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Pioneering university tech start-ups set to blaze a trail at CES 2021

06 January 2021

Innovative technology developed at the University of Southampton is being launched on the world stage from 11-14 January at CES 2021, as the world’s largest and most influential technology exhibition goes virtual.

Tech entrepreneurs leading eight start-ups will exhibit at the all-digital expo, showcasing pioneering advances from a range of sectors including Artificial Intelligence, Fitness and Wearables, Quantum Computing, Sports Technology, and Sustainability.

CES usually takes place in Las Vegas and attracts over 170,000 visitors who flock to see the newest technology being showcased by the 4,000+ tech firms in attendance. 2021 sees the event go all-digital, taking the global reach of CES wider than ever before. 

Future Worlds, the on-campus start-up accelerator at the University of Southampton, will return to CES for a sixth consecutive year as the UK’s only exhibiting university. Eight start-ups from the University will be interacting with potential customers, investors and tech leaders across the world during the four-day show. 

Current University of Southampton start-ups being exhibited by Future Worlds at CES 2021 are:

• Absolar: AI-powered software that simulates solar radiation to inform renewable energy decisions
• Aquark Technologies: Revolutionary miniaturised cold atom chip for quantum hardware 
• ArchAI: An AI tool for construction planners to automate archaeology assessments
• Inpulse: Smart clothing to correct muscle imbalances and improve sports performance
• Sentient Sports: AI that assists football managers by predicting how players will perform

They will be joined by three University of Southampton start-ups previously supported by Future Worlds:

• Aura Vision: Revolutionary in-store analytics for offline retailers using existing security cameras, now enabling ‘COVID-secure’ retail
• BOON: Creators of privacy-first personalised experiences for online retailers
• Emitwise: Machine-learning software to help speed up the carbon accounting and reporting process for environmentally-conscious companies

Ben Clark, Future Worlds Director, says: “We are very excited as Southampton steps up as the only university representing the UK at CES for a sixth consecutive year. The start-ups we have selected to exhibit are inspirational future leaders in their field, destined to make a huge change in the world of AI and quantum. More start-ups than ever before are exhibiting with Future Worlds at this year’s CES, reflecting the immeasurable vision, talent and determination to push through the pandemic to help create a more sustainable, connected and healthy world to come.”

One of the start-ups exhibiting with Future Worlds is archaeologist turned computer scientist, Iris Kramer, who will present her start-up, ArchAI. The AI solution is automating archaeological assessments to accelerate and de-risk lengthy and expensive planning processes for developers, while saving historical sites from unnecessary destruction.

Iris says: “By using our technology over conventional techniques, developers could save tens of thousands in costs, as well as months of time that would be spent surveying land pre-development. Going forward there are wide ranging environmental challenges globally that our world-first technology can address.”

Another exhibitor is neuroscientist, Devon Lewis. Influenced by the population’s need to be more active, he created Inpulse, which produces smart clothing that monitors and enhances muscle control, resulting in considerably improved sports performance and injury recovery. 

“The way our nervous system coordinates movements of the body is incredibly complex, and problems can arise at any stage, leading to a huge range of movement disorders,” Devon explains. “Conventional approaches usually seek to identify and improve specific biological issues, but we can use electrical stimulation to bypass these issues and treat everything from minor tremors to complete paralysis without drugs or invasive surgery.”

For more than 50 years, CES has been the global stage for innovation, showcasing the very best products in consumer technology, hardware, content, technology delivery systems and more. It will be taking place 11-14 January.

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