Toronto Star

Canadian delegation lands at CES

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


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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