Innersense was exhibiting at CES 2019. Here are the impressions of its CEO Stéphane Mercier.
How did the idea of the CES came to your mind? What were your expectations?
We’ve been wondering about attending this show for a few years now, but at first glance, it didn’t seem to be of much interest to us. We were sceptical about the French rush towards the CES, knowing that Innersense is working on a BtoB model and that the BtoC visitors attending the CES are not our traditional target at all (furniture and homes). Moreover, we did not go there with direct sales goals, since it is still an investment in time and money for us.
What rushed our decision this year was that we realized it was quite mandatory to attend this show in order to increase our visibility, including in France. Especially at the stage of maturity we’re reaching with Innersense: we are now working with global brands and 2018 has seen the release of mobile applications for internationally famous entities such as Roche Bobois, Stressless Ekornes, Maisons du Monde, etc. We are really in an internationalization process, particularly since the creation of the American subsidiary in the second quarter of 2018.
Did you choose to introduce an innovation in particular?
The goal was to take advantage of the event to communicate on our latest technological innovation: SwapUp, on which we have been working for several years. This technology allows you to “virtually erase” an existing layout (a kitchen for example). It’s still a prototype, not yet a product, but it will be available soon. We believe that it can really transform Augmented Reality for room design and layout. It is an innovation that is expected by our customers and that places Innersense at the forefront of Augmented Reality for room planning and design.
Region of Occitania (French State) offered support led by AD’OCC for companies located within the state limits. Great work before and after the event. We were very well placed with the French Tech and the stat, which we could not have achieved if we had done it alone.
How did the event go?
It was very intense especially since we were in a discovery phase, with a limited team. We experienced a huge and international traffic, especially North-american and Asian. It was quite impressive! Four days during which we were very busy, on-site with the booth during the day, and off-site with various events early in the morning or late evening organized by La French Tech, BPI, la Région etc..
You can also feel the pressure of the city and the huge crowd that lives there for a few days: it’s exhausting!
What is the outcome for Innersense?
We had a lot of contacts, both on the French and American side, with some of them being really interesting. This first contact would not have been possible if we didn’t went to the CES. It was beneficial and we drew a very positive result, especially since we are now ready for the US market. Of course, as with all trade fairs, it is “only” contacts that will have to be worked on in the upcoming months.
What about technological watch?
We’ve been monitoring a lot of activity around augmented reality. Even if it’s not yet mature, we can see that it’s moving. It will surely take a few more years before having the consumer use cases that we are interested in at Innersense.
On the software side, we didn’t saw any news from our point of view, except that today there are some nice results in beauty tech. Otherwise, not much in the field we’re interested in.
Are you thinking of a second edition for Innersense?
Indeed, even if it’s only for the brand exposure that this event allows to have, there is a good chance that we will decide to attend again next year!
Stay tuned !