Canadian Companies Make Strong Showing at International CES

Canadians are making a strong showing at this year’s International CES in Las Vegas this week.

BlackBerry has been making waves with several announcements, the flagship of which is its new Internet of Things platform, a “cloud-based, secure and reliable platform that leverages BlackBerry’s extensive technology portfolio.” The Waterloo-based smartphone maker also showed off BBM for wearables, which BlackBerry says is launching in a few months.

“The BlackBerry IoT Platform blends the technologies that have enabled BlackBerry to become a leader in both the mobile data security and embedded systems industries,” said Matt Hoffman, VP of Strategy and Marketing, BlackBerry Technology Solutions. “By combining the BlackBerry global network and device lifecycle management proficiency with the embedded software experience of QNX, we have built a modular, cloud-based platform that gives customers the chance to build IoT applications in a secure, efficient and scalable way.”

“The integration of BBM to support wearable technology is just one way we’re expanding the capabilities of our portfolio and delivering exciting options for customers to easily access BlackBerry’s cross-platform technologies,” added Herman Li, Senior Vice President, BBM Engineering and Product Management, BlackBerry.

Meanwhile, Montreal’s Spotr and Toronto’s uCiC were selected as finalists in CES’ Mobile Apps Challenge for its game. PasswordBox, also out of Montreal, won last year and was later acquired by Intel.

Spotr’s Spot-On allows users to put their pop culture knowledge to the test by typing what they spot and comparing results with friends. uCiC allows users to select any area in the world and reach out to fellow users, whether you know them or not, to complete an image or video request for you.



“While I enjoy many of the popular time-waster games as much as the next person, I also asked myself what if we could do something positive and constructive while playing these games,” said app creator Olivia Li. “That’s when we combined our ideas for solving visual data problems with our passion for social mobile games and created Spot-On.” 

Kwilt is also garnering attention at CES. The Ottawa-born startup launched its “visual social network” this week, an upgraded iteration of its original concept.

“Kwilt with Family and Friends is an industry first,” says Marc Benglia, Kwilt’s founder. “Our early focus group tests show an amazing reaction from consumers to this unique feature and average daily usage simply goes through the roof. This thing is totally addictive. This is beyond Instagram on steroids.”

Kwilt is currently available for iOS versions 7 and up. Kwilt with Social Feeds and Social Album Sharing will be free and available to the public in early 2015.