The zone for startups and entrepreneurs included a company that hopes to market a light AC/DC power converter for mobile devices

LAS VEGAS — Of particular interest to me at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show are startups and new innovators, which can be found at CES’ Eureka Park. The site is where retailers, venture capitalists, manufacturers and others can find entrepreneurs, startups and home grown innovation.

Here are three award winners  that caught my attention. I asked them three questions: what is the value, what are your goals, and what is your journey/passion?

Dr. Nadia Pervez, VP operations, Chromation

Chromation is commercializing a compact, low cost sensor for light and color measurement. It’s smaller, lighter, and cheaper than competing products and enables the development of handheld instruments that consumers can afford for applications such as color measurement, pool and spa testing, and home health devices.

In 2014 we will be releasing a developer’s kit and establishing quality control procedures in preparation for large scale production. Our goals over the next three years include identifying additional partners who can bring this technology to markets that are priced out by spectrometers or are uniquely enabled by an ultra-portable device.

When I was an undergraduate I designed an antenna for a class that was fabricated with unknown material properties. While trying to characterize it, I realized that many of the assumptions we make about materials shape how we think about design. Understanding and relaxing those assumptions creates new design possibilities.

Vanessa Green, CEO, FINsix Corp.

FINsix makes the smallest, lightest AC/DC power converters in the world.  Our first product is a 65W notebook power adapter that is 4x smaller and 6x lighter than anything on the market today.  It is designed as a convenient wall plug with both a laptop and USB output for simultaneous charging of your computer plus any USB device.

We aim to start shipping our tiny 65W adapter in mid-2014.  The product will come in multiple colors and will be compatible as a replacement adapter with major laptop brands.  In parallel, we will work closely with OEMs to integrate FINsix converters.  By 2016 we aim to have them embedded in everything from laptops, to flat screen TVs, gaming console and even LED fixtures.

FINsix was founded at MIT by a core team of technologists from the LEES Lab.  We aim to make all electronic devices lighter and smaller by bringing a disruptive new technology – VHF power – to the $40B power conversion market.

Marita Cheng, Founder & CEO, 2Mar Robotics

2Mar Robotics makes robotic arms for people with limited upper mobility.  It’s iPhone controllable.  It means people with disabilities will be able to open doors, scratch their eyebrows, or pick their keys up from the ground if they’ve dropped them.  It will give them independence and agency!

For 2014, we aim to deliver our first product to our customers.  For 2015, we want to build up a community.  By 2016, we want to create a robotic arm that is useful to mass-market consumers in a similar way to your computer.

Milestones:

2008 – founded Robogals Global – Robogals.org, to get girls interested in robotics

2009 – Robogals expanded throughout Australia

2010 – Robogals expanded throughout UK

2012 – was named Young Australian of the Year, transitioned from Robogals

2013 – started 2Mar Robotics, graduated from mechatronics engineering/ computer science at the University of Melbourne

Drives my passion:  I always want to do the hardest thing, so that I can learn as much as I can.  I always try and do things before I’m ready.  I want to put a robot in every home.

Here are two others I spotted at the show:

BeSpoon

A fabless semiconductor company, they have chips which provide indoor location capabilities within inches and can be implemented in mobile devices.

Touchjet Pte. Ltd.

They produce a smart Android OS pico projector that transforms any surface into an interactive up to 80 inch tablet and can screencast from mobile devices. They are the winner of CES Launchit competition and received the Envisioneering’s Innovation and Design Award for ShowStoppers at CES 2014.

I’ll have more reports shortly from the show.

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