The countdown is on for CES 2023. Taking place in Las Vegas in the first week of January each year, CES sets the global stage for innovation in the tech industry. In advance of the main event, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) distinguishes outstanding new products through the CES Innovation Awards, providing a first look at some of the most innovative technology to be exhibited at the upcoming conference.
The winners and honorees of the CES innovation awards for 2023 have been announced and showcase some exciting technology trends. As always health technology continues to be a huge theme, with three of the 2023 best of innovation winners providing products in the health tech space.
Korean blind-assistive start-up Dot Inc has received the accolade for its Dot Pad product, which was announced earlier this year. The Dot Pad is a tactile interface for the vision impaired to generate in real time not only braille text but other visual information such as images, handwriting and maps in a tactile format with controls to facilitate interaction with the graphics. A collaboration with Apple also means the Dot Pad integrates with the App store, iPad and iPhone. The Dot Pad is the first real-time tactile graphics display device on the market and the scale of innovation involved in its development is well supported by Dot Inc’s large IP portfolio for the product.
Dot Inc’s portfolio encompasses at the time of writing 86 granted patents across over 170 applications. As is typical with modern assistive devices, the portfolio spans not only a number of applications directed to the device’s unique hardware and information output mechanism, but also a large chunk of applications directed to the underlying software driving the control of the device. Mapping graphic information such as images to a tactile output is no simple feat, and Dot Inc have developed algorithms for content detection and tactile mapping to convert visual data into a spatial pattern of projections for the Dot Pad to output. Dot Inc’s portfolio includes a number of granted patents to the data processing aspect of the technology, for example US10217389B2.
Dot Inc is paving the way in accessible technology for the vision impaired and the Dot Pad symbolises a major step towards removing these barriers. According to the World Health Organisation around 40 million people globally are clinically blind, and so the market for assistive technology in this area doubtless has the potential to grow substantially. As more tech companies enter this space, the industry can act to further remove these barriers to interacting with the world whilst visually impaired.
Alongside the Dot Pad, two other innovative products in health tech also received the Best in Innovation award this year, each in the field of prevention or management of health conditions. Firstly, the Cray X exoskeleton from German Bionic is a wearable suit which provides support during lifting movement to prevent back injury in physically demanding jobs such as construction and logistics, as well as providing analytics on the wearer’s movement. Secondly, the AeviceMD from Singapore-based MedTech spinout Aevice Health, which is a smart wearable stethoscope for detecting abnormal lung sounds in home monitoring respiratory disorders.
It’s notable, if not surprising, that all three health tech winners this year utilise artificial intelligence somewhere in the featured product, reinforcing the predominance of AI in providing cutting edge solutions across the health tech space. No doubt we will see more innovative developments in this space at CES 2023 in January, which HGF electronics specialists Dr Chris Benson and Cassie Smith will be attending this year.
This blog was prepared by HGF Patent Attorney Cassie Smith.