy Hoang, CEO of fit­ness tech­nol­ogy ven­dor Av­i­ron, said the com­pany is demon­strat­ing its flag­ship row­ing ma­chines at CES that fea­ture a screen con­nected to the com­pany’s net­work and tech­nol­ogy that al­lows com­pe­ti­tion with chal­lengers to, as Av­i­ron says, “make row­ing off the wa­ter an en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence.”

XYZ In­ter­ac­tive is an­other On­tario ven­ture ex­hibit­ing at the show as it seeks global part­ners and sys­tem in­te­gra­tors to scale its 3D po­si­tion­ing and ges­ture sen­sor tech­nol­ogy. CEO Michael Kosic said the tech­nol­ogy de­ter­mines the pre­cise lo­ca­tion of three-dimensiona­l ob­jects us­ing low-cost in­frared com­po­nents li­censed or un­der owned trade­marks.

XYZ has granted and pend­ing patents for its method that can be ap­plied to home au­to­ma­tion ap­pli­ca­tions, in­clud­ing the con­trol of light switches. The Toronto com­pany says it has sold more than a mil­lion units with its sen­sor tech­nol­ogy for use in ap­pli­ca­tions in­clud­ing ro­bot­ics and wear­ables.

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