ces 2014: hardware start-ups are big at consumer electronics show
One night this week, misvu, the founder of Misfit, was hidden in the smallest corner of the huge consumer electronics show.
Redwood City, California
The company does not have a well-built trade booth with flashing lights and dancing music.
It\'s just deja vu, not intimidated by his lack of props, standing next to a table showing some glowing samples, and the company\'s new activity monitor is related to the size and shape of the Nilla Wafer.
Despite the small size of the company and its products, they are a symbol of the biggest trend presented at CES this week: it has become a golden age for consumer electronics to startups.
Like many new hardware companies, Misfit is taking advantage of the reduced cost of components
Capital, cheap manufacturing, and the ability to build low-cost products with mobile platforms such as smartphones. cost device.
The combination of these forces and other forces is creating a hardware start --
Is changing the frenzy of long-time influential trade shows dominated by tech giants.
It also provides some much-needed adrenaline and hope for the struggling consumer electronics industry, which has seen growth stagnate and finds its sales expected to decline this year.
\"It\'s definitely easier to build these types of things,\" Vu said . \". \"Crowd-
Money really changed everything.
Now, people are open to buying things without big brands.
It is a good time in this space.
\"Of course, at CES this week, attendees saw the usual jaw-dropping March --
Executives of big tech companies have introduced gadgets in luxury theme notes: 120-Inch super high
Vizio\'s hd TV, Samsung\'s curved TV, LG\'s refrigerator, can reply to text messages.
While big TV makes headlines, consumers disagree.
Consumer spending on technology has remained flat in recent years.
Consumer Electronics Association this week.
CES\'s organizers released a report predicting that global consumer spending on technology will fall by 1% in 2014.
To a large extent, consumers only buy smartphones and tablets, now accounting for 66% of all such consumption, and almost all sales in other product categories are declining.
Even in the field of mobile products, consumers are turning to cheaper and smaller products to make smaller profits.
\"In terms of selling to the high end, we really took the cream off the top --
\"The end market,\" said Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis at CEA, adding that the industry needed a new catalyst to ignite growth.
Like a hint, start-
This week, the up cavalry rushed into CES.
Digitally, these small companies have far-reaching implications for the world\'s largest technology trade show.
Just a few years ago, when Microsoft announced its exit from CES and other big companies reduced their presence, many began writing obituary for the show.
On the contrary, this year CES has set a new record of 3,200 exhibitors in more than 2 million square feet of exhibition space --
Or enough to accommodate about 35 football fields.
This is from 3,000 exhibitors and 1.
There were 92 million square feet last year.
A healthy part of this growth comes from the hardware-enabled population --
According to CEA spokesman Laura Hubbard, ups.
While these startups themselves are small, there are several areas at CES that bring them together to help attract attention to them.
The influential Silicon Valley technology blog TechCrunch held the first \"Hardware Battlefield\" ever at CES \".
Hardware starts all week.
Ups stepped onto the stage to market their merchandise to the panel of judges, including craft expert Martha Stewart, who will help select the winner of the $50,000 prize.
Eureka Park is a traditional starting point
The upper reaches of CES received 200 companies this year, up 40% from last year.
It adds a new area called Eureka Park: for companies that have surpassed start-ups, the next step is
But it is not ready to graduate to the main trade show.
In the aisles of Eureka Park, participants stumbled through a variety of hardware starting points --up hopefuls.
There are accessories for small tools such as curved brackets or tablet cases.
But then there were more ambitious products like the holographic display, the new 3-
D. print materials, a pet webcam that allows owners to talk to pets when they are not at home, and a panoramic camera ball that can be thrown in the air to shoot 360-degree photos.
After years of focusing on the Internetbased start-
Ups looks cheap and easy to roll out, with a long list of factors making it easier for entrepreneurs to switch to making physical electronics.
The cost of many components, such as sensors, has dropped sharply.
Because so many people have smartphones and tablets, entrepreneurs can make gadgets that don\'t have a screen and are controlled by an app, such as Shine that doesn\'t fit.
In addition, the boutique manufacturing business is booming all over the United States. S.
Low in Asia
Cost options for manufacturing small batches of new products.
And powerful, cheap 3-rise
D printers that allow rapid prototyping of products have handed over design tools that were once the exclusive domain of big companies to little ones.
In fact, one of the best
Attending the CES press conference was the MakerBot press conference on Monday, where the company released three new versions of 3-D printer.
\"If you have an idea and want to push it to the world, you have to be an industry tycoon in the past,\" MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis said on Monday . \".
\"Now you just need an idea and are willing to fail before it works.
\"But this is probably the most important thing for the startup of the new hardware --
Up movement is the role of the crowd-
Funding platforms such as KickStarter and Indiegogo.
Vu and Misfit raised $846,000 in Indiegogo, enabling them to shine and heat.
By using Indiegogo and Kickstarter, entrepreneurs can reduce risk by ensuring that consumers are already interested in their gadgets.
Many of these sponsors provide not only money, but also ideas and feedback to help shape the product when designing it.
Indiegogo, who only attended CES last year, became a major sponsor of Eureka Park this year and hosted an Indiegogo zone within the startup. up area.
Kate Drane, design and technical director at Indiegogo, spoke to the CES panel this week and noted that most of the activities to raise more than $1 million were for technical hardware products.
The name of the panel?
\"How IndieGogo will help save an ancient industry on the verge of death. \"chris. obrien@latimes.