Tucked into the tiniest of corners of the gargantuan Consumer Electronics Show one night this week was Sonny Vu, the founder of Misfit.
The Redwood City, Calif., company did not have an elaborately constructed trade booth with flashing lights or blaring dance music. It just had Vu, undeterred by his lack of props, standing next to a table displaying a few samples of Shine, the company’s new activity monitor that’s about the size and shape of a Nilla Wafer.
It is also providing some badly needed adrenaline and hope to a troubled consumer electronics industry that has seen growth stall and finds itself facing a projected drop in sales this year. …
As if on cue, the start-up cavalry came charging into CES this week.
By the numbers, the effect of these smaller companies on the world’s largest technology trade show has been profound. Just a couple of years ago, when Microsoft announced it was pulling out of CES, and other large companies reduced their presence, many started writing the show’s obituary.
Instead, this year CES set a new record with 3,200 exhibitors across more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space — or enough to fit about 35 football fields. That’s up from 3,000 exhibitors and 1.92 million square feet last year.
A healthy part of that growth came from the swarm of hardware start-ups, according to Laura Hubbard, a CEA spokeswoman. Though these upstarts are small on their own, there were several areas at CES that brought them together to help draw attention to them.
TechCrunch, the influential Silicon Valley tech blog, held its first ever “Hardware Battlefield” at CES. Throughout the week, hardware start-ups got on a stage to…