SMETech

CES 2017: Good showing by Singapore companies in Las Vegas

Mr Darryl Tan of Singtel Innov8 (second from left) with the team from igloohome (from left): COO and co-founder Yue Wang, Mr Chow, Ms Hara Ku and Mr Kenny Wang, sales and marketing director. Presenting the local start-up's Tiny1 astronomy camera at L
Mr Darryl Tan of Singtel Innov8 (second from left) with the team from igloohome (from left): COO and co-founder Yue Wang, Mr Chow, Ms Hara Ku and Mr Kenny Wang, sales and marketing director. ST PHOTOS: LESTER HIO
Mr Darryl Tan of Singtel Innov8 (second from left) with the team from igloohome (from left): COO and co-founder Yue Wang, Mr Chow, Ms Hara Ku and Mr Kenny Wang, sales and marketing director. Presenting the local start-up's Tiny1 astronomy camera at L
Presenting the local start-up's Tiny1 astronomy camera at Las Vegas were (from far left) TinyMOS co-founder Mr Tan, Mr Jeston Teo and Mr Chia Lih Wei.ST PHOTOS: LESTER HIO

Republic's representatives put their products on the global stage at the tech expo

From a sleeping mat that measures the breathing rate of babies, to a tiny camera that can take pictures of the moon, Singaporean companies at the CES in Las Vegas this year showed off their wares, which competed with the best and newest of tech at the global trade show.

At least 20 Singapore firms exhibited at or attended CES this year, according to trade agency International Enterprise Singapore.

They were a mix of first-time exhibitors and seasoned veterans, and all were eager to show the world what sort of tech the nation has to offer.

Local healthcare electronics firm Ospicon showcased its Safetosleep sleep mat, which is designed to monitor the health and breathing rate of premature babies. It is fitted with fibre-optic sensors which measure a baby's breathing and send an alert to a mobile phone if it drops below a healthy range.

Home-grown audio company Creative Technology made its 17th appearance at the global trade show with its big gun, the Sonic Carrier.

The $7,999 speaker system - a personal project of Creative founder and chief executive Sim Wong Hoo - marries high-end home theatre surround sound with high-resolution music playback.

"This was something I designed for myself - something that met my needs and which I want to use myself," Mr Sim said.

Another veteran exhibitor was Mr Johnson Goh, chief executive of consumer gadget firm gosh!, who was showcasing a robot toy for pets named easyPlay.

The small robotic ball, which is controllable by a smartphone, is able to roll after pets and dispense treats.

The industry veteran, who is at his fifth CES, said that, while Singaporean firms have the unique products and innovation to compete with the rest of the world, they have to work on their marketing and publicity. "Much has to be done from the public relations perspective though, to build branding and awareness," said Mr Goh.

But being on the global tech stage was a huge step for CES first-timers, such as camera company TinyMOS and smart-lock company igloohome, which were gaining plenty of international attention. Both local firms had set up booths at the convention's Eureka Park, a marketplace dedicated to start-ups and new technology.

TinyMOS, which had a successful campaign run on crowdfunding website Indiegogo for its small astronomy camera, drew lots of curious eyes at the show.

"We got some pretty good leads, and a lot of interest," said co-founder Grey Tan. "Easily hundreds of people came to talk to us within the first two days of the show."

Early backers of the Tiny1 astronomy camera picked it up for US$399 (S$575).

The company is still taking pre- orders for US$449, and expects to retail the camera at US$459 by May at the earliest.

Smart-lock company igloohome had a similar experience, said its chief executive Anthony Chow. It designs smart locks for homes and recently developed the Smart Keybox, which allows homeowners who are letting out their homes to have a fuss-free way of leaving smart keys for their visitors.

"The crowd here has been really good. There were a lot of distributors who came by to talk to us - mostly from the United States and European markets, but also some from South America," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2017, with the headline 'Good showing by S'pore companies'. Print Edition | Subscribe