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CTA Awards Tech Companies for Accessibility and Innovation


CES stands for innovators and the promise and power of technology. Nowhere is this more evident than in the accessible technology that is spread out across the show floor. Technology has the power to work for people of all ages and abilities. The CTA Foundation is proud to support organizations using innovative technologies that have a positive impact on the lives of seniors and those with disabilities.

The CTA Foundation again partnered with the Extreme Tech Challenge to hold the Eureka Park Accessibility Contest. Five winners were selected from more than 200 startups based upon the potential of their technology to improve the lives of seniors and those with disabilities. They each received $2,500 and a booth in Eureka Park. This year’s winners are:

Lili Smart uses an app interface, in home sensors and a wearable to monitor people receiving care, allowing the 24/7 organization to exchange the information needed to care for a loved one from a distance.

Project Ray develops phones for individuals with visual impairments of all ages to help them connect, communicate and socialize.

SignAll is an automated software that translates sign language to text.

SofiHub uses the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence to create an at-home assistant for seniors, keeping them safe by setting important reminders, creating reports for caregivers and sending out alerts in cases of emergency.

Unaliwear is a voice activated smartwatch designed to keep seniors safe and healthy without requiring a smartphone, by giving reminders, detecting falls and summoning emergency assistance.

In addition, the foundation was involved in other events around CES. Olli, the world’s most accessible self-driving vehicle, was displayed in the grand lobby in the LVCC. The foundation partnered with IBM and Local Motors to crowdsource how to make Olli more accessible throughout this year.

The foundation also hosted two panels this year around accessibility. The first was on smart home technology and the second was on self-driving vehicles.

We awere proud to again host the Accessible Leaders tour in conjunction with CTA’s Government and Legal Affairs Team. The tour connected leading disability advocates with industry to help facilitate the dialogue necessary to continue the development of accessible technologies. 

CES 2018 is the global stage where next generation innovations are introduced into the marketplace. We are proud to support the participation of companies and industry professionals representing the benefits that accessible technology can bring to people of all abilities. We want to hear from you if your company or someone you know exhibited  a technology helping people of all abilities and ages live more independently. 

Innovation Entrepreneur Award Winners

The 2017 Innovation Entrepreneur Awards (IEA), sponsored by It Is Innovation magazine and CTA’s Small Business Council, recognize exceptional small companies with revenues under $30 million. The three awards, presented at CTA’s Innovate Celebrate Conference in San Francisco, recognize one inspiring executive, one exceptional CT company and one startup that thinks outside the box.

Aira, IEA’s Startup winner combines artificial intelligence and augmented reality with human interaction to enable the blind to access information on demand. The company uses camera-equipped smart glasses that allow people with vision loss to connect to a network of certified agents for assistance that provide the wearer with information on navigating streets to shopping and workplace tasks. “Dashboard agents can see whatever the blind person sees in real time in less than half a second,” Aira CEO Suman Kanuganti said. “It’s pretty amazing how our explorers are taking this technology and discovering a multitude of ways to incorporate it into their daily lives.”

Tom DeVesto, IEA’s Small Business Executive has been designing CE brands known for their outstanding sound quality and launching innovative products at Advent, Kloss Video, Cambridge SoundWorks and Tivoli Audio for 40 years. In 2016, he founded Como Audio. He also introduced the concept of selling electronics to consumers on a website called hifi.com – a frontrunner to Amazon. He said, “I hope that people start demanding higher quality resolution and higher quality music reproduction because it sounds different – it sounds much better.”

GoSun, IEA’s Small Business winner developed a patented technology that cooks a meal in minutes within its solar-powered, fuel-free stove. GoSun is bringing its technology to emerging markets to address issues in health, sustainability and energy poverty. Currently GoSun is releasing hyper-efficient electric-hybrid cooking solutions. CEO and Founder Patrick Sherwin said, “It’s hard to believe that just five years ago I was prototyping these products in a garage and now we have 15,000 customers in more than 60 countries.”

Anthony Maestri

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