Technology experts and participants at the Consumer Electronics Trade Show (CES) 2019, outlined that Scandinavia is well placed to create a significant impact on future innovation.
At the CES Toast to Tech Conference in Las Vegas, Consumer Technology Association (CTA) President Gary Shapiro, reflected on his time in the region. “We had a wonderful experience [there] and saw a lot of good innovation. We hope to go back someday,” he told Inside Scandinavian Business.
Shapiro also reached the conclusion that Scandinavia was “very well positioned” to play a role in the future of technology.
The Scandinavian presence
Swedish company Arozzi, which manufactures a range of gaming equipment, was one of the entities presenting on the show floor of the world’s largest consumer technology trade show. It was showcasing its latest line of Star Trek-themed chairs and computer tables.
“We wanted to reveal these new editions with a bang,” Arozzi EU Marketing Manager, Nate Moline, told Inside Scandinavian Business. The company may have already received favourable reviews from IGN and Forbes, but the show floor of CES was unique.
“It was a great opportunity for us to display all our Arozzi designs to fellow techies,” he continued. His views were echoed by another representative of the company on the CES show floor. Since Arozzi’s primary focus is gaming gear, he was honoured to have a booth at the same event as big players such as AMD.
“It’s really exciting to see what they are doing in terms of graphics cards and video [innovation]”, he said. While the representative was unable to specify other exhibits from Scandinavia, he found it encouraging that many people on the show floor were speaking the language. “I have heard a lot of people speaking Swedish.”
Nate Moline, meanwhile, also spoke to ISB about the relatively smaller Scandinavian presence on the CES show floor. “I am not too sure why the companies had less representation”, Moline said. He speculated that the phenomenon was related to scale.
“If I had to guess, it would have to do with the contrasting population”, he reflected. “France, for example, is four times the size of Sweden and Norway combined.”
The rest of Europe
France was one European country that managed to make a splash as their products grabbed the attention and awards of judges on the show floor. Their innovations ranged from embedded voice assistants and cleaning robots to devices hoping to save the lives of the elderly.
“France has over 300 companies at Eureka Park,” Gary Shapiro told ISB. On the other hand, he was quick to point out that innovation was not limited to a particular region.
He emphasised that while CTA was an American-based association which was focused on US consumer-tech policy, CES was a global event. “We want to make sure that innovation is global and can spread around the world.”
Time to shine
Scandinavia may not have had a large representation at CES, but Nate Moline said the region remained big on talent. “Scandinavian companies have a reputation of keeping skilled engineers in [terms of technology]. Volvo, Ericsson, Nokia, Skype and Spotify are just a few [names].” CES, meanwhile, was just the opportunity that Arozzi needed to make its own name.
He hopes for greater innovation in gaming from Scandinavian companies at global trade shows. Moline highlighted that the gaming sector was growing at a rapid rate in the region. “Gaming bars, cafes, esport communities and even gaming schools are popping up everywhere in Scandinavia,” he continued enthusiastically.
Industry experts and those working in Scandinavia see its potential. If some of the 'good' innovation spotted by the CTA president makes its way to the show floor of CES 2020 and beyond, Nordic countries could be set to shine in the coming years.
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