Electric Trucks, AI Birds, and Lunar Alexa: Washington Businesses Hit CES

This year’s CES tech show was a little different. Concerns about the pandemic have meant that most of Washington’s top tech players haven’t made the annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas, where the world’s biggest electronics makers typically launch new merchandise.

That didn’t stop several Northwest businesses from making a splash by making the trip. Among them was the Bellevue truck maker PACCAR, which introduced another zero-emission vehicle offered under its Kenworth brand.

The truck, the Kenworth T680E, has an estimated range of 150 miles and is designed for regional work. It will be available as a tractor or box truck. According to PACCAR, it can be fully charged in about three hours.

“Kenworth is leading the way in zero emission solutions,” said Kevin Baney, Managing Director of Kenworth and Vice President of PACCAR. The truck, he continued, “provides our customers with a true zero emission solution that will help them meet their own green program goals.”

The T680E is the third and largest electric vehicle offered by Kenworth. The company started taking orders for all three last year and has recorded more than 50 orders to date. PACCAR also produces charging stations for electric vehicles.

Also at CES, Parrots, a Spokane-based medical device startup, showcased “Polly,” an AI parrot that helps people with disabilities communicate and live independently, reported The Spokesman-Review.

The device can be perched on a wheelchair or on a bedside, and when paired with a laptop or tablet, provides a 360-degree view for users. The device tracks eye movements to predict user needs – it can see orange juice on a table during breakfast and predict when a user wants a drink.

Parrots, who was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Association of Washington Business in 2021, shared space with six other Washington-based companies at CES in a booth hosted by the state Department of Commerce. The Seattle startups included: iUNU, a manufacturer of environmental sensors; Kirio, a maker of home control software; food delivery technology developer Minnow Technologies; and Picnic, a food automation company. Bothell-based video tech maker Pictory.ai, which on Tuesday secured $ 2.1 million in backing from FUSE, Voyager Capital and several angel investors, also took to the Commerce Department’s booth.

“Short video is emerging as an industry standard for many business use cases, particularly in marketing and social media,” said Kellan Carter, general partner of FUSE, a capital firm. venture whose list of partners includes Seattle Seahawks star linebacker Bobby Wagner. “Pictor is led by a world-class team who have already created and successfully developed software companies. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of the Pictory journey.

Major Washington tech players also attended CES, albeit virtually. Microsoft introduced a new computer chipset designed for augmented reality glasses, while Chinese electronics maker TCL Technology announced that Bellevue-based T-Mobile would be among the first US companies to offer its phones at low prices. awards later this year.

Amazon has touted changes to Amazon Web Services’ cloud computing offerings and its line of consumer products – Fire TV is coming to cars, Ring systems will soon detect break-ins and fires. Alexa will orbit the moon aboard NASA’s first Artemis mission, an unmanned flight expected later this year.

A broad partnership has also been announced between Amazon and Stellantis, the multinational automobile manufacturer formed in 2021 by the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the French group PSA. Stellantis brands include Dodge, Jeep and Peugeot, as well as Fiat and Chrysler.

Amazon and Stellantis have signed a series of multi-year agreements that are expected to see Amazon design a substantial amount of software used in Stellantis vehicles.

“We are inventing solutions that will enable Stellantis to accelerate connected and personalized experiences in vehicles, so that every moment in motion can be smart, safe and suitable for every occupant,” said Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, In a press release. “Together, we will create the foundation for Stellantis to grow from a traditional automaker to a global leader in software-driven development and engineering.”

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