Cold weather can't freeze innovation

By: Michael Price Thursday January 16, 2014 0 comments Tags: Michael Price

The night I arrived in Las Vegas for CES 2014, I couldn't wait for the next day to check out trending new innovations.

Approximately 150,000 other people were expected to arrive at CES, but a winter storm took its toll on travelers. Later that evening on my way to an event, my cabbie pointed to the sky and observed there were fewer planes lined up to land than in previous years. Turns out, the freezing temperatures across the nation wreaked havoc on CES travelers, preventing many of them from arriving on time.

My first morning at CES 2014 was decidedly less crowded (at first) but no less interesting. After all, the cold weather didn't stop 136 companies from CCW states from exhibiting on the show floor (41 CO, 21 AZ, 30 NV, 43 UT, 1 WY). If you haven't been to CES, it's hard to describe how enormous it is, but nonetheless, I tracked down some great companies and checked in to see what innovations they had brought with them to Vegas.

Back again is Able Planet whose CEO, Kevin Semcken, I interviewed at CES 2013. I kicked off my trip this year by happily purchasing a set of Able Planet headphones at Denver International Airport. Another audio company, Westone, says its products are "Handcrafted in Colorado Springs for musicians."

Well-known Colorado companies like DISH Network and OtterBox were back featuring new and upgraded products, but there were also startups looking to get noticed. This year, CES hosted startups at Eureka Park. One such company, Momentum Labs, is in the process of trying to get its products into big stores like Walmart with a line of mobile accessories. They're targeting fashionable consumers with a product called Elektra Nails. It's great to see a company thinking about how women use technology. With an Elektra Nail on your finger, you can interact with your phone just like anyone else.  The company bills it as, "The world's only fingernail stylus."

Mobile phone use is exploding, so it's not surprising that many of the mobile-based companies were located in a central exhibit. The iLounge area was a mecca of phone covers, power devices, storage and more. It was like navigating a football field filled with smart phone accessories. There was something for everyone.

There doesn't seem to be any category from televisions to automobiles that hasn't been impacted by the mobile market.  Integration with mobile technology was a must for the majority of exhibitors at CES.

My feet were worn, but my experience at CES was fantastic. Colorado was well represented and should be proud to have shared so many great companies with the rest of the world.

Guess no matter how cold it gets, you can't stop innovation.
Michael Price

About the Author: Michael Price

Michael Price is CEO of NewsDesk Ninja, Inc., which builds software for the marketing and communications industries. NewsDesk’s first project is Echovo (www.echovo.com), which helps large groups of people to easily work together as a team on social media. Michael is an accomplished-and-results-driven software developer with over a decade of experience in software, design, data analytics and strategic communications.