University of Southampton to unleash trailblazing AI and quantum tech products at CES ’21

Entrepreneurs from eight pioneering tech startups will exhibit at the expo next year, with the event adopting a fully virtual form for the very first time

Tech startups conceived at the University of Southampton are set to unleash a range of trailblazing artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum technology products at CES 2021 – an event described as the ‘proving ground’ for breakthrough technologies and innovators.

Standing as the only representative of the UK’s higher education sector, the University of Southampton will showcase innovations developed on-campus, with the event, which runs from 11–14 January, adopting a fully virtual form for the very first time next year.

Entrepreneurs from eight of Southampton’s pioneering startups will exhibit at the expo, demonstrating cutting-edge advances from sectors such as AI, fitness and wearables, quantum computing, sports technology, and sustainability.

Historically, the physical event has taken place in Las Vegas, drawing more than 170,000 visitors with an interest in emerging technologies, with over 4,000 tech firms also in attendance.

The University of Southampton’s on-campus startup accelerator, Future Worlds, will return to CES for a sixth consecutive year as the UK’s soul university exhibitor. Startup representatives from the institution will take to the virtual stage, demonstrating their creations to customers, investors and industry leaders on all corners of the globe across the four-day show.

The university’s current startups that are set to display next year include:

  • Absolar: AI-powered software that simulates solar radiation to inform renewable energy decisions
  • Aquark Technologies: revolutionary miniaturised cold atom chip for quantum hardware
  • ArchAI: an AI tool for construction planners to automate archaeology assessments
  • Inpulse: smart clothing to correct muscle imbalances and improve sports performance
  • Sentient Sports: AI that assists football managers by predicting how players will perform

While three Southampton startups that were formerly supported by Future Worlds will also take part, including:

  • Aura Vision: revolutionary in-store analytics for offline retailers using existing security cameras, now enabling ‘COVID-secure’ retail
  • BOON: creators of privacy-first personalised experiences for online retailers
  • Emitwise: machine learning software to help speed up the carbon accounting and reporting process for environmentally-conscious companies

Archaeologist-cum-computer scientist, Iris Kramer, will showcase her startup, ArchAI – a solution that automates archaeological assessments to speed-up and de-risk lengthy and costly planning processes for developers, all while saving historical sites from unnecessary destruction.

“By using out technology over conventional techniques,” she said, “developers could save tens of thousands in costs, as well as months of time that would be spent surveying land pre-development. Going forward there are wide ranging environmental challenges globally that our world-first technology can address.”

Neuroscientist Devon Lewis will join Kramer at the virtual event, demonstrating Inpulse – smart clothing that monitors and enhances muscle control, resulting in considerably improved sports performance and injury recovery. “The way our nervous system coordinates movements of the body is incredibly complex, and problems can arise at any stage, leading to a huge range of movement disorders,” Lewis explains.

“Conventional approaches usually seek to identify and improve specific biological issues, but we can use electrical stimulation to bypass these issues and treat everything from minor tremors to complete paralysis without drugs or invasive surgery.”

Ben Clark, director of Future Worlds, commented: “We are very excited as Southampton steps up as the only university representing the UK at CES for a sixth consecutive year. The startups we have selected to exhibit are inspirational future leaders in their field, destined to make huge change in the world of AI and quantum. More startups than ever before are exhibiting with Future Worlds at this year’s CES, reflecting the immeasurable vision, talent and determination to push through the pandemic to help create a more sustainable, connected and healthy world to come.”

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