You can find a $180K solar-powered car, qubit controls, and breathing tips at the NL Tech Pavilion at CES 2021

You can find a $180K solar-powered car, qubit controls, and breathing tips at the NL Tech Pavilion at CES 2021


90 entrepreneurs and researchers from the Netherlands want to solve all the world’s problems with collaboration and innovation.

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The Lightyear One charges its own batteries via five square meters of solar panels built into the car itself. 

Image: Lightyear One

The 90 Dutch companies in the NL Tech Pavilion at CES 2021 represent every possible use of technology as a problem-solving tool, from air quality and cars to sustainability and violence. 

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This collection of companies is one of the largest private sector delegations at this year’s virtual CES. 

The companies represent 13 sectors including advanced materials; artificial intelligence, big data and quantum computing; energy power and climate change; enterprise solutions; robotics and future work; digital health and wellness; cybersecurity and resilience; smart cities and mobility; sustainability and circularity; and 5G, IoT sensors, photonics and nanotech.

This year, Dutch organizers wanted to highlight how companies must work together to create economic, environmental, and social change by using partnerships between government, private and public companies, and research and knowledge institutions. 

SEE: CES 2021: The big trends for business (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature)

The quantum computing contingent at CES is one example of that collaboration. In addition to three companies, the Pavilion is hosting Quantum Delta NL as well. The organization supports networking among  researchers and educational efforts around quantum computing. 

“As global power players race toward building the first quantum computer, we continue to encourage productive collaboration between Dutch research institutes like QuTech, our national ecosystem for excellence Quantum Delta and groundbreaking startups like Qblox who all play an equally essential role in establishing the Netherlands as a leader in the evolution of quantum innovation,” said Mona Keijzer, State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.

These six companies in the delegation are working in artificial intelligence, data centers, energy use, digital health, blockchain, and solar-powered cars:

  • AlphaBeats: An app that measures stress and uses music to ease tension.
  • Breath in Balanz: A coaching system that uses an app and a belt to improve breathing patterns. 
  • DAN.com: Blockchain-powered domain name automation networks to make unused domain names easier to find and use.
  • Incooling: Phase change cooling systems for data centers.
  • Lightyear One: The world’s first ultra-energy-efficient, long-range, solar-powered electric car.
  • Oddity: A commercial violence recognition algorithm using advanced deep learning techniques.

Here’s a look at how these six companies are using technology to solve old and new problems. 

Taking on climate change

Incooling and Lightyear are taking on energy use in two different sectors. Incooling SVC is a compressor-based cooling system to cool high-performance servers by focusing on the CPU. This closed-loop system can be inserted directly into servers, according to the company, and can respond quickly to changing temperatures. The system uses two-phase cooling. With this system, the coolant is heated and subjected to phase change. This means that when the cooling material is heated to the boiling point, it can change from a liquid to a gas. This allows the cooling system to absorb more heat.

The Lightyear One charges its own batteries via five square meters of solar panels built into the car itself. The solar cells on the hood and the roof are encased in safety glass. The car also has four independent in-wheel motors that provide power when and where it is needed. This long-range solar electric car is two to three times more energy efficient than the current crop of electric vehicles, according to the company. Lightyear One uses 83 watts per kilometer, which will cover a range of 725 kilometers, or 450 miles. The Lightyear One goes on sale in late 2021 in Europe for 150,000 euros, or about $182,395.

Blockchain and AI

Oddity is working on a commercial violence recognition algorithm with advanced deep learning techniques. The algorithm monitors video feeds in real time to watch for potential violence and alert security officers. The company claims the system has a detection speed of less than half a second. The company also states that the algorithms analyze subjects in full anonymity and deploy on premises to protect privacy.

Verisign reports that there are about 330 million registered domain names but a significant portion of those are not active. Dan.com is using blockchain to make it easier for businesses and individuals to find, buy, and transfer these unused domains. Dan.com used IBM’s blockchain technology to automate domain name processes such as transferring a name to a new owner and to power new services such as domain name rental and lease to own. 

Digital health apps

Music has the power to influence emotions and AlphaBeats is using that power to help individuals relax. The company’s app measures stress via breathing, heart rate variability, and brainwaves. The sound quality from the ear buds changes based on the level of stress the biofeedback algorithms detect. As a person relaxes, the quality of the music improves. AlphaBeats is licensing a neurofeedback algorithm from Philips to power the app. AlphaBeats claims that 10 minute training sessions will help users train themselves to relax on command. The company is signing up beta testers for the iOS and Android apps.

Breath in Balanz also wants to train users to be healthier and its focus is breathing. The coaching system uses an app and a belt to improve breathing patterns to prevent hyperventilation. Breathing too shallowly or too fast can affect a person’s overall health, including sleep and heart conditions. Breath in Balanz offers an 80-day training program that is divided into seven segments. The idea is to train the variety of muscles used to breathe via the app and a sensor. 

Building quantum computing capacity

The Netherlands Pavilion includes a quantum computing cohort this year with three companies and one industry organization attending. Orange Quantum System helps R&D labs with quantum research. Qblox is advancing quantum technology with scalable and low-latency qubit control equipment. Quantum Inspire is a multi-hardware quantum technology platform. 

Quantum Delta NL supports the broader quantum ecosystem by encouraging collaboration among the country’s five major quantum research hubs, strengthening large-scale facilities across the country for nanotech research, and accelerating education efforts to support a quantum economy. The organization’s catalyst programs include building the first European quantum computing platform, establishing a national quantum network, and supporting companies that could build quantum sensing applications. Intel’s quantum researchers work with the Dutch company QuTech to test quantum chips that the hardware company is developing. 

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