CES Eureka Park
My favorite area at CES has always been Eureka Park. It’s basically where the start-ups and dreamers live. I have no idea the statistics, so I’ll make some up: 84.5% of the vendors here will never make it to stardom in the tech world.
Innovation still comes from the garage more than the boardroom IMHO and a lot of these folks are sharing space with the sedan.
I made a list of vendors I wanted to visit and PayGreen was the first (by booth number). After my blackout experience, I was looking forward to being enlightened (gag). Unfortunately, no one was at their booth so all I could do was pick up a brochure. Their brochure says they are the "first payment solution that has a positive impact on the world." A French company that apparently asks for a donation to offset the amount of CO2 generated by online purchases. I wish I could have asked how they will extract CO2 from the atmosphere, but alas. Looks like they are mainly an eCommerce play. I like the social conscience stuff, so I hope they are actually at the booth when Amazon comes around looking to replace the Amazon payment engine.
Next was “PayTweek” (you can see a pattern of “payment” search results, right?). The folks at the booth spoke in a heavy French accent that was difficult for me to understand, so I’ll have to research a little more later. it looks like it’s a competitor to PayPal, except they don’t take a 2.5% from the merchant. It is a monthly subscription model for the merchant. We’ll see.
Up and down the aisles and I finally get to iCare. Not a unique name (especially for you Micros users), but the product is cool. An NFC-enabled ring that emulates the NFC chip in multiple credit cards (or whatever else might use NFC). Bluetooth-connected to an app on your phone, it is pressure sensitive and requires you to make a fist to activate it. I like wearables and hope to someday have a single platform for payment that just needs you to uniquely identify yourself. This isn’t it, but nice idea.
Kuzzle was next. They are a cloud platform for brokering a multitude of APIs. Kind of like Omnivore, but for apps, web, watches, to solutions. Not transaction based, but tiered flat subscription. (sorry no pic).
Enter a couple of cryptocurrency vendors, CoinPlus and UTrust. CoinPlus does not necessarily have restaurant implications, but was a potential sign of things to come. These guys hold your cryptocurrency in a tangeable way. Kind of like gold bars. A non-tech way to hold tech currency. Wow.
UTrust was an interesting company that allows online payment in crypto and pays the merchant in US dollars. Nice! I told him he should look to partner with Verifone or Ingenico so a merchant could do this through their POS
I saw lots of other things and will share more tomorrow. I am exhausted g’Night Vegas - Joe