TECH TALK

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Let’s talk gadgets, robotics, pioneers, research, solutions and trends. We talk to the people in Switzerland and around the world behind these big ideas and what they mean for businesses, consumers and the planet.

Turning plastic waste into prosthetics
Two ZHdK graduates are designing lower-limb prosthetic systems from plastic waste that they are planning to produce in developing countries, made there for people there. Their start-up, Project Circleg, launched in 2018 with CHF 500,000 from foundations and is continuing to expand and look for new funding.

Quantum computing is “no longer science fiction,” says IBM
IBM showcased its quantum computing services at this year’s World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. We asked Arvind Krishna, senior vice president of cloud and cognitive software at the American tech giant, what those new computers can really do and when they will available on the market.

Swiss bring next-generation 3-D tracking and smart clothing to CES 2020
Deep tech start-up Eyeware is pushing 3-D to the next level with its eye tracking software, says co-founder Bastjan Prenaj. And Xsensio, which will receive the CES Innovation Award, is developing the “next generation in wearables” with its “Lab-on-Skin” chip, says CEO and co-founder Esmeralda Megally. We continue our series on Swiss tech start-ups looking to make their mark on CES 2020.

Start-ups FlavorWiki and CARU gear up for Swiss pavilion at CES 2020
FlavorWiki is changing how the food industry addresses consumer tastes with its digital app. And agetech start-up CARU is bringing safety to the elderly by giving them a digital voice with its smart sensor. In part three of our series on CES 2020, we talk to FlavorWiki founder Daniel Protz and CARU co-founders Susanne Dröscher and Thomas Helbling about being part of the Swissnex network—and what that means for them heading into Las Vegas next week.

Tech start-ups L2F and CREAL3D look to build Swiss buzz at CES 2020
Lausanne-based start-up L2F is creating a tool kit for machine learning developers. “We allow scientists to have a new perspective on their data,” says CEO Aldo Podestà. And CREAL3D will “help us see real 3-D” with its innovative light field glasses, says CEO and co-founder Tomas Sluka. In part two of our special series leading up to CES 2020, we talk to Swiss tech start-ups about preparations for the event and get a glimpse into their “dream” meetings.

Nao, the Swiss robot that attends school
Children with severe illnesses often suffer from isolation. Nao, a robot made by the Swiss company Avatarion Technology, sits in the classroom and allows them to follow lessons and interact with their teachers and classmates.

Planting trees in the wrong place can hurt the environment
Tom Crowther’s research pinpoints where we should save and restore forests, based on where those trees are most beneficial to the Earth’s ecosystems. “We generate an understanding of where carbon is concentrated to trap it and keep as much as possible out of our atmosphere,” says the ETH Zurich professor. But Crowther’s findings are stirring up some controversy for a number of reasons.

A world without passwords is just around the corner
Windows, Android and most web browsers have integrated FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) authentication, says Andrew Shikiar, executive director of FIDO Alliance. The U.S.-based association aims to eliminate the use of passwords, which they say is key to combatting cybercrime. Daniel Dubowski, vice president of cybersecurity at Equifax, joined Shikiar at the WEF Cybersecurity Summit in Geneva last month to share the company’s experience of going “passwordless.”

Pitch perfect: How Swissnex is prepping tech start-ups for CES 2020

In the first part of our special series leading up to CES 2020, which kicks off in Las Vegas on January 7, we talk to Christian Simm, CEO of Swissnex Boston, about how their start-ups are getting ready. And we ask Stuart Papp, founder of Boston-based coaching service Pitch DNA, about how he’s teaching these Swiss entrepreneurs to pitch their start-ups at the event.

This autism innovation may never see the light of day in Switzerland
Ned Sahin is founder and CEO of neurotechnology start-up Brain Power, whose tool “Empower Me” uses smart glasses like Google Glass to coach those with autism. It helps schoolchildren learn social and cognitive skills and can even guide adults through an interview process. Brain Power’s product is sold to many schools in the U.S. but may never make it to market in Switzerland thanks to strict data privacy laws.