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Irish firms make a grab for the global limelight at Las Vegas tech nirvana

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Developer Christoph Kohstall shows the Nixie wearable drone camera powered by Intel’s Edison kit.

Developer Christoph Kohstall shows the Nixie wearable drone camera powered by Intel’s Edison kit.

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Two attendees look at their smartphones while getting their teeth whitened at the BleachBright booth at CES in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Two attendees look at their smartphones while getting their teeth whitened at the BleachBright booth at CES in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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The Scout5000 smart dog collar from Motorola enables owners to track the physical health of their pet and has a built-in camera.

The Scout5000 smart dog collar from Motorola enables owners to track the physical health of their pet and has a built-in camera.

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Developer Christoph Kohstall shows the Nixie wearable drone camera powered by Intel’s Edison kit.

While giant TVs and smartwatches have stolen the headlines from the world's biggest technology trade show, a number of Irish startups have been busy showing off their wares to electronics and digital giants at the Las Vegas convention.

"It's flying for us here," said David Larkin, chief operating officer of Dublin-based LogoGrab.

"We're been amazed by how much we're actually getting done here. Interest is phenomenal."

LogoGrab, which employs eight people, licenses technology that lets companies use their logos as web addresses.

It recently signed up Disney and McDonalds and is in talks with major food and beverage companies about creating web advertising mechanisms.

"Most of our business is actually in the US," said Mr Larkin. "We're starting to think about opening an office here."

Other Irish startups to make the trip to Las Vegas include Restored Hearing, which has invented a ground-breaking technology that helps to alleviate tinnitus.

And Irish interests at the show also include the wearable technology fashion designer Amy Winters, who was displaying products as part of a tech fashion show.

It was also a busy day for new gadgets. None summed up the spirit of the show more than Intel's Nixie, a wearable selfie-drone.

Worn on a wrist, it is designed to be thrown a few yards away where it will hover, take a selfie photo of the thrower and return to the wrist.

Intel also showed off a button-sized computer that is designed to become part of everyday objects, making them contactable and controllable.

The computer, called Curie, contains key components designed in Ireland including the company's new Quark chip.

Neil Young was also on hand to launch his new iPod rival digital music player, called Pono.

The Pono player is made by Irishman Liam Casey's PCH, one of the leading Chinese-based outsourced manufacturing facilities.

Other celebrities attending the show include musician Mick Fleetwood, basketball star Shaquille O'Neal, 'Girls' star Kristen Bell and rappers 50 Cent and will.i.am. Science fiction stars Levar Burton (Star Trek) and Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica) also showed up.

The show plays host to 150,000 people and features most of the top technology hardware firms in the world.

But some of the industry's largest web tech companies declined to attend this year. Neither Google, Facebook nor Amazon showcased displays.

Microsoft was also absent, while Apple does not attend external trade shows.

The dominant trends this year look set to be wearable computing devices and the so-called 'internet of things', which connects everyday objects to the internet.

Irish Independent