RALEIGH – CES, the annual consumer electronics show hosted in Las Vegas, began Wednesday, and a good sized delegation of North Carolina companies are at the show.

The status of the event was thrown into question after companies like Lenovo, Facebook parent company Meta, Twitter, and Greensboro’s Qorvo decided not to attend the event due to concerns about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Ultimately, convention organizer The Consumer Technology Association, decided to change the structure of the event, reducing it by one day, so it now runs through Jan. 7 instead of Jan. 8, as well as adapt the schedule accordingly.

Yet there are still some companies and startups based in North Carolina that will be participating, demonstrating technology, and engaging with attendees and guests at the event.

That includes Raleigh’s Valencell, which has developed a method of monitoring blood pressure accurately in the company’s wearable devices, which will be on display through live demonstrations at the event, according to the company’s vice president of marketing, Ryan Kraudel.

“The technology has been tested on thousands of patients around the world and is working through FDA clearance now,” said Kraudel.  Expectations for the event are a bit muted this year, said Kraudel, noting that Valencell has participated in CES since 2012 and the trade show has traditionally helped the company more than any other event held annually.

“We look forward to meeting with partners, customers, and media to discuss the future of medical wearables and digital health,” said Kraudel.

The convergence of consumer and medical wearables is one trend that accelerated in 2020 and 2021, said Kraudel, with the industry “still growing rapidly.”

After a decade of arguing that biometric wearables can be and are “a means-to-and-end towards improving public health at lower cost,” said Kraudel, the convergence of trends accelerated in 2020 and 2021 resulted in added attention, interest, and opportunity.

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Technology that will ‘retire’ video doorbells

Also attending is Charlotte-based 1AHEAD Technologies, whose founder and CEO Ronald Carter was recently named to the Forbes Tech Council.

1AHEAD developed a technology powered by artificial intelligence that Carter told WRAL TechWire in an interview was “designed to retire video doorbells.”

Carter is the inventor of U.S. patent #7,193,644, which he told WRAL TechWire involves wireless video surveillance, inclusive of video doorbells.  1AHEAD’s product, which will be on display at CES, is GLO, which Carter described as “a first-generation entry management device” that is “capable of raising the bar in the smart home sector.”

The GLO technology that will be on display at the company’s exhibit booth at CES, and the company has also patented “a new method of access utilizing networkable keys,” according to a company statement.

“The product versatility makes it attractive across multiple markets with an appeal to a very broad range of consumers,” said Carter, noting that obvious markets that could benefit will be residential property management and other real estate applications, including commercial, industrial, short term rentals, as well as the service industry.

“I saw an opportunity to shift the prospect of security to one of entry management,” said Carter.  Now, he’s demonstrating the technology the firm has developed at CES.

Image: 1AHEAD Technologies. 1AHEAD will demonstrate its technology at CES 2022.

Chapel Hill startup to pitch at CES as one of eight finalists on Jan. 6

Ultraloop, a Chapel Hill-based startup focusing on sanitation technology, was selected to pitch as one of eight finalists at a pitch contest held at CES on Jan. 6.  In addition, the company will exhibit its technology and announce the company’s newest products, including an updated Ultraloop X and the third generation of the company’s flagship product, Ultraloop 2.0.

The newest Ultraloop 2.0 will include fully automatic lid opening and closing for touchless sanitization of handheld items, and what the company said in a press statement was the industry’s “fastest sanitation time,” noting it was less than 15 seconds.

A spokesperson for the company also noted that the company plans to announce critical partnerships at CES.

WRAL TechWire profiled Ultraloop when it had closed $225,000 in funding, back in October 2021.  The company told WRAL TechWire that it has now closed “upwards of $500k.”

Chapel Hill’s Ultraloop, which focuses on sanitation tech, cleans up with in new funding

Other North Carolina exhibitors

The North Carolina Startup Pavilion returns to CES, as well, and this year will feature North Carolina State University’s commercialization office and the Research Triangle Regional Partnership.  Visitors to the booth will be able to discuss the latest technologies under development across North Carolina and economic development opportunities for companies interested in locating in the state and in the greater Research Triangle Region, that could include a site location in Chatham County that is reportedly under consideration from two semiconductor firms and a total of between 15 and 20 companies.

Semiconductor firms reportedly consider Triangle for massive manufacturing plant

Other North Carolina companies that are marked as attending include:

  • Adwerx
  • ASSIST Engineering Research Center
  • Enventys Partners
  • Great Star Industrial USA
  • KURZ
  • Nexperia
  • Sleepme Inc.
  • Telit Wireless Solutions
  • Transmira, Inc.
  • Verizon IIOT

Lenovo, Qorvo, and Wolfspeed are all marked as attending, however, Lenovo reportedly pulled out of the event last week, and spokespeople for both Qorvo and Wolfspeed told WRAL TechWire this week that the companies would not be exhibiting.

A spokesperson for BrightView Technologies, which WRAL TechWire recently profiled, said that the company will also have representatives at the event.

Eaton, headquartered outside of North Carolina, but with some 750 employees who work across five company facilities in the Raleigh area, as well as an additional 4,000 workers across 14 manufacturing locations in North Carolina, will be exhibiting at the event, a spokesperson for the company told WRAL TechWire.

‘Visual Intelligence’ for the metaverse: That’s aim for Triangle’s BrightView Technologies