Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

CES 2012: Three Wild Tools from Tech Entrepreneurs A walkthrough of the event's first-ever exhibit area for startup companies.

By Jason Fell

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

LAS VEGAS -- Ultra-thin laptops? Check. Blazing fast smartphones? Check. While the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) always has been a showcase of the best and latest in innovation and creativity among big-name electronics companies, this year's event is highlighting startups, as well.

For the first time in the event's 44-year history, CES has created an exhibit space specifically for tech entrepreneurs. Eureka Park TechZone, which spans more than 9,000 square feet at The Venetian hotel, will introduce attendees to a stunning collection of new tools and the budding tech entrepreneurs who hope to bring their products and services to market.

We've scoured the Eureka Park exhibit space to see what's coming from tech entrepreneurs this year. Here's a look at three of the most interesting startups and the wild products they're developing.

Company: Kogeto
Founders: Jeff Glasse and David Sosnow
Gadget: Dot, a 360-degree camera for mobile devices
Launched: June 2010

Kogeto's Dot, a 365-degree camera for mobile devices.
Kogeto's Dot, a 360-degree camera for mobile devices.

Instead of creating a standard video with your mobile phone, imagine capturing a 360-degree video of your surroundings. A New York City startup called Kogeto is one startup that's making it a reality.

Kogeto has developed Dot, an attachment that snaps onto an Apple iPhone 4 or 4S. The device adds a panoramic, high-resolution camera to the phone's existing lens, as well as twin microphones to capture audio. Unlike other panoramic add-ons for mobile phones, Dot comes with Kogeto's free Looker app and Dotspots web service, which allow users to share videos on Twitter and Facebook, and over email in real time.

Kogeto co-founders David Sosnow (left) and Jeff Glasse (right).
Kogeto co-founders David Sosnow (left) and Jeff Glasse (right).
Images courtesy of the company.

"We've seen extreme sports [videos created with Dot] … real estate brokers showing properties and families sharing Thanksgiving dinner with a faraway relative," says Glasse, who is 41.

After unveiling Dot at a technology conference last summer, Glasse says he and Sosnow were invited to present it to Apple executives, who liked what they saw. Starting this month, Dot -- which retails online for $79 -- will be sold in Apple's U.S. stores.

"Having your product available in Apple stores is like being an artist whose work is selected to be exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art," Glasse says. Kogeto's 11-person team also plans to sell an Android-compatible Dot later this year, he says.

Related: CES 2012: Go Green With These Money-Saving Gadgets

Company: Innovega Inc.
Founders: Randall Sprague and Steve Willey
Gadget: Augmented reality displays integrated into contact lenses
Launched: June 2007

When the thought of "electronic vision" comes to mind, you might picture some amalgamation of popular sci-fi flicks such as The Terminator, The Matrix or Total Recall, with test subjects wearing cumbersome, Robocop-style headgear. But one tech startup is looking to take the experience beyond clunky equipment.

An example image of the technology behind Innovega Inc.'s augmented reality displays.
Example images of the technology behind Innovega Inc.'s augmented reality displays.
Image courtesy of the company.

The founders of Innovega Inc. -- headquartered northeast of Seattle in Hansville, Wash. -- have developed augmented reality displays that are integrated into contact lenses Those images can be seen when the user is wearing glasses with special lenses.

"Images are projected onto the spectacle lenses in the glasses, and the contact lenses enable the wearer to focus clearly on the images," explains co-founder and chief technology officer Randall Sprague, 55. He started Innovega with Steve Wiley, who serves as CEO.

"By putting all the imaging optics in the contact lenses … we can get rid of all that bulk and provide images that fill your normal visual space," he says.

Still in the development process, the Innovega team is seeking partners for manufacturing and distribution. It anticipates launching its first U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved product by 2013. The mass-market applications for this technology can include video gaming as well as 3-D movie viewing, Sprague says.

Related: CES 2012: A Preview for Small Business

Company: Mezmeriz Inc.
Founders: Brad Treat and Shahyaan Desai
Gadget: A projector small enough to embed into a mobile phone
Launched: November 2006

An example image of the technology behind Mezmeriz Inc.'s projector for mobile devices.
An example image of the technology behind Mezmeriz Inc.'s projector for mobile devices.
Image courtesy of the company.

While working on his master's degree in material science at Cornell University, Shahyaan Desai wondered how people might be able to project high-resolution images from small devices such as mobile phones. Desai, now 34, teamed up with Brad Treat, Cornell's entrepreneur-in-residence, to find a solution.

The result is Ithaca, N.Y.-based Mezmeriz Inc., which hopes to develop a projector small enough to embed into a mobile phone. The project is still in the prototype phase, but Treat says the goal is a device that can project full-color pictures and videos onto any surface. The projected image is expected to be about the size of a tablet computer.

"Mezmeriz's patented mirrors rapidly scan laser beams thousands of times a second to create a full-color video image," explains Treat, who is 40. "This can be embedded into any smartphone, tablet or other computer device." On-the-go business owners who often need to show colleagues and clients information and images from mobile devices might find Mezmeriz's projector useful, if it eventually comes to market.

Jason Fell

VP, Native Content

Jason Fell is the VP of Native Content, managing the Entrepreneur Partner Studio, which creates dynamic and compelling content for our partners. He previously served as Entrepreneur.com's managing editor and as the technology editor prior to that.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.


How to Break Free From the Cycle of Overthinking and Master Your Mind

Discover the true cost of negative thought loops — and practical strategies for nipping rumination in the bud.

Business Solutions

This is Your Last Chance to Get Microsoft Office for $25

Lock in a lifetime of access to 2019's Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more favorites for your business.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Growing a Business

Want to Expand Your Market Overseas? Here's Everything You Need to Know About Global Logistics in 2024

With rising geopolitical tensions and changing market conditions it can be hard for businesses to navigate supply chain logistics even in a post-pandemic world. Here are three tips from the CEO of an international customs brokerage.

Business News

Elvis Presley's Granddaughter Fights Graceland Foreclosure, Calls Paperwork 'Forgeries'

The 13.8-acre estate was scheduled to be sold in a public foreclosure auction on Thursday. Presley's granddaughter and heir, Riley Keough, is fighting to save Graceland in court.

Business News

Target Is Lowering Prices on Thousands of Items — Here's Where You Can Expect to Save

The news was announced ahead of Target's Q1 2024 earnings call, expected to occur Wednesday at 10 a.m. EST.