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  1. Technology
January 6, 2015

UK tech sector firms take on Asian and US IT giants at CES 2015

A list of eight pioneering UK companies such as ARM and Imagination Technologies at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

1. ARM

About: The Cambridge-based firm, which competes against Intel and Freescale, designs chips that power smartphones such as the iPhone. Looking to increase its footprint in the Internet of Things space, the firm unveiled an IoT mbed operating system in October 2014 and a Cortex M7 processor that enables devices to run from smart fridges and smart watches.

CES: In addition to showcasing its latest IoT operating system and Cortex M7 processor, the firm is holding an automotive roundtable looking into the future of connected cars. ARM’s EVP of Commercial and Global Development, Antonio Viana, and smart car expert Will Tu will be discussing how ARM is impacting the smart car and what consumers can expect to see in 2015.

2. Imagination Technologies

About: The Hertfordshire-based company designs computer chip technology that drives graphics for smartphones and tablets. The technology currently features in Apple’s iPad Mini Retina and iPhone 5S. In addition to delivering wireless multi-room streaming systems in 2014, the company also took on Raspberry Pi with the introduction of the Creator C120 microcomputer.

CES: The company have announced that it will be adding support for the Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) standard to its Caskeid wireless protocol. Caskeid, announced in 2013, uses a combination of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to stream studio-quality music to multiple speakers simultaneously.

Bob Stuart, creator of MQA and co-founder of parent company Meridian Audio, said: "The news that Imagination’s Caskeid wireless audio platform, which is the only wireless multiroom synchronisation technology out there that truly offers a platform for high quality audio, is to support MQA is very exciting as this will enable us and others to achieve the best audio reproduction in the wireless sphere whilst retaining the purity of the original source material."

3. Blue Maestro

About: The Weybridge-based company focuses on mobile technology in health and environmental monitoring fields. The company released a Tempo Thermometer in 2014, which sends data from an ergonomic sensor to a mobile application via Bluetooth.

CES: The firm announced that its Bluetooth Smart Pacifier will be shipping in early 2015. The Pacif-i device takes a baby’s temperature using an accompanying smartphone app.

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The company also announced Tempo Anywhere, a Wi-Fi gateway that relays data from your Tempo devices into the cloud; and Tempo Disc, a Bluetooth Smart temperature sensor and data logger.

4. Cambridge Consultants

About: Founded in Cambridge in 1960, the consultancy designs and develops high-tech products and software across a range of sectors.

The company is currently involved in a $1m project which aims to create a device to aid in the diagnosis of Ebola. The company has also developed Xelflex, a fabric integrated with motion sensors which tracks the wearer’s movements.

Today, the company has offices in Asia and the US, and is currently embarking on a five-year growth plan to expand its headcount from 30 people today to more than 100 over the next three years.

CES: Targeting the prevention of skin cancer, the company announced a clip-on device and app called Solitair. The sensing device monitors a user’s exposure to sun and delivers real-time alerts for when the user is nearing the recommended maximum time of sun exposure via an accompanying smartphone app.

5. Fitbug

About: Based in Kentish Town, London, the health specialist was founded in 2005 by ex-Management Consultant and fitness enthusiast Paul Landau. The firm provides wearable heart-rate monitors that are available in stores across the US and UK.

CES: The company is promoting both its Fitbug Orb wearable device and the Kiqplan app to retailers, distributors and strategic partners. New features to the Kiqplan app have also been announced. Designed to help users track their food intake daily, capabilities such as voice recognition and food label scanning have been incorporated into the app.

6. Torquing Group

About: Based in Pembrokeshire, the group is comprised of three divisions. Torquing Technology provides software solutions, Torquing Robotics focuses on autonomous robots, and Torquing Environmental specialises in environmental monitoring for businesses. The firm launched a nano drone for aerial photography and HD video capture in December 2014.

CES: The firm is showcasing its aerial photography and HD video nano drone called Zano.

7. Cambridge Audio

About: The Cambridge-based firm was set up in 1968 and specialises in consumer electronics, home cinemas and hi-fi systems.

CES: The firm unveiled a home cinema range designed to deliver "class-leading sound, advanced networking capabilities, large colour displays and exceptional build quality and design".

The CXN series includes a network audio player, two AV receivers, two stereo amplifiers and a CD player. The series is set to go on sale in the first quarter of 2015.

The firm also announced a re-brand, revealing its intention to drop the ‘Audio’ part of its name.

8. Ultrahaptics

About: Founded by University of Bristol graduates, the firm specialises in using ultrasonic vibrations to add the sensation of touch to virtual objects.

The company envisages the technology being used in markets such as consumer electronics, games, household appliances and the car industry.

CES: The firm is exhibiting its latest Ultrahaptics system which allows interaction with virtual objects.




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