TVs and SmartThings: The tech show MN companies hope to score big at


It's the biggest shop window in the world for the latest cutting-edge technology, and Minnesota's tech companies are among the thousands competing for global attention.

There are gadgets and gizmos aplenty at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, which will see 3,600 companies exhibit their latest products to as many as 160,000 bigwigs from the retail and tech industries, not to mention the world media.

Why should you care?

Well, the event is an important showcase for products that could be making their way into our homes over the coming years, with the latest HD televisions, cars and gadgets among the numerous products revealed.

The Daily Mirror points out this year's event will see major announcements from Samsung, Sony, Audi and LG, among others.

2015: The year of SmartThings?

One Minnesota company making a big splash, the Pioneer Press notes, is Minneapolis-based SmartThings, the Kickstarter-funded company that in August was snapped up by Samsung for a reported $200 million.

According to the Boston Globe, one of the major themes at this year's CES will be online connectivity with every manmade device, dubbed "The Internet of Things."

The newspaper says that decreasing cost of computers, storage sensors and Wi-Fi connections is making it easier to link phones, cars, appliances, televisions and even homes together.

SmartThings is right in the thick of the action, as it makes the sensors and hubs designed to connect everyday items to the internet, enabling people to control home comforts such as garage doors, electric window shades and thermostats from a mobile device, according to the Business Journal.

In his keynote address to the CES, Samsung CEO BK Yoon revealed his company will be utilizing SmartThings' technology to the fullest over the next year, The Verge reports, as he unveiled plans to offer a subscription service that links every device you own.

Yoon, who was joined on stage by SmartThings founder Alex Hawkinson, gave an example: You receive a text alert if sensors detect that someone has entered your home when you're not there, with the potential for the alert to be escalated to an emergency call.

Other companies exhibiting

The Pioneer Press reports Minnetonka-based Polaroid – in which the Pohlad family recently bought a majority share – is revealing three new products at the show, including a new incarnation of its Zink instant photograph printers.

Meanwhile Edina mobile charger company Bracketron, and hearing aid companies Hearing Components, of Oakdale, and Bloomington's ReSound have all made announcements in the run-up to the show, the newspaper says.

The CES website also shows that regular Minnesota attendees 3M, Sleep Number and Honeywell International will once more be exhibiting at this year's event.

In previous years companies such as Eden Prairie 3D printer-makers Stratasys and Minnetonka-based UnitedHealthcare have also exhibited, according to Twin Cities Business.

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