By Fred Schonenberg, Founder of VentureFuel

CES is a zoo of brand networking, over-the-top parties and mostly big tech companies showcasing incremental advancements in the main hall. The true innovations and opportunities are hidden in closed-door-meetings, unique demo days and within the cluttered rows of Eureka Park, the flagship startup destination @ CES. My team attended everything from the UNLV Robotics Lab to multiple Innovation Cocktails to VC demo-days and had the pleasure of vetting all 600 companies that were showcased at Eureka Park.

Here are 8 companies from the CES ecosystem that have interesting applications for the OOH community:


Kino-mo holo-displays dazzled at Eureka Park. 3D visuals of Big Macs, Nike shoes, Pikachu’s, and even investor Mark Cuban’s face danced overhead as hordes of passersby looked up in awe. This cost-effective and scalable hologram solution presents a unique opportunity to captivate audiences with high impact displays out-of-home, in-store, or at events.

See it in action:


LifePrint is the first augmented reality social network that allows videos come to life – yes, you can literally print videos. Following a remarkable run this holiday season where the printer sold out globally in Apple stores, LifePrint will continue to make OOH, print, and in-store applications come to life while enabling brands to print out videos globally, at scale. (Full disclosure VF represents full-time)


As robots begin to think and see, Tanvas promises to let humans “rediscover touch.” Using surface haptics technology, Tanvas enables real-time control of the forces acting between a fingertip and the touch surface, which creates multisensory experiences and rich interactions. This lets users feel the textures of clothes before buying online, add a new layer of engagement to gameplay, or create memorable on-site experiential activations. Tanvas unlocks a new level of creative freedom and interactivity without any need for a headset or hand trackers.

Akoustic Arts:

The French dominated CES 2017 with over 260 companies participating – the largest international contingent of startups at the show. Akoustic Arts’ showcased the world’s most advanced directional speaker. It creates a narrow beam of sound, the same way that a laser creates a beam of light to focus on a precise area, allowing you to blast sound directly into your ears from across the room without anyone else hearing it. Think 2 people hearing very different advertisements despite being next to each other.


AI was all the rage at CES from Alexa to Siri to bots and autonomous vehicles. But how can AI work for the OOH community and what is the true power of AI from an ROI vantage point? Enter in IV.AI, a full-service agency for artificial intelligence. Their team of machine learning experts empower businesses with groundbreaking technology from smart chatbots, image recognition, audio recognition, scraping social feeds to intelligent data analytics making sense of your disparate big data info (think Nielsen x CRM x beacon info combined as a product for your sales team or brand partners). (Full disclosure VF represents full-time)


If Snapchat’s face swap isn’t real enough for you, check out the Bellus3D Face Camera, an easy-to-use, high-quality, and affordable 3D face scanning camera for mobile devices. Create life-like models of your face in moments and try on those new glasses from home, apply digital makeup without the time and mess of normal trial-and-error. Use your 3D face model to create a custom game/VR character or even print your face and send it to your friends for the ultimate face swap. An indication of how realistic and personal our virtual interactions are poised to become.


The sensation of touch is one of the challenges of our alternate realities (virtual, augmented or mixed). Haptic feedback, the sensation of touch, seems to have been mastered by Ultrahaptics which connects us with our devices without having to touch, or wear, special equipment. It allows us to interact with technology to feel virtual worlds, or get feedback from gesture control.

Smart Me Up:

Real-time facial recognition and analysis via any web cam. The technology allows anyone, including outdoor media companies and event marketers, to instantly recognize things such as ID, gender, age and emotional analysis. Combined with AI, could lead to serving customized ads as well as better identification on who is being reached.

CES can be overwhelming and often bizarre (“underwearables” and vacuum cleaning shoes) but amidst that noise, there are more than a few technologies which traditional media can leverage as they continue to connect advertisers with consumers in new and exciting ways.


Fred Schonenberg is the Founder of VentureFuel, which helps emerging media and new technology companies grow their advertising revenue through brand partnerships with Fortune 500 advertisers. 

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