Here to Help or Hug

November 13, 2015
For decades, robots and robot-like machines have fascinated and inspired us. Parallel to the advancement of technology and engineering, robots have steadily migrated from the pages of science fiction novels to take their place in our culture and economies—from factory floors to living rooms. In most cases, the implementation of robots and robotic technology centers on performing tasks. From welding to vacuuming, robots are performing jobs that are dirty, dangerous, or just plain dull. But as the pace of innovation continues to quicken, robots—in tandem with artificial intelligence (AI)—are evolving to perform roles and services.   Before we leap into a future...

Whistle Sports Network, Innovation Entrepreneur Award, 2015 Startup of the Year

November 12, 2015
Sports broadcasting is a billion-dollar business, but it’s got one handicap: Young people aren’t watching TV anymore. The mobile-first Whistle Sports Network is capturing that younger demographic by the millions, with more than 300 member content creators. Rather than focusing solely on the hyperelite figures in sports – though it does have many relationships with professional leagues and athletes – Whistle is embracing the idea that sports is everywhere. “Sports happen outside stadiums a lot more often than they happen inside a stadium. And sports don’t necessarily need an entire team to play,” Executive Vice President Brian Selander says. It...

Paper Battery Company, Innovation Entrepreneur Award, 2015 Startup of the Year

November 12, 2015
It’s a challenge for traditional batteries to deliver peak power without a lot of bulk. The Paper Battery Co. is starting to ship supercapacitors that are paper-thin, flexible, and capable of recharging fast and high-power pulses, with a longer lifespan and a lower risk of overheating compared to chemical batteries. Paper Battery got its start at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in upstate New York: The three inventors, all post-doctorates, had been working on a project involving a medical device made with nanomaterials. As they were working with the device, one of them realized that, with some modifications, its architecture could be used as a battery. They tested the idea...

Hong Lip Yow, Trident Case, Innovation Entrepreneur Award, 2015 Small Business Executive of the Year

November 12, 2015
Live with impact: That’s Hong Lip Yow’s goal for his business as well as his life. The CEO of Trident Case aims to provide consumers the maximum protection for their mobile devices, and in the process he continues to give back to the community. Growing up in Malaysia, Yow was influenced greatly by his Chinese immigrant father, who ran a lumber shop and taught him about responsibility to the local community and his employees. Yow draws on those origins to create the culture at Trident, which is excelling at creating local jobs and charitable partnerships as well as innovative products. Trident is best known for its protective cases that are made from bio-enhanced plastics and...

AcousticSheep, Innovation Entrepreneur Award, 2015 Small Business of the Year

November 12, 2015
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of Americans don’t get enough sleep, which affects health, productivity and relationships. Back in 2007, family physician Wei-Shin Lai was having trouble sleeping. “I would get phone calls at 3 AM from someone with a medication question or from a parent about a sick child, and it would be really hard for me to get to sleep afterward,” she recalls. “I didn’t want to take anything for it, because I’d have to be awake for the next phone call and the next morning. My husband suggested that I listen to some music to fall back asleep, but headphones and earbuds weren’t...

Innovation in Action

November 12, 2015
CTA’s Innovation Entrepreneur Awards program recognizes executives and businesses with revenues under $30 million for the contributions they make to the U.S. economy. The plan in 2015 was to recognize one small business, one startup and one individual executive, but the field was so rich with contenders that the panel of judges selected two startups this year. This year’s award winners are creating the future of consumer electronics from all across America (click for more information): Acoustic Sheep, the maker of SleepPhones Trident Case CEO Hong Lip Yow Sports video startup Whistle Sports Network Supercapacitor-based energy storage and battery enhancement technology...

Wearables Get a Facelift

October 30, 2015
Wearables and fitness bands are now big business. At the 2015 International CES fitness bands were more plentiful than almost anything else on the show floor. Quoting David Pogue, Yahoo! tech editor, “you couldn’t throw a frisbee at CES without hitting a new fitness band or wearable.” But at the end of the day, the best fitness tracker is the one you’ll actually keep wearing, not relegating it to the back of the closet or putting it on eBay after a few weeks. This year manufacturers are doubling up on their efforts to keep you engaged and actively using your wearables...

Risks Weigh to the Downside

October 26, 2015
When forecasters talk about risks, we talk about risks relative to our forecasts. We weigh these risks in balance with our forecasts. Forecasters are first, and foremost, concerned with accuracy—anything that causes actual results to deviate from our projects are risks to our forecast. Consequently, there are risks to the upside and risks to the downside. Upside risks drive the actual outcomes higher than our projections and forecasts. Most would view these as favorable risks. Downside risks are the inverse. They pull actual outcomes below forecast projections. As I weigh the aggregate risks to our forecasts as we enter the back half of 2015, they are decidedly to the downside...

Market Research Update: August-September 2015

October 09, 2015
CEA's Market Research Department has released its bimonthly research update infographic. This edition focuses on accessories at retail, back to school shopping and upcoming research.
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