With the advent of Connected Hardware & Internet of Things, the once-passée CES has seen a revival in the last 3 years, attracting companies from around the world to an expo that features everything from new guitars to graphics chips. The week-long event takes place each January, and is a landmark in any hardware company’s marketing budget – marketing strategies are quite literally define around the event.
France has increasingly been in attendance as CES – last year’s highlights included Parrot, Keecker, Mother, Archos, and what would become Giroptic was even present – and this year it seems that France has hit a landmark. With nearly nearly 33% of Exhibitors coming from France in the CES Eureka Park – the official CES startup area where Techcrunch will be hosting its Hardware Battlefield for the first time – that’s over 100 French companies compared to 20 or so US Startups listed on the official exhibitor site.
La French Tech has made a big push to encourage French startups to attend CES – last year Fleur Pellerin was on site, and I expect Axelle Lemaire will do the same this year.
Of course, while France is stacking startups, the lion’s share of the attention goes to the big players – Yahoo & Samsung made the most noise (mostly for their shoddy performances on stage, like Michael Bay walking off stage during the curved TV announcement). Parrot has become an increasing fan favorite, with Withings following suit, however neither of these companies has made a push to steal the thunder from the big tech giants.
Here in Paris, Rude Baguette organizes each year the Connected Conference, a conference dedicated to Connected Hardware & the Internet of Things. Last year saw SIGFOX, GE, Samsung, Parrot, Qualcomm, ARM and many others on stage and in the exhibition hall, powered largely by France’s local connected hardware ecosystem.
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