TransluSense wins big at CES

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Mark Collins, one of the investors behind local tech company TransluSense, answers questions for the cameras of the SyFy Channel. (Courtesy photo)

SANDPOINT — Local tech company TransluSense proved it could go toe-to-toe with the big boys at this week’s 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Facing down technology giants like Samsung, HTC and Lenovo — companies that boast thousands of employees and control huge amounts of resources — the small Sandpoint business stole the show at the convention’s Last Gadget Standing competition with its Luminae Keyboard. The innovative keyboard took first place during the live event, providing company representatives with a windfall of curious tech reporters and publicity.

“We’re really excited about how well the week went,” said David Rogers, the company’s vice president of global operations. “We’ve been able to talk to a lot of people.”

As is typical at the massive technology trade show, around 50 companies entered their slickest products to compete for either the live event prize or an online popular vote. After judges narrowed that number down to the top 25 items, the products went online, allowing individuals to cast their vote for their favorite gizmo. Finally, the top 10 finalists had the chance to pitch their product before a packed audience of about 500 individuals. The winner of the live event was selected by an applause-o-meter — microphones situated strategically around the room to measure the strength of applause. TransluSense representatives edged out nearest competitor the Misfit Shine for the victory.

TransluSense’s David to its competitors’ many Goliaths was the Luminae Keyboard. The sleekly designed keyboard is an easy attention-grabber with its futuristic aesthetic, but it does more than just look good. It uses touch technology and a light-based interface to create an endlessly customizable computing tool. Users can swap buttons, trackpad areas and light configurations to interface exactly how they want with their computer. The end result is about as compellingly science-fiction-made-reality as it gets.

“Move over ‘Minority Report,’ because the future is now,” CES judge Avram Piltch said.

Between the victory at the Last Gadget Standing competition and their booth presence on the showroom floor, TransluSense representatives were able to attract plenty of media attention. Tech writer Terrence O’Brien authored a post covering the device for the popular blog Engadget, and company representatives gave several interviews for TV spots on channels like Discovery.

Overall, Rogers estimates that company representatives talked with around a dozen media professionals in addition to the many regular show floor visitors.

“That’s just the kind of exposure a small company like ours is looking for,” Rogers said.

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