CRL on CES 2017

Amid the recent questioning of the UK government’s support of British tech startups and firms and their low representation at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, the Central Research Laboratory (CRL), were already on a plane out there. We wanted to be sure we were represented and to judge for ourselves, just what was all the fuss about?

From a practical, on the ground perspective, the opinion from our startups and product and business development experts, is it really worth the time and money to be there?

Visited by around 185,000 people and with 1000s of exhibitors, it’s a super sized, daunting place and perhaps easy to get lost or overlooked if you don’t have the presence and numbers behind you.

In between scouting the latest tech and hardware trends, walking 15km a day and getting lost in the colossal Venetian Hotel, our Product Development Lead, Alex Peet, took the opportunity to talk with Jim Rhodes, co-founder of one of CRL’s graduate companies, Those Ltd.

Positioned in Eureka Park, Jim discusses the new product JOTO, his thoughts of CES and the role the CRL had played in getting them to this stage. They had also been lucky enough to be invited to share a stand with Hardware Trek, the Shenzhen based contract manufacturer & project planning platform.

JOTO Interview at CES 2017.
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Famously Apple don’t exhibit at CES because as the world’s biggest consumer electronics company, they really don’t need the marketing. But just because they aren’t on the trade show floor, doesn’t mean that they aren’t there.

The big decisions, partnerships and future deals of the big tech companies don’t get made on the floor, they all happen behind closed doors in one of the mammoth hotel rooms (‘the hangover suite’ was a favourite of ours).

The answer to the original question “what’s all the fuss about?” If you’re a technology company and not at CES, then your fingers not on the pulse, so don’t be too surprised if you miss a beat and get left behind by new companies with bigger, better and cleverer things. CES is indeed a trip worth taking.