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Western Switzerland tech premiered at CES 2022

Tuesday 11 January 2022

Vaud-based biped develops AI-co-pilot for blind and visually impaired people (left), and Neuchâtel-based Aktiia develops a 24/7 blood pressure monitor (right).

On the occasion of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, biped and Aktiia made major announcements, including product launches and market entry.

As the world’s leading tech event, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas hosted more than 2,200 tech companies from various industries. The Swiss delegation consisted of more than 15 start-ups demonstrating Switzerland’s innovation culture and technologies to a global audience.

Among them, two start-ups from Western Switzerland showcased their latest developments. a potentially life-saving solution for many people

In a world premiere, biped introduced its latest prototype of its AI-co-pilot for blind and visually impaired people. Unlike existing solutions such as a guide-dog or walking stick that can be stigmatizing, biped developed a wearable device comprising a comfortable and lightweight collar fitted with 3D cameras. It continuously monitors a 170° field of view for the user, detecting, tracking and predicting the trajectories of all surrounding elements a few seconds in advance. It then filters the relevant information and warns the wearer via immersive 3D sounds.

Created in January 2021 and having received funding from Venture Kick, Vaud-based biped received an innovation award from International Business Times (IBT) as part of the CES pitch competition. biped has also recently closed a USD 1.1 million seed round from Swiss and French business angels and a Swiss VC and is now filing for Class I medical device status.

Aktiia: the 24/7 blood pressure monitor

Hypertension is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and stroke. In the United States alone, nearly 50% of adults, about 116 million people, have high blood pressure. Of these, up to 75% do not have their blood pressure under control.  

Neuchâtel-based start-up Aktiia, which spent more than 17 years on research, developed a wearable device with optical sensors on the wrist that automatically monitors blood pressure around the clock and gathers over 100x the data. The device has over 10x the engagement of other blood pressure monitors.

Having raised USD 17.5 million in 2021, the CE Marked device is currently available for sale in seven countries across Europe. Aktiia is now entering the US market through a landmark study with Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), a top 10 hospital for cardiology with one of the world's most innovative hypertension clinics.

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