Three French SMEs, Netatmo, Sen.se and Medissimo will be awarded for their innovative products at the Las Vegas CES from 7 to 10 January 2014, the world's leading consumer electronics trade fair, which offers unparalleled visibility.
"Three French people have already been distinguished last year at the CES and it is important to pay tribute to the work of French companies which are sometimes better known in the United States than in France", said on Tuesday before some journalists Fleur Pellerin, Minister Delegate for the Digital Economy and Innovation.
"We've already been rewarded at the last CES for our weather station, so we're going to try to keep up the pace!« joked Fred Potter, founder and CEO of Netatmo, who will receive an award in the Home Appliance category for his connected thermostat.
A case designed by Philippe Starck
After the personal weather station that measures the air quality in a home (CO2 concentration, humidity level...) and allows to consult the data in real time on a smartphone, tablet or PC, Netatmo launched in September a connected thermostat that plugs into the boiler (price: 179 €).
This box designed by Philippe Starck allows you to control your district heating "but also to deliver thermal diagnostics of the house, and, by simply reading data, to say if the house is well insulated," emphasizes Fred Potter. For this company, which generates 15% of its turnover in France, to be highlighted at a show like CES "helps considerably to be distributed in geographical areas where we would never have gone.". It will also double the number of employees in one year, from the current 32 to around 60 in 2014.
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This show is also an excellent asset for attracting investors: Netatmo raised €4.5 million last June from the former head of Apple in Europe Pascal Cagni, and two investment funds, Iris Capital and the DSF PME.
The SME Sen.se, which for its part has twelve employees, will also be rewarded in Las Vegas for a connected object presented to the CES jury but "which will not be unveiled until December 5th." explains to some journalists his designer Rafi Haladjian. Forerunner of the Internet of connected objects, a consumer version with the small communicating rabbit "Nabaztag" released in 2005, Rafi Haladjian has since launched the Sen.se platform whose goal is to connect data, objects and machines.
"Because the question is, how do you live in an environment where you're going to have 30, 50 or 100 communication objects in the house? You can't spend all your time pushing buttons or adjusting these devices one by one".he points out. "All these objects must become intelligent: the fact that they are connected does not necessarily make them communicators, they must also be 'learners' and capture data in their environment in order to behave more autonomously, to anticipate and not only obey the user.
Third prize winner, the company Medissimo and its "imedipac", a connected weekly pill dispenser, equipped with an RFID chip to be inserted into a "communicating" box, which will indicate to the patient via light or sound signals which medicine to take, and at what time.
In Las Vegas, these three small companies will succeed the Withings, Sculpteo, Invoxia or UrbanHello, other French groups awarded in previous editions. In order to continue this momentum and, more generally, to encourage the emergence of innovative SMEs, Fleur Pellerin underlines the government's desire to "build a dynamic ecosystem in France". She points out that the government's "Connected Objects" mission - one of the 34 plans of the "New Industrial France" -, recently entrusted to Eric Carreel (co-founder of the Withings startup), should bring the players in the sector closer together and help them to find financing.
(Source: AFP- 13 November 2013)