CES has come and gone, and now we’re left excited for when, and if, any of the displayed technology will make it into consumers’ hands. For those unfamiliar, CES, or the Consumer Electronics Show, is an annual expo where some of the world’s largest electronics companies show off their future technology. In most cases, these pieces of tech are nothing more than concepts that probably won’t actually make it to market, but there are still a bevy of tech treats that become big-time sellers. And as important and beloved as the large, brand-name companies are, CES is a great opportunity for startup tech companies to get some exposure. I wanted to highlight two up-and-coming businesses that have some novel products that can change the way human beings interact with one another.


Besides money, what’s the number one thing holding you back from traveling the world? Unless you have a crippling fear of flying, it’s probably the language barrier. Learning a new language is difficult, even if you’re just trying to learn the basics, but with the WT2 Plus, from Timekettle, this could be a worry of the past. The WT2 Plus is a set of earbuds that instantly translate two different languages in real time. So, if you’re ever traveling abroad in Russia, simply hand one earpiece to whomever you’re speaking with, pop your earpiece in, and simply speak. Using AI technology, the WT2 Plus can allow you to have a fluent conversation with someone who speaks a completely different language. Timekettle’s founder, Leal Tzen, got the idea after his parents traveled abroad and couldn’t speak the local languages. It’s an incredibly useful and exciting piece of tech that could revolutionize the way humans interact with one another. The earpieces are already totaling sales of $3 million.


Hearing loss is a very common issue plaguing (one in eight US citizens aged 12 and older has hearing loss in both ears) the country. Unfortunately, for younger generations, they aren’t terribly keen on using a hearing aid that will stick out like a sore thumb, and invisible hearing aids are far too expensive. Eargo is looking to eliminate the stigma associated with hearing aids by offering an affordable and sleek product. There isn’t anything terrible revolutionary about the Eargo hearing aids; they work like any other hearing aid, except they are small, comfortable and virtually unnoticeable in the ear. The company’s largest selling point, however, is the pricing and the fact that they sell the hearing aids directly to consumers, as opposed to going through a doctor. With a price range of roughly $1,950 to $2,750, Eargo hearing aids are far cheaper than their traditional counterparts.

Will these audio-centric devices become a hit with consumers? I certainly hope so, seeing as how they are both very useful devices with tremendous potential. The Opes Group loves to highlight new businesses that look to change the world, or at least some aspect of it.