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Through the eyes of a CIO

CES Eureka Park

My favorite area at CES has always been Eureka Park.  It’s basically where the start-ups and dreamers live.  I have no idea the statistics, so I’ll make some up: 84.5% of the vendors here will never make it to stardom in the tech world.  

Innovation still comes from the garage more than the boardroom IMHO and a lot of these folks are sharing space with the sedan.   

I made a list of vendors I wanted to visit and PayGreen was the first (by booth number).  After my blackout experience, I was looking forward to being enlightened (gag).  Unfortunately, no one was at their booth so all I could do was pick up a brochure.  Their brochure says they are the "first payment solution that has a positive impact on the world."  A French company that apparently asks for a donation to offset the amount of CO2 generated by online purchases.  I wish I could have asked how they will extract CO2 from the atmosphere, but alas.  Looks like they are mainly an eCommerce play.  I like the social conscience stuff, so I hope they are actually at the booth when Amazon comes around looking to replace the Amazon payment engine. 

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Next was “PayTweek” (you can see a pattern of “payment” search results, right?).  The folks at the booth spoke in a heavy French accent that was difficult for me to understand, so I’ll have to research a little more later.  it looks like it’s a competitor to PayPal, except they don’t take a 2.5% from the merchant. It is a monthly subscription model for the merchant.  We’ll see. 

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Up and down the aisles and I finally get to iCare.  Not a unique name (especially for you Micros users), but the product is cool.  An NFC-enabled ring that emulates the NFC chip in multiple credit cards (or whatever else might use NFC).  Bluetooth-connected to an app on your phone, it is pressure sensitive and requires you to make a fist to activate it.  I like wearables and hope to someday have a single platform for payment that just needs you to uniquely identify yourself.  This isn’t it, but nice idea. 

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Kuzzle was next.  They are a cloud platform for brokering a multitude of APIs.  Kind of like Omnivore, but for apps, web, watches, to solutions.  Not transaction based, but tiered flat subscription.   (sorry no pic).

Enter a couple of cryptocurrency vendors,  CoinPlus and UTrust. CoinPlus does not necessarily have restaurant implications, but was a potential sign of things to come.  These guys hold your cryptocurrency in a tangeable way. Kind of like gold bars. A non-tech way to hold tech currency.  Wow.  

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UTrust was an interesting company that allows online payment in crypto and pays the merchant in US dollars.  Nice!  I told him he should look to partner with Verifone or Ingenico so a merchant could do this through their POS  

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 I saw lots of other things and will share more tomorrow.  I am exhausted  g’Night Vegas   - Joe

 

Joe TenczarComment