Czech firms have been seen and heard at Eureka Park during CES 2018 in Las Vegas

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In the second week of January, six Czech firms and start-ups headed to Las Vegas for this year’s edition of the annual CES international trade fair. The entire event is held in two locations, namely the Sands Expo and the Convention Centre. The Czech expedition had its stands at Eureka Park. Crowds comprising thousands of people daily encountered the Czech firms, which shared their impressions with us and we asked each of the firms one particular question.

We asked the Czech start-up Oscar Senior, which is one of ten start-ups from Central and Eastern Europe participating in the Residency Programme at Google Campus Warsaw, how it sees its participation in CES 2018 in comparison with its attendance of the event in 2017.

Tomáš Posker, CEO Oscar Senior, compared the two events for us, saying: “Last year, it was our first major experience with that kind of exhibition, so we are better prepared this year with respect to what we’re looking for in particular (Telco, Care). This is clearly connected with the new product that we are presenting here (HW+SW), which we worked on together with a major partner over the past several months. I must also mention the much better location of our stand.”

The Czech start-up Actijoy, which received its first large investment in the amount of CZK 30 million a few weeks ago, is aiming mainly at the American market, where there are more than 80 million household pets that can use the firm’s smart collars and food/water bowls. We asked Actijoy co-founder Robert Hašek about the company’s plans for the American market and how participation in CES 2108 has helped Actijoy in that respect.

“We are currently in the production process and we are preparing to enter the US market. This step has been accelerated by an investment that we received from our partner in the pet market, which pushed us closer to entering the market. Besides production, we are preparing a distribution network and seeking out contacts. And in that aspect, CES has been very helpful to us. In one place, we met with not only innovators, start-ups and the expert public, but also with buyers and wholesale partners. We will take home from CES more than 100 contacts, which will greatly facilitate this step,” says Robert Hašek.

Sentry company from Jablonec travelled to CES 2018 to present its multi-function designer photo frame, which automatically displays selected photographs and videos. What is the most frequent use of the photo frame?

The Executive Head, René Gubančok, explains: “FrameXX reflects current needs. Unlike standard photo frames connected to USB or SD cards, FrameXX displays content from LANs (SMB, FTP, DLNA), Flickr, Instagram, Facebook and Dropbox. The integrated web browser can display any website. The IPTV module offers recording of selected television channels and all presentation scenarios support synchronisation. The revolutionary InView functionality (immediate preview, presented for the first time at CES 2018) can provide the fastest and easiest way of sending images and video files from Android and Apple telephones or from any computer browser directly to the FrameXX PhotoFrame program. Images are displayed immediately in FrameXX, so the user, located anywhere in the world, can experience the same feeling as the image’s creator.”

 

At CES 2018, the Ostrava-based firm ApuTime presented its web application for project management, which is built on three basic pillars – emotion, visualisation and game elements. The application can help to increase performance motivation, formulate predictions and optimise processes by means of artificial intelligence. Who showed the greatest interest in the application?

The company’s COO, Martin Lonský, answered: “Users of competing products who have encountered their limitations or whose needs are not fulfilled by those products. People are aware that if they want to effectively manage their projects, then it is necessary to know as much about them as possible. But how can they do that when their colleagues don’t work with the application sufficiently or even not at all? That is what we are most focused on with ApuTime. We are attempting to gamify it to the greatest possible extent and make everything easier with integration of #slack, for example.”

 

HE3DA is a unique global project involving production of batteries that will be ideal for household and industrial storage of electricity in combination with solar panels, as well as part of backup systems and charging stations for electric vehicles. Jan Procházka, the company’s director and a recognised scientist and inventor, travelled to Las Vegas with his patented battery for the first time. We asked him whether he managed to obtain any strategic contacts at CES 2018 and about the potential market for his technology.

Jan Procházka answered: “Yes, we got a lot of important contacts with major firms and potential customers. Even before CES 2018, we had meetings with the Nevada state government and several entities that are helping us implement our project involving the construction of a giga-plant in Nevada. During CES 2018, we had the opportunity to meet in person with numerous international private firms and we arranged further meetings with them. CES greatly surprised us this year with the tremendous interest in energy-storage technologies, as many firms are focusing on building so-called “smart cities” and production of electric vehicles. Those firms are urgently seeking suppliers of safe, cheap and reliable technologies for storing energy, such as HE3DA offers.”

The Czech firm 2Realistic s.r.o. is seeking new methods for visualisation of products. Why did the firm shift away from its original focus on virtual reality and in what does it see the future of its sector?

Martin Juraj explains: “We have long been striving to combine modern marketing methods, thus seeking out new challenges and effective solutions to current problems. Virtual reality can be a very powerful tool for eliciting emotions among visitors, for example, and for drawing attention at exhibitions, but it is not the only tool. In our opinion, more attention has generally been focused on it than it deserves. Furthermore, it’s very easy to focus on VR today, anyone can get started, a lot of low-quality content is appearing and users must be very confused. At CES, we preferred to present our new web-configurator solution, with which we will get a much more realistic picture than would ordinarily be possible otherwise. I’m convinced that it makes sense to focus on high-quality content rather than just the current hot trends.”

Four Czech start-ups participated in CES 2018 with financial support from the CzechDemo programme, which is being implemented within the Marketing Programme, Priority Axis 2 – Development of Business and Competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprise, of the Operational Programme Enterprise and Innovation for Competitiveness.