CES 2019: What We Learned From The World’s Biggest Tech Show

After CES 2019 it is always a good time to talk about what was showcased this year and bring scenarios in which technology is heading to. We invited Japanese startups and investors to share what they brought from Vegas and open a session for them to discuss their experiences at  in Kyoto.

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Every year all sorts of companies come together to CES to show off all the amazing things they’ve been working on and are getting ready to launch to consumers. With 4,500 exhibiting companies and 180,000 attendees from 150 countries, this massive event is the epicenter for the global technology industry, showcasing new product visions, futuristic concept designs, and in-depth discussions about the opportunities new technologies face. This time we asked Japanese entrepreneurs and investors to share their insights about most prominent trends and summarize their experience at CES 2019.

Makers Boot Camp CEO Narimasa Makino introduces a graphic recorder Asami Kubota

The full-house event kicked off with an welcoming speech from  CEO Narimasa Makino who greeted the audience and highlighted the importance of fostering hardware startups. After wrapping up his talk, he handed a mic to , a graphic recorder who handcrafts a live visual capture of presentations during an event. Graphic recording is a creative way to capture the main ideas delivered at live events, and turn them into memorable notes. When pulled together, the visual recordings tell a story in a most engaging and interesting way.


First startup: Hazumu Yamazaki from Empath

Empath CSO Hazumu Yamazaki shares his experience at CES 2019

When Empath team started building a vocal emotional AI in 2017, little they dreamed that within one year they’d be selected by the  and  acceleration programmes and win 8 international pitch competitions. Tokyo-based startup is developing emotion recognition program which can identify human emotion from the voice in real time, based on speech analysis of the speed, tone, and pitch. During his presentation, Empath CSO Hazumu Yamazaki demonstrated that emotions such as anxiety could be detectable with AI technology — something that already brought them customers from over 40 countries.


Second startup: Teplo co-founder and CEO Kazunori Kawanobe

Teplo successfully raised over $73,000 with 1,200 backers on Kickstarter.

Teplo co-founder Kazunori Kawanobe traveled to CES 2019 to unveil a new version of its smart tea bottle that allows users to set tea brewing parameters using smartphones. A Tokyo-based startup led by a Babson MBA graduates provides new experience to tea drinkers who can automate, control and monitor the brewing temperatures and time of their tea according to their mood The startup came to CES under , a pioneering government initiative, and was able to grab a 2019 Innovation Awardee. Kazunori Kawanobe shared valuable tips on how to can get the most value from the biggest tech event of the year and talked about costs of attending CES.

‘As a startup, get ready for shelling out some cash. The estimated trade show budget is 50,000 yen per person — and you need at least two team members to fly to Las Vegas’, says Kazunori Kawanobe.


Third startup: mui Lab. CEO Kazunori Oki

Smart home display integrates seamlessly to the home interior — mui calls it ‘calm design’

Mui, a wooden smart display, was named as CES 2019 Innovation Awardee and it’s easy to see why. This piece of sleek wood is an IoT device with built-in touch and wireless sensors that displays temperature, voicemail messages and Google search results. When talking about reasons why a startup should attend CES, mui CEO Kazunori Oki mentioned great networking opportunities and media coverage. This year his company gained a great media exposure and was featured on  and other leading media channels.


First Keynote Speaker: Mikuni Kimura, Partner at Darma Tech Labs

Mikuni Kimura, Partner at Darma Tech Labs, shows the map of CES 2019 locations

While CES is a event for consumer industry buyers and sellers, it also serves as a beacon for those interested in assessing upcoming trends, such as investors. Mikuni Kimura flew all the way round from Japan to get a glimpse of innovative products and provide a support to the Makers Boot Camp portfolio startups  and . According to his observations, tech for sleep monitoring and enhancing has emerged as one of the hottest trends in CES 2019. In terms of participants, he highlighted that, once more, French tech startups outnumbered others at Eureka Park.

According to , there were 315 French startups at Eureka Park, followed by 293 from the U.S., and 107 from South Korea.


Second Keynote Speaker: Hikaru Tomura, CEO of Hack Jpn

Hikaru Tomura, CEO of Hack Jpn, have attended CES for several years

The last speaker was Hikaru Tomura, CEO of Hack Jpn, a platform which connects Japanese students to startups for internships in the Valley. He presented his findings in the extensive report and offered the audience notable insights about CES 2019 trends.

‘This year drones took the tech world by storm and newer cutting edge innovations in drone tech have made many jaws dropped. Also, it was no surprise that many of the exhibits at CES 2019 were centered around 5G’, said Hikaru Tomura.

Networking session