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Thursday, April 13, 2017, 23:14

China Daily fetes innovative tech firms with 8 awards

By Deng Yanzi and Dara Wang
China Daily fetes innovative tech firms with 8 awards
Winners of China Daily Innovation Award 2017 display their award-wining inventions and trophies with presenters at the Global Sources Electronics show in Hong Kong’s AsiaWorld-Expo exhibition center on Wednesday. (Roy Liu / China Daily)

The wave of development in technology has brought in new ideas and gadgets that the world has never seen, and also inspired innovative minds to enhance existing daily essentials.

Innovators include Singapore company Glance Tech, which hopes to transform people’s perceptions of one of the oldest inventions in human history — analog clocks.

The company’s innovation, Glance Clock, is a round-shaped smart clock with a screen as a face. It serves as a visual personal assistant that can notify users of meetings and calls; it can even order an Uber ride.

"It’s a trend that everyday objects become enchanted by technology, and become something more,” said Anton Zriashchev, the Russian founder and chief executive of the company.

Glance Tech was among a group of eight innovative tech companies that received the China Daily Innovation Awards 2017 at the Global Sources Electronics show in Hong Kong’s AsiaWorld-Expo exhibition center on Wednesday.

The Innovation Awards follow China’s national strategy of making innovation and technology the key growth engines of the country’s economy in an ever-more sophisticated economic environment.

Awards for the five Most Promising Electronic Gadgets went to Airblock — a modular drone by Makeblock; Blubur S1 VR headset by VR Technology Holdings; King Power graphene power bank by Shenzhen Besiter Power Bank; uArm Swift Pro, a desktop robotic arm by UFACTORY; and UP mini 2, a portable 3D printer by Beijing Tiertime Technology.

It’s a trend that everyday objects become enchanted by technology, and become something more

Anton Zriashchev, founder and chief executive of Glance Tech

Neeuro, UFACTORY, Glance Tech and Xiamen Roopto Technology were the four winners in the Most Promising Startups category.

Tommy Wong, president of Electronics Group of Global Sources, said the awards showed that the Electronics show was the perfect platform for showing and nurturing innovations.

"By recognizing new ideas, the show will attract more attention to electronic innovations that are changing the world we live in for better,” Wong said at the ceremony.

"Adding to the extensive exhibits, one will also get a close-up view of the rapidly accelerating innovation and technologies in the industry through experience and demo zones, conference programs and Startup Launchpad,” he added.

Zhou Li — editorial board member of China Daily Group as well as publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily Asia Pacific — was also at the ceremony. He stressed the importance of technology innovation amid the ongoing structural reforms in the nation, adding that they will help boost productivity.

Shenzhen-based startup UFACTORY was the only company that bagged both Most Promising Electronic Gadgets and Most Promising Startup awards.

Founded in 2014, UFACTORY wants to break into the education and innovation technology sectors with its robotic arm, uArm.

uArm can work as an execution tool for code learners at schools as they practice coding and controlling the robotic arm; students can also discover and achieve different things with the machine.

"We want people to understand through this product that robots were not so far away from our everyday life,” Tony Le Heng, co-founder and chief operating officer of the company, told China Daily.

Both Neeuro and Xiamen Roopto Technology, two winners of Most Promising Startup, are tapping into the health-tech sector.

Singapore company Neeuro helps children and the elderly monitor and train their brains with a wearable brainwave detector and an application, according to Sidney Fong, regional director for Greater China at Neeuro.

The growing ageing population opens up huge market opportunities for Neeuro in serving those whose cognitive skills are declining. Xiamen Roopto Technology believes there are an increasing number of health-conscious young families to sell its dental detector to.

With a curved shape similar to a toothbrush in a cylinder, the device can detect dental plaque and other oral conditions. It does this by using a camera at the tip of the device. It can then save and send a photograph to a doctor of the user’s choice.

"The company is riding on the consumption upgrade in the country, as the purchasing power of Chinese consumers are growing, so are their spending on oral health products,” said Cai Qing, chief executive of the company.

The Blubur S1, a virtual reality (VR) headset for operation on personal computers by VR Technology, is one of five Most Promising Electronic Gadgets.

With the headset, users are immersed in a virtual room where they can hang the Internet browser on the wall. They can put the Microsoft Office applications on their desks and play interactive games in bed.

In the near future, users will rely more on VR glasses than PC monitors, and the next step is to make the device wireless to give it more mobility, said Paula Chen Siyu, marketing manager of VR Technology.

 China Daily fetes innovative tech firms with 8 awards
During the ceremony of China Daily Innovation Awards 2017 at the Global Sources Electronics show on Wednesday, readers glance at the China Daily Hong Kong Edition newspaper to catch the vibes of China’s newest economy. (Roy Liu / China Daily)

Another winner — Airblock by Makeblock — makes what it says is the first modular drone, which can be turned into a hovercraft, car and other things.

The soft styrofoam frame and magnetic connection enhance the device’s safety performance. Even if it falls out of the sky, it won’t cause much damage. The whole thing can be snapped back together and resume flying very quickly.

The company is hoping to make the drone technology accessible to children. To do this, the firm designed a simple operating interface on mobile phones where children can learn programming and the flying concept of the device, said Alice Zhang Hongqian, Asia and Pacific regional sales head of Makeblock.

Shenzhen Besiter’s King Power graphene power bank wished to stand out in the crowded category with its compact electrical device.

Its 5,000 milliamp-hour power bank can be charged within 15 minutes, nine times faster than the average products in the market, and the graphene has a more stable performance than lithium in high-power charging, according to Chen Jingji, vice-general manager of Besiter.

The power bank has wide applications in vehicles such as drones, electric cars, buses and other devices demanding large-scale power storage, Chen added.

3D printers continue to be a hot category among gadgets, and are becoming more user-friendly to amateurs. Beijing Tiertime’s UP mini 2, a desk-top 3D printer controlled by computer or smart device, hopes to make it easier for everyone.

The portability and simple control interface make it an ideal choice for education in the classroom; the LED lighting and transparent doors allow students to monitor the printing progress.

Tiertime’s Overseas Sales Manager Edward Liu Dongxu has worked in the industry for about 20 years. Liu said 3D printer was for industrial use or for people who only had design backgrounds. With the development of technology, the 3D gadgets will become easier so laymen can operate them.

Running from April 11 to 30 at AsiaWorld-Expo in three phases, Global Sources 2017 Spring Show showcases innovative products in the electronics, gifts and home, and fashion categories. It features more than 8,800 booths from around  the world.

Contact the writers at iris@chinadailyhk.com

 
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