i3 | January 12, 2022

Vancouver, Canada

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Skyline of Vancouver and a map of Canada

CES Brings Vancouver to Vegas

Vancouver cleantech startup RainStick received a Best of CES 2022 Innovation Award for its smart shower technology. The Wi-Fi-enabled circular shower saves 80% water and up to 80% energy of other shower heads — saving nearly 200 bottles of water per shower, while still offering a spa-like experience at home. Also hailing from Vancouver, YouCount empowers users to monitor their health with inexpensive, two-minute, at-home urine tests. For those not willing to venture to the doctor, this at-home test provides important information to health care providers. Another Vancouver-based company, Ynvisible Interactive is showing some of the most energy efficient electrochromic displays on the market with an array of colors.

Techcouver Takes the Lead

Vancouver’s tech industry added 13,000 jobs over the last two years and now ranks as the third fastest-growing tech hub in North America. Tech companies and workers are attracted to this city in British Columbia for its year-round milder weather, diversity of cultures, public transportation and easy access to nature. For the big picture of Canada, CTA produces a Canadian Consumer Technology Ownership and Market Potential study each year. The 2021 study showed an uptick in smart home tech and health and wellness tech — as reflected in some of the Canadian startups at CES 2022.

Vancouver Combining Technology and Art

Vancouver doesn’t want to limit emerging technology to just early adopters, so it has combined art and digital tech. At the “Voxel Bridge,” pedestrians in the Cambie Bridge walkway can use their smartphones to experience many things at once: the real world, VR, AR and blockchain technology. Some of the art will be made available as NFTs (non-fungible tokens), enabling the exhibit to continue on in yet another form. The concept was designed by artist Jessica Angel.

Vancouver’s Driving Force

CES 2022 exhibitor ElectraMeccanica has introduced a three-wheeled electric car with just one seat and room for groceries, as they aim to revolutionize the way we move around. Their SOLO EV can go up to 100 miles on a full charge with the comforts of a full-sized vehicle, including seat warmers and air-conditioning. The sporty-looking, yet quirky car, can achieve speeds of 80 miles an hour making it perfect for commutes, errands or even the highway. Vancouver’s Damon Motors Inc., both a CTA member and a CES 2022 exhibitor, is using its HyperDrive™ proprietary powertrain to bring connected electric motorcycles to the market. Go from 0-60 in three seconds on this HyperSport electric motorcycle that can go up to 300 city miles (200 miles on the highway) without a charge. It takes specialized sensors, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to make this “superbike” ride different. Safety features include CoPilot, a 360° advanced warning system that uses a combination of cameras, radar and sensors.

Vancouver for Virtual Reality (VR) and AI Connections

As the talk of the new metaverse takes off, Vancouver is ahead of the game. VR/AR Association’s Vancouver chapter estimates the city is the world’s second-largest VR hub with about 200 firms. CTA member SkyHive is using tech to put people first, using artificial intelligence (AI) to find hidden talent in the current potential workforce by upskilling them to new jobs. Vancouver-based startup FORM’s premium swim goggles feature an augmented reality (AR) display that allows swimmers to see their personal metrics in real-time. The goggles also include motivation with a library of guided workouts for swimmers at all levels.

i3 magazine January/February 2022 cover

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