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Top 10 Medtech Companies to Watch at CES 2016

Top 10 Medtech Companies to Watch at CES 2016

Another year, another CES, brimming with start-ups and household names alike, looking to become the next big tech trend. But who will come out victorious? In the last of our six-part series, we give our verdict on the most interesting and diverse innovations in the medical technology category.

Image Courtesy of also iot,

Image Courtesy of also iot,

  • Owlet – Owlet is a sock-shaped baby vitals monitor which is the only to use hospital tech pulse oximetry. The sock alerts parents if their baby stops breathing. Owlet comes in three sock sizes to fit little ones until they are 18 months old.
  • Aipoly – Aipoly helps blind and visually impaired people by using technology to identify objects around them. Their app uses artificial intelligence to understand what a phone or tablet’s camera is seeing and describes what it is seeing out loud. An exciting development with the potential to change the way the blind interact with the world around them.
  • Digitsole – Digitsole creates smart shoes which warm the wearer’s feet on demand, can tighten and can also track calories burned through walking or running. The shoes also have a light in the front for nighttime runs.
  • Kolibree – Kolibree is a smart toothbrush which not only provides parents with analytics on their children’s brushing, but also incorporates a connected game, linking brushing performance to play.
  • Hidrate – Hidrate is a connected water bottle which lights up when you need to take a drink. The app suggests a personalised hydration goal and sends reminders of when you should drink more.
  • FeetMe – Keeping with the foot theme, these smart insoles analyse gait in real time. They are also a preventative solution for diabetics – some patients lose sensitivity and have ulcers that can lead to amputation. FeetMe monitors pressure to help avoid ulcers. Users can connect the insoles to smartphones via Bluetooth to monitor their data in real time.
  • HairMax – HairMax’s LaserBand 82 uses laser light to revitalise hair follicles and regrow hair. The futuristic bands use 90 seconds treatments with the medical grade lasers.
  • Quitbit Quitbit is a smart lighter that tracks and analyses the user’s smoking to help them make healthier decisions. You can check your data and set limits on when Quitbit can be used to light up to help cut down on smoking.
  • Blumio – Blumio is a pulse and blood pressure monitor, but unlike the swathes of wristbands and cuffs entering the market each week, Blumio’s sensor fits onto a smartphone case and can be held against the wrist to provide data.
Image Courtesy of Michael Sauers,

Image Courtesy of Michael Sauers,

  • SmartyPans – These connected cooking pans are designed with the health-conscious in mind. A connected app allows users to track their nutrition intake through what they cook in the pan.

Enjoyed this post? Read more of our series on CES 2016 companies to watch:


Top 10 Gaming & Computing Companies to Watch at CES 2016

The world of computing and video gaming has already taken off to a whole new level in 2016 with the array of incredible developments and companies featuring at CES 2016 in Las Vegas. The likes of Samsung, Oculus Rift and Sony will no doubt create shockwaves, but who are the lesser-known companies disrupting the market? The PHA Group’s Technology & Innovation team give their top ten computing & gaming companies to keep an eye out for.

CES has been creating news headlines across the world this week with thousands of new inventions, products and plans being announced by the minute. The world’s attention has been on Las Vegas and no sector more than computing and video gaming. With all the drones, wearables and robot butlers that come out, it’s still the hardware that is turning the most heads. Some global players, as well as new startups, have this week launched an incredible collection of the very latest and greatest.

In this blog, our fifth in the CES 2016 series, we take a look at our favourite ten companies in this space:

Image: Oculus Rift

Image: Oculus Rift


  • A top ten wouldn’t be complete with the infamous Oculus Rift. The biggest name in VR is a step closer to reality after the event as it’s final price has been announced for its release in March, $599 (£ version not confirmed as of writing). The demand around the Rift is already intense, pre-orders have begun and they predict to shift one million units this calendar year. In short, Oculus Rift is the first mover in the head-mounted VR, allowing users to fully immerse themselves in any game or activity.
  • ASUS was previously seen as an inferior manufacturer, behind the 8-ball compared to the IBM and Toshiba’s of the world, but in the past few years, they’ve considerably stepped up their game. At CES they announced numerous products which make them a serious player and one to watch. Three new motherboards are due out, as well as series of laptops, desktops and variety of gaming peripherals. Our personal favourite is the ROG G752 laptop which features a 6th-generation Intel Core i7 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M discrete graphics chip and G-SYNC technology.
  • Lenovo, known worldwide as a producer of quality hardware, are next in the list with their imminent arrival of the Yoga 900S. This will be the headline of their launches in 2016 and boasts a pencil-thin 12.8mm build, weighing less than a kilo. It comes with a 12-inch QHD display and 10+ hour battery life. Flexibility of all products is vital and the Yoga is no different with a 360-degree hinge allowing you to flip the screen over as a Windows 10


Image: Razer Blade

Image: Razer Blade


  • Razer have long been known as one of the go-to computers for true gamers and their new Blade is no different. Usually being heavy and cumbersome, they’ve changed tact to try and appeal to the wider market with their first ultrabook. Unsurprisingly, the Blade has been equipped with plenty of ammo – Intel’s latest Core i7 processors, either a 12.5-inch QHD or UHD touchscreen display and is customizable through individually backlit RGB keys, allowing the owner to change the colours and effects as they wish. Launched with a high-end price of $1,599, it might not attract the mass market but it certainly has given Razer the potential to spread their wings.
  • Gaming computers are always one of the most competitive spaces and this blog is no different. Maingear’s Alpha 34, with a huge 34-inch display, is making a lot of gamers think twice on what to buy next. Previously they would shy away from all-in-ones due to a lack of power and inability to upgrade, but with their use of Nvidia for their Titan X graphics card they might not want to. With 8 GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive and its price tag of $1,999, it could well change public perceptions.
  • Acer is another that was never the most glamourous tech brand but is make footprints in the Vegas sand this year. Their Aspire Switch 12 S is a fantastic new product. In short, it’s a laptop with a detachable 4K (the best available resolution currently available) tablet. It runs on Windows 10, has Intel’s RealSense 3D camera and is certainly making a play for the likes of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 and Apple’s iPad Pro as best in class.


Image: HTC Vive

Image: HTC Vive


  • Time for another contender in the VR winner of CES, but this time from a company known a lot more for their mobile phones. HTC Vive has received high praise across the tech sector in the past few days, already being called the ‘VR you’ve always been promised’ by Digital Trends. The spec between Vive & Rift isn’t too dissimilar, both have 2160 x 1200 resolution, a 90Hz refresh rate and look frankly cumbersome, but Vive uses laser-emitting “Base Stations” to create up to a 15 x 15-foot VR world, which makes you feel like you’re anywhere but your bedroom. Reviews state that the user believes everything is real, which is obviously the dream of all VR manufacturers. The jury is still out on which will prove to be the better of the two, or could Playstation’s VR make a play? Either way, we won’t know until Vive’s launch in Q2 of 2016.
  • Already mentioned in the blog but certainly worthy of their own spot is Nvidia. The creators of some of the leading visual computing technology seem to be the golden child in Sin City with some of the biggest players in tech. Not content with just being involved with video games, they’ve successfully branched out into televisions and now self-driving cars. Their insight and comments have almost created as much impact as their products. They’ve stated that the PX 2 is “150 times faster than a MacBook Pro” (which has been seriously questioned) and that, this year, only 13 million computers will be powerful enough to run VR, a huge call to action if I’ve ever heard one. Their importance in the industry will only grow and are certainly a company to keep a close eye on.
  • Dell are certainly not newcomers to the computer market. Always been featured as a trusted and reliable company, but now they’re seen as a lot more. Offering exciting, cutting-edge, quality tech. Last year’s XPS 13 received great reviews from most outlets, so much so that both many consumers and business users made it their first choice. And in response to demand, at CES they announced the Latitude 7370, designed for corporate and professional use. It’s got a 13-in screen, is lightweight, fantastic battery life and all full HD – perfect for the person on the go. It might not have the bells and whistles of some of the competition but what it does, it does very
  • The final company is one of the world’s leading companies, known for their incredible innovations and cutting-edge tech, and our top ten wouldn’t be right without them. Intel have long been creating the path for others to follow but this year they have launched one of their most exciting products ever. Their Real Sense technology has already been called ‘one of the most exciting things at CES’ by ABC News and it’s no surprise why. Their technology allows computers to map their entire environment in real time and react accordingly. It’s already been used by Segway for their Advanced Personal Robots to act as a “butler” and the Yuneec Typhoon H drone to avoid collisions, as well as our client XYZprinting in their Handheld 3D Scanner. This development is game-changing and although we’re not surprised by Intel leading the charge, they certainly deserve the recognition for remaining ahead of the curve in the most competitive sector out there.

Enjoyed this post? Read more of our series on CES 2016 companies to watch:

The Dawn of Instant Pizza – Will Domino’s One-Tap Order Spoil Our Appetite for Variety?

On the world’s most lethargic bank holiday, New Year’s Day, Domino’s launched a canny new feature to let pizza fans instantly request their favourite cheesy order with just the tap of a button.

The new ‘Order Now’ feature for Apple Watch lets Domino’s customers simply tap once to order their usual pizza, with choice, payment and delivery details being pre-loaded – all to allow emergency hangover relief for those of us on the 1st January who just can’t remember where we live.

Image: The Telegraph

Image: The Telegraph


With the advent of the ‘Era of the Smartwatch’ comes the prospect of more restaurants and retailers adopting a ‘one-tap’ solution to our every want and need. Earlier last year, Amazon launched a ‘Dash Button’, a small device to stick to your fridge, wall or other convenient place, which lets you re-order your everyday consumables with just one tap. Coffee, laundry detergent and dog food can all be ordered automatically at the press of a button. A weekly shop may quickly be becoming a thing of the past.

Image: The Verge

Image: The Verge


Technology is enabling instant results – instant information, instant access, instant Pepperoni Passion at 3am. But what does catering for such unapologetic laziness mean for the way we shop now? Will the smartwatch embodiment of ‘The Usual, please’ from Domino’s take off in other areas?

The pizza maker may have plenty of fiery options, but variety is the true spice of life. If we start to adopt the uber-convenience that comes with ‘The Usual’, will we lose our taste for variation?

Ease and simplicity are gold dust for millennials who want to have it all, but we must also embrace those technologies that make sure to combine convenience with an exciting introduction to new and unexpected things in the world around us.

Our client FoodMood, the ‘Tinder for food’ app, shows hungry Londoners a whole range of restaurants that will cater to their current hunger pangs. A second app we work with, WINGiT, is an urban travel app that reveals what local events people are talking about most on social media – a convenient way to find something spontaneous to do tonight, but also nurturing our inherent need for variety that new ‘one-tap’ solutions cut out. Foodie start-up Localboxx offers home-cooked meals for time-poor Londoners to collect on their tube ride home, offering much-coveted ease but also introducing customers to new recipes.

As we move into a year where smartwatches may start to become commonplace, it seems pertinent to remind ourselves of the way such technologies can change our attitudes to the way we interact with everything from food to fashion. With any luck, the emerging technologies we can see taking their first steps at this week’s mammoth tech show, CES 2016, will help us discover and embrace new things, and not just settle for what we already know.

Top 10 Fitness & Sports Tech Companies to Watch at CES 2016

Another year, another CES, brimming with start-ups and household names alike, looking to become the next big tech trend. But who will come out victorious? In the second of a six-part series, we give our verdict on the most awe-inspiring hopefuls of the New Year in the Fitness & Sports category.

The world of technology when it comes to health and fitness gadgets has accelerated hugely in the last few years. As staying fit becomes an increasingly important component in many lives, with new ways of staying in shape and health fads springing up on a weekly basis, interest continues to develop. Consequently, the technological advancements are managing to complement this surge and companies are cashing in on people’s urges in what has become one of the most lucrative industries.

Here, we look at a handful of some of the most innovative and exciting companies and products which will be on display at CES 2016.


Image: DFX Sports & Fitness


DFX Sports & Fitness

  • DFX Sports & Fitness (US): The company behind the Powerball Gyro have certainly established themselves in this ‘sphere’. The ball aids athletes and sportsmen in rehabilitation and recovery and can help with repetitive stress injuries. Sports-specific gyro products are what the company knows best and the success of their initial Powerball has enabled them to expand accordingly – without doubt only going to grow further.


  • Dietsensor (FR): This product from Airspek will be launching at CES and is one that should generate a considerable amount of interest. It is the first instant nutrition coach with sensors and has already been named a CES 2016 Best of Innovation Awards Honoree. With health and diet technology becoming an increasingly saturated arena, Dietsensor is bringing something truly innovative to the marketplace.


  • Beddit (FI): Arguably the best sleep tracker around. In an age where we want to avoid guesswork and have everything measured for us, Beddit fits the bill perfectly. Using some of the smartest technology which remains unobtrusive, it allows you to see how well you slept and drill down into the specifics behind this. For someone who takes their sleep very seriously (as I do) – a must have.


Image: Mettis Trainer

Image: Mettis Trainer


Mettis trainer

  • Mettis trainer (US): An interesting product that appears to be paving the way for the next generation of wearable technology while providing instant feedback for athletes and sportsmen. In looks, it is not too dissimilar from insoles but zeroes in on running technique and helps to prevent injury and aid performance from amateurs through to Olympians.


  • Infinadeck (US): This is, for me, the most aesthetically pleasing product on the list. It is the world’s first commercial omnidirectional treadmill adjusting to when users change direction to keep them safely in the centre. It can be used by a variety of sectors from gaming, health, tactical to industrial – a product that is sure to make waves at CES and beyond.

Shot Tracker

  • Shot Tracker (US): This does exactly what it says on the tin; keeps track of your shooting. It’s made up of three components; a wrist sensor, a net sensor and the ShotTracker App and the weather-proof net sensor easily attaches to any net and automatically tracks your shot makes and misses. The old adage of ‘practice makes perfect’ could not ring truer with this product and ensures you receive instant feedback to make practice useful.


Image: PIQ



  • PIQ (FR): A multi-sport sensor which tracks performance which aids sporting performance is always likely to grab people’s attention. Most of us, when it comes to sport, struggle to accept mediocrity and want something to give us that edge – PIQ provides a solution. Golf, tennis and skiing are just three of the sports which can benefit from PIQ as it captures valuable data.


  • Skulpt (US): A product recognised in the previous two years by CES as one of the most innovative around, so certainly one not to be taken lightly. Skulpt allows users to instantly and accurately measure body fat percentage and the muscle quality of each muscle. Although popular and something that everyone can use, Skulpt doesn’t seem to have quite dominated the market as their product deserves – 2016 should promise much.


  • Turingsense (US): The company are bringing their product Pivot to the wearable sports technology market and can expect to turn heads at CES. It is multi-sensor full-body motion analysis and a first of its kind for the sport of tennis. Helping to monitor players’ whole bodies during the course of their swing and can help prevent injury and to doctor technique to develop performance accordingly.


  • Wondermento (US): Put simply, Wondermento make apps and help connect real life to the digital world. Their most notable product is Wonderwoof which is an on-collar bow tie for your dog which allows you to track their daily activity. It’s linked to the app, ensuring you receive updates on your dog’s health and social well-being wherever you may be. Tracking and monitoring devices for humans have become massive and we envisage that Wonderwoof will experience similar growth.

Enjoy this post? Read more of our series on CES 2016 companies to watch:

Top 10 Robotics Companies to Watch at CES 2016

Another year, another CES, brimming with start-ups and household names alike, looking to become the next big tech trend. But who will come out victorious? In the first of a six-part series, we give our verdict on the most awe-inspiring hopefuls of the New Year in the Robotics category.

Historically CES has been a platform to get a glimpse of the latest products and technologies, focusing on the emerging and evolving tech companies and robotics will be no exception at CES 2016, with a 71% growth of the Robotics Marketplace from 2015.

There are a lot of companies out there changing and shaping the future of robotics from gaming consoles to household appliances. Let’s take a look at the top 10 robotics companies that are standing out from the crowd out this year at CES.

Reach Robotics

Image: Reach Robotics

Image: Reach Robotics


  • Reach Robotics (UK): Developing the world’s first gaming robot, Reach Robotics brings the computer game into the real world by combining gaming, robotics and Augmented Reality together to create a unique experience like no other. With two types of robots, Brute and Berserker, they have created Mecha Monsters that you can collect, customise and compete with, shaping the future of gaming.


  • Orbbec (CN): Breaking ground with its 3D camera creations, Orbbec is changing the way we interact with the world around us. This year at CES they will launch Orbbec Presse, the world’s first intelligent 3D camera-computer, with the ability to hear and understand its environment. This enables it to ‘learn’ from past use making it a pioneering product in the developing world of interactive tech.

Blue Frog Robotics

Blue Frog's Buddy Robot

Blue Frog’s Buddy Robot


  • Blue Frog Robotics a.k.a. Buddy (FR): Blue Frog Robotics is leading the way for companion robots with the revolutionary creation Buddy, ‘the worlds first companion robot that is accessible to everyone’. Buddy interacts with each member of the family by entertaining, protecting and assisting them. He challenges the image of robots being hard-edged and cold with his friendly nature and design.

Flower Robotics

  • Flower Robotics (JP): Flower Robotics aims to start a quiet revolution and make robots a natural part of our daily lives with pioneering technology and minimalistic designs. Their mission is to bring joy and enrich people using technology. At CES they will launch Patin. Built around adaptive and learning artificial intelligence Patin can predict and anticipate needs and react to environmental changes – an innovative robot that could be the next step in the evolution of household robots.


  • Ozobot (US): Ozobot is one of the smallest smart robots that is designed to educate children through fun activities. It can teach children how to code and program through gamified learning made for kids of all ages. With the Ozobot app, you can connect the digital and physical world creating a whole new world of play. The tiny robot is equipping children with skills needed for the future.

Leap Motion

  • Leap Motion (US): Augmented and Virtual Reality is making a comeback and 2016 is set to be the year for it, with the likes of Samsung and Oculus Rift set to release VR headsets. But the one to watch out for at CES is Leap Motion who have created innovative technology that allows you to naturally interact with digital and virtual worlds using your hands and your fingers, bringing science fiction to life and breaking the barrier between people and technology. The Leap Motion controller tracks the movement of your hands and allows you to grab, pinch or swipe.


  • Hexo+ (US): Hexo+ is the worlds first autonomous drone that allows you to create amazing aerial footage hands-free. The drone is designed to follow and film allowing you to enjoy the adventure. Using an app, you can control the movement of the drone to capture stunning footage that accurately framed and stable. Hexo+ is an innovative product that allows you to tell your own story through groundbreaking technology.


XYZprinting's Da Vinci 1.1 Plus 3D Printer

XYZprinting’s Da Vinci 1.1 Plus 3D Printer


  • XYZprinting (TW): An exciting ground-breaking company for emerging technologies, XYZprinting has created 3D printers that are affordable and lightweight, making it ideal for commercial use and bringing technology to the masses. The world’s largest 3D printer maker believes that 2D printing will one day be obsolete and they are paving the way for the future of printing.

Double Robotics

  • Double Robotics (US): Helping telecommuters feel more connected and changing the face of remote working, Double Robotics’ creation is Double, a robotic stand that is a simple way to maintain a physical presence. The robot connects to an iPad, is easy to set up and allows the user to move around through a workspace, removing the need to have a fixed place for videoconferences. This will immensely reduce the inconvenience of long-distance travel while ensuring the telecommuter gets a more accurate feel for what they are viewing.

Candy House Inc.

  • Candy House Inc. (US): A design house that creates innovative products to inspire an enjoyable lifestyle, Candy House Inc. is a candy store for futuristic tech. They have raised £1.4 million with their Kickstarter campaign for Sesame, a lock that can be used via an app, reinventing the key. Launched in 2015, Sesame is easy to install and means you lock and unlock from anywhere, powered by a battery that lasts for about 500 days.

Enjoyed this post? Read more of our series on CES 2016 companies to watch: