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France shows off some new consumer products at CES

Several countries at the show are assisting their tech startups

Photo (c) Gary Guthrie
The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is an international confab drawing 179,000 people from across the globe. Dozens of countries are represented, showing off their latest technology innovations.

The French government is assisting a number of French tech startup companies to get their wares before the public, including a product to improve cycling safety. 

Let’s say you’re riding your bicycle through a busy city street at night, dodging traffic. Maybe you have some reflective tape on your clothing to make yourself more visible.

Road-Light SAS, a French startup, is marketing a product that can make a bike or motorcycle rider as visible to the following traffic as another car. A wearable light package is worn on the rider’s back, not only increasing visibility but informing drivers which way the rider is going.

“You have position lights, turn signal, and fog lights,” said Mohamed Ait El Hodj, the company’s CEO. “It’s the first device in the world with fog lights for bicycle and motorcycle.”

Miniature drum set

If you’re trying to learn to play drums or have a budding jazz musician in the family, Senstroke is a device that turns an ordinary pair of drumsticks into a drum. Sensors attach to both sticks and reproduce a drum’s sound when they strike a hard surface.

“You can use this product to play the drums on any surface,” said Jerome Dron, founder and CEO of Redison, which makes the product. “It is connected by Bluetooth to a smartphone.”

The sensors on the drumsticks reproduce the sound, which can then be amplified or recorded.

The company makes another product -- a small round surface that reproduces the different sounds of a full drum kit, depending on where on the disk the sticks land.

“For example, if you hit the surface in front of you you’ll have the sound of a snare drum, over to the left creates the sound of a high hat, and to the right is a cymbal,” Dron said.

The advantage to the Sensistroke is it’s a lot less costly than a drum kit and doesn’t take up nearly as much room. Also, if you are practicing in an apartment building, you can pound away without disturbing the neighbors.

Immersive sound

BassMe is another French startup with a product adding to the immersive experience when listening to music or otherwise experiencing dramatic sound.

“When you’re listening to music and just wearing headphones you don’t get the kick from the sound that you would at a concert,” said BassMe CEO Alban Duroy. “It works with everything, including gaming and cinema.”

The “kick” is provided by a device that fits over the user’s shoulder and holds a module against the chest. Bass sounds are transmitted through the device and translated into physical impact, timed to the beat of the sounds.

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