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HARDWARE TRENDS 2016
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 2
2 Fundings + M&A
- Many of the products mentioned are not on market yet
- HAX and SOSV startups quoted in the report are indicated in the Appendix
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 3
HARDWARE IS CHANGING EVERYTHING
…and there is no app for that
The visions of science ﬁction with ﬂying cars, jet packs, bionic humans
and humanoid robots are getting realized, but also showing their limits.
Closer to us, IoT keeps growing and entering more industries:
automotive, food, healthcare, retail, hospitality, sports and more.
Every object is being reinvented, thanks to low-cost and innovative
sensors, and the data generated. “Connected” will soon be as
mundane as “electric”.
This report covers some major trends and key examples of what is
coming in this new technical revolution.
GET READY FOR THE FUTURE!
A report by:
Our grateful thanks to:
The many HAX founders,
mentors, partners and friends
who continuously share their
knowledge and experience to
make the impossible happen.
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 4
HK / Shenzhen
Founder, Managing Director
HAX is the leading startup accelerator focused on hardware.
We have invested in over 160 IoT/robotics/health tech companies globally.
THE ACCELERATOR VC
#MEGA-TRENDS #IMPACT #GLOBAL
SYNTHETIC BIOLOGYSOFTWARE HARDWARE FOOD BUSINESS
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 6
Maker FaireMaker Movement
IoT Meetups 0 to 0.x
Computers in things
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 7
THE FUTURE IS HERE: FLYING CARS
Based in Slovakia.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 8
THE FUTURE IS HERE: JET PACKS
Listed in Australia for $250m.
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 9
THE FUTURE IS HERE: UNIVERSAL TRANSLATORS
1966 Language translation earpiece.
$2.3m on Indiegogo
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 10
THE FUTURE IS HERE: EXOSKELETONS
1987 IPO in Japan in 2014 - Market cap: $5b
2 other IPOs in USA
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 11
Every part of the hardware startup ecosystem is getting better.
• Prototyping tools and resources are multiplying.
• Communities for creation and learning are growing: ofﬂine like Maker
Spaces, Fab Labs, HackerSpaces, or online like Hackster.
• Hardware startup accelerators have spread, investors are gaining
experience and conﬁdence, leading to increased early stage funding.
Crowdfunding is also maturing: media and backers are more careful,
and creators better prepared.
• Still, many products are rushed to market. Quality suffers, they get bad
retail terms, do weak brand and demand building.
• Overall, the gap between “makers” and startups is widening.
Today’s hardware startups are found at CES rather than at Maker Faires.
Today’s hardware startups
are found at CES rather
than at Maker Faires.
THE HARDWARE ECOSYSTEM
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 12
0 300 600 900 1,200
• 3,800 exhibitors
• >50% from abroad
CES: SURFING THE IOT WAVE
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 13
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Exhibitors in Eureka Park Source: CES, media quotes
CES: EUREKA PARK STARTUP ZONE
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 15
• Membership grew
40% to 170% in just
over a year.
• Non-US meetups
= 2/3 of the top cities
IoT Central NYC
NYC HW Startup
0 2,500 5,000 7,500 10,000
Source: meetup.comTop IoT & Hardware Meetups
HARDWARE MEETUPS ARE GROWING FAST
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 16
Like Soylent Green, “hardware is people”: beyond initial
prototyping come suppliers, manufacturers & distributors.
0 to 0.x 0.x to 1 1 to Many
Prototyping Productization Production
Many to All
Tools Sourcing, DFM
ZERO TO SCALE
Opening to startups Opening to startups
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 17
the new normal
COMING NEXT: MICROCOMPUTERS
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 18
WILL STARTUPS CREATE
THEIR OWN CHIPS?
Like Google’s AI-centric
“Tensor Processing Unit”
COMING NEXT: CUSTOM CHIPS
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 24
COMPANY PRODUCT FUNDING
1 Magic Leap AR/MR $1.42b
2 Jawbone Speakers, wearables $890.8m
3 Sigfox IoT network $151.3m
4 3D Robotics Drones $126m
5 Carbon 3D printing $141m
6 Ring Smart doorbell $100m
7 Codoon Fitness bands $91m
8 Bolt Threads Fabric printing $90m
9 Eero Home wiﬁ $90m
10 Sphero Robot toys $90m
11 Niu Smart e-scooter $80m
12 Mobvoi AI-based smart watches $75m
13 Yuneec Drones $60m
14 Jibo Social robots $52.3m
15 Ehang Drones $52m
16 Roli Music keyboards $43.5m
17 Hello Sleep tracker $40.5m
18 Devialet Speakers $39.1m
19 Netatmo Connected devices $38.67m
20 Parrot Drones $35.21m
NOTABLE INVESTMENTS IN 2015-16
While the most funded startups
are mostly US-based,
large rounds went to several
French and Chinese startups.
Drone startups made
a strong showing.
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 25
• Venture Scanner
tracks over 900
• The categories
attracting the most
Consumer IoT and
Source: Venture Scanner, September 2015
NOTABLE INVESTMENTS IN 2015-16
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 26
are now buying
BUYER TARGET PRICE
General Motors cars Cruise self-driving tech $1b
Fossil watches Misﬁt wearables $260m
Nokia telecom Withings smart health $191m
Mars pet food Whistle pet activity tracker $117
Mattel toys Fuhu tablets for kids $21.5
Mattel toys Sproutling baby health tracker n.a.
Midea appliances Kuka industrial robots $5b for 30%
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 27
• June 2016: Fitbit trades at $2.75b (1/4 of its peak, 1/3 of
its IPO price). GoPro lays off part of staff. Market cap is
$1.5b (from US$10b+ peak).
• June 2016: Toyota is the top bidder to acquire Google’s
iconic robotics companies Boston Dynamics and Shaft.
• June 2016: Nest founder Tony Fadell steps down from its
role at Google.
• April 2016: Makerbot, who laid off 20% of its staff (twice),
announces the outsourcing of its manufacturing to China
via Jabil, a contract manufacturer.
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 29
• March 2016: Dropcam founder Greg Duffy says
selling to Nest (for US$555m) was a mistake.
• January 2016: CES had its biggest year. Over 500
startups participated among the 3,800 exhibitors.
• December 2015: kids tablet maker Fuhu ﬁles for
bankruptcy. It had raised over $100m, had $196m in
revenue in 2014 and was rumored for IPO in 2014.
• September 2015: invention platform Quirky ﬁles for
bankruptcy. Quirky had raised $175m.
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 30
• Product crowdfunding is maturing.
Backers, media and creators are all more
aware of the challenges.
• Some creators leverage their results to raise
venture capital. Some funded startups use
crowdfunding to launch their products.
• The amount raised on crowdfunding platforms
do not seem to predict long-term success.
• Kickstarter star and smart watch pioneer
Pebble keeps coming back with great
Source: Kickstarter, June 2016
Total pledged $2.1b Projects >$1m
Technology $384m 32 (0.1%)
Design $383m 56 (1.3%)
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 31
• According to an independent study of Kickstarter projects by the University of
Pennsylvania, 9% of successfully funded projects fail to deliver, and 2/3 deliver on time*.
• Unfortunately, some high proﬁle projects with over $1m in backing had issues.
Kreyos Smart Watch
US$1.5m (Indiegogo, 2013)
Outsourced poorly and ran out of funds.
US$3.4m (Kickstarter, Jan. 2015)
Kickstarter hired a journalist
to investigate the case.
Conclusions: misleading video
and lack of technical skills.
Triton Artificial Gills
~US$900,000 (Indiegogo, April 2016)
Canceled by Indiegogo
Feasibility challenged by users.
*Source: Survey, March 2015
CROWDFUNDING: HIGH PROFILE PROBLEMS
US$13.3m (Kickstarter, 2014)
“Delayed due to cash flow issues”
The creator miscalculated costs and cash
flow suffered. By April 2016, about 2/3 of
the 62,000 backers had not received it.
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 32
Coachware Augmented Objects
Family TechKitchen Tech
Baby Tech Travel Tech
Audio Tech HCI
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 33
AUGMENTED OBJECTS - New technologies are making their way
into everyday objects.
R&D + COMPONENTS - New research and cheaper components
such as sensors - thanks to smartphones - drive innovation.
BETTER AND DIFFERENT - Objects get better, personalized or
create entirely new usages.
MORE CHANNELS - Retailers want to offer new in-store
experiences to compete with online retail.
to be automatic.
My toaster is smart and
autonomous. It recognizes me
and knows my preferences.
We’ll expect more from objects, as we already do.
AUGMENTED OBJECTS: THE NEW NORMAL?
like in “Her”?
We’re not far!
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 44
TO OUR BODY
TO OUR MIND
TO OUR SENSES
TO OUR PREFERENCES
TO OUR ENVIRONMENT
AUGMENTED OBJECTS: PERSONALIZATION
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 45
What do those products have in common?
a. They are computers
b. They cost at least $150
Source: Dave Rauchwerk / NextThingCo
AUGMENTED OBJECTS: THE NEW NORMAL
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 46
• Consumer devices are moving from using micro-controllers
to computers, to give them more intelligence and
autonomy and reduce their dependency on mobiles or
• The next generation will require cheaper computing
options to become truly mass market.
AUGMENTED OBJECTS: COMPUTERS IN THINGS
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 47
• A range of micro-controllers, prototyping boards and micro-computers with
various capabilities are available to build projects and deploy devices.
• The $10 barrier was broken by NextThing’s C.H.I.P.’s $9 computer and
Raspberry Pi’s $5 Pi Zero. Is the future free or disposable computing?
AUGMENTED OBJECTS: MICROCOMPUTERS
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 48
Micro-computers are making viable an unprecedented array of
PocketCHIP: $49 Linux computer
and retro game console
Amazon Echo built for $10
AUGMENTED OBJECTS: INTELLIGENT THINGS
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 49
INTERNET IN THINGS
SENSORS IN THINGS
COMPUTERS IN THINGS
APPS IN THINGS
A.I. IN THINGS
AUGMENTED OBJECTS: THE NEW NORMAL
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 50
Generic trackers Specialized trackers Coachware
Generic trackers are turning into commodities. Early movers are facing the
pressure of low-cost devices, specialists and more advanced coachware.
LIFESTYLE: ACTIVE TECH
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 51
The ﬁrst wave of consumer AR - namely Google Glass - didn’t meet a market.
The new generation is trying to solve issues of appearance, costs and user experience.
Mixed reality headset
HIGH END CONSUMER
AR hard hat
AR bike helmet
LIFESTYLE: AUGMENTED & MIXED REALITY
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 52
HIGH END LOW END
2016 is the year of VR devices.
LIFESTYLE: VIRTUAL REALITY
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 53
Samsung Gear 360
Called VR, 360, 3D or spherical cameras, they are a key piece of the VR content puzzle.
Startups, CE and camera companies are launching products from about $300 to… $60,000.
LIFESTYLE: VR CAMERAS
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 54
Interaction and control in augmented, mixed or virtual reality can be difﬁcult, especially
in VR where users can’t see their hands directly. Startups are offering new solutions.
LIFESTYLE: INTERACTING IN AR, MR & VR
Controller, VR mount and Orion hand-tracking software
Eye tracking VR headset
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 55
Locks, lights, AC, air sensors and more are getting smarter.
Which device will rule them all?
Echo by Amazon
A hit AI-powered product.
Amazon allows third parties
to build on its Alexa platform
The answer to Amazon?
Siri remote by Apple
The new universal remote?
LIFESTYLE: SMART HOME WARS
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 56
Products targeting families with young children are multiplying.
Pets - as family members - also get special attention.
4moms: robotic products
Owlet: baby monitor
Octopus: icon-based smart
watch to build good habits
PetCube: camera and laser
for pets. Raised $3.79m
LIFESTYLE: BABY / FAMILY / PET TECH
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 57
Technology is coming into the kitchen. New devices offer automation,
monitoring, precision or affordable versions of professional devices.
LIFESTYLE: KITCHEN TECH
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 58
New devices enable semi-automated home production of food.
This can be seen as an important step toward sustainability.
Click and Grow: grows herbs.
Grobo: precise control to grow
regular or medicinal plants.
Living Farms: smart edible insect farm
for tasty and clean home-grown proteins.
LIFESTYLE: PERSONAL FARMING
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 59
Instruments are being reinvented for easier learning and usage, or to offer
new functionalities. New accessories and musical tools are also spreading.
Roli: expressive keyboard
TheONE: smart piano
Raised US$10m series B
Keys by Opho: smart keyboard
with gesture control
LIFESTYLE: MUSIC TECH
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 60
Travelers demand better luggage. Location tracking, security, battery
charging… and hands-free movement. Samsung and Samsonite
reportedly teamed up to create smart luggage.
$2M Indiegogo campaign
Space Case 1
$920k on Kickstarter
Robot suitcase that
follows its owner.
LIFESTYLE: TRAVEL TECH
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 61
• The market for personal transporters has fragmented into one-wheelers, two-
wheelers and more. The hoverboard became a hit in 2015 until battery issues
plagued its reputation and reduced imports.
• The Chinese startup Ninebot raised US$80m from Sequoia and Xiaomi and
acquired Segway. It launched new products to positive reviews.
HoverboardSegway Ninebot MiniOnewheel Solowheel Z-board Cocoa Motors
LIFESTYLE: PERSONAL TRANSPORTERS
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 62
LIFESTYLE: THE SHOWROOM STRIKES BACK
• “Showrooming” has become synonymous with the
struggle of brick-and-mortar retailers against online
• Connected devices are an opportunity to offer new in-
• New retail formats are being tested to feature
connected product, including Target's Open House,
Sear's connected solutions shop and B8ta retail in Palo
• Retailers have launched special programs to work
with early stage startups, including Amazon's
Launchpad and Brookstone's Launch program
HAX Product Demos at Target
B8ta store in Palo Alto
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 63
Wearapeuthics Metabolic Tech
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 64
INSIDE OUT - New devices monitor physical, mental health as well
as our environment.
BEYOND TRACKING - Remote diagnosis, coaching and healing.
BETTER CARE - Beneﬁts are improved lifestyles, prevention,
diagnostic, and enabling healthcare professionals to serve
more people better and faster.
INSURANCE - Insurance will have a key role in the spread and
adoption of new technologies.
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 65
TIME, COST & LOCATION
LACK OF HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS
HEALTH: CHALLENGES OF CARE
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 66
HEALTH: LIMITS OF COMMON TRACKERS
Basic activity trackers and smart watches made consumers
familiar with some health features. This created new
opportunities for more specialized or medical-grade devices.
VAST ARRAY OF
PHYSICAL & MENTAL
HEALTH: WHAT TO HEAL?
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 69
HEALTH: TOWARD PRECISION INSURANCE
Insurance companies are expected to play a key role in the
spread of health tech devices and usage.
The beneﬁts for them range from:
• Improved user behavior
• Positive ﬁltering
• Better data
This is expected to enable “precision insurance”
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 70
Wearables that help manage conditions or heal their users.
Skin PickingHair Pulling
Nail Biting Thumb Sucking
LIV by HabitAware
Smart sleeping mask
against chronic pain
or PTSD-induced insomnia
Smart insoles for
diabetic foot prevention
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 71
To monitor or improve medical conditions.
Real-time biosensing implant
for spinal fusion
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 72
Test your body for pre-conditions, food or medication reactions.
Proteus Digital Health
Ingestible pill-based sensors
& patch to increase compliance
Raised over $450m
blood testing device
(for diabetics and more)
AIRE by FoodMarble
Breath analyzer for prevention
of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
HEALTH: METABOLIC TECH
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 73
Startups focusing on female health and wellness.
Wink by Kindara
Smart tampon to monitor
periods during heavy days
Smart vibrator for discreet use
HEALTH: FEMALE TECH
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 74
Bionics are coming. Three exoskeleton companies went public.
Market cap: $5b
Market cap: $98m
Open source robotic prosthetics
Market cap: $77m
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 75
Sense by Hello
Track your sleep, food and sedentary moments.
Pocket molecular sensor
HEALTH: WELLNESS TECH
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 76
Treatments with new devices might replace the use of drugs, for
physical and mental conditions, and bring unprecedented results.
Trans-cranial ultrasound for
treatment of depression and Alzheimer’s
HEALTH: NEURO TECH
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 77
For more information, our State of Health Tech report is out soon!
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 79
Y U NO ROSIE? - The dream of humanoid robots
seems distant still. What if the vision was wrong?
VARIETY - Specialized service robots are becoming
smarter and more affordable for businesses. Home
robots, toys and drones are also making inroads.
CREATIVE DESTRUCTION - Robots take jobs but also
help create new businesses.
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 80
• Two-legged, two-armed and untethered humanoid robots that are safe and
capable are still too expensive.
• For lack of a viable market, Google put on sale Boston Dynamics and Schaft,
two recent acquisitions.
What we imagined What we can do What we got
ROBOTICS: Y U NO ROSIE?
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 81
Room service robot
Service robots are spreading: they can be found in hotels,
warehouses, supermarkets, as well as on the pavement.
Tally by Simbe Robotics
Ground delivery robot
ROBOTICS: SERVICE ROBOTS
Heavy duty robotic rover
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 82
The market is split between toys, consumer and professional service
drones. Many of the top consumer drone companies are Chinese.
Passenger drone concept
Hovering camera drone
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 83
Cars, buses, trucks are getting higher levels of autonomy:
cruise control, lane keeping, self-parking and more.
GM bought Cruise
ROBOTICS: SELF-DRIVING TECH
“talking” mini bus powered
by IBM Watson
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 84
Has reality caught up with science ﬁction?
BB-8 by Sphero
Star Wars-inspired robot
Sold over 1m units
Alpha & friends by UBTech
$1.3m on Indiegogo
AI-powered racing cars
Cell Robot by KEYi Tech
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 85
Startups like Makeblock create robots for STEM education.
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 86
Are sports trackers too 2015? Robots are coming to sports.
Table tennis training robot
ROBOTICS: TRAINING ROBOTS
Badminton robot from the University
of Electronic Science and Technology of China
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 87
US$100,000+ US$25,000+ < US$5,000
“An industrial grade robot arm below $5,000 opens up
a broad new set of applications for manufacturers”
- Rich Mahoney, SRI International
ROBOTICS: ARMS RACE
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 88
Social robots are getting lots of attention.
Will they get as much adoption?
A robot for the family
ROBOTICS: SOCIAL ROBOTS
Family A.I. device for the home
Raised over $10m series B
MOBILE ROBOTS FIXED ROBOTS
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 89
A segway turned into an open hardware
platform for mobile robotics
Xian’er Robot Monk
Answers questions about life
ROBOTICS: INTRUIGING NOVELTIES
SpotMini by Boston Dynamics
Picks up items, climbs stairs and
does all sorts of things
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 90
For more information, please check our State of Robotics report on Slideshare.
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 91
Internet of Everything
Infra for Robots
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 92
TECH FOR SHARING - Better and more secure sharing
solutions for physical assets
CITY-AS-A-SERVICE - Connecting public infrastructure,
tracking and predicting events involving people,
vehicles and more for better planning.
SMART RESOURCES - Optimizing the ﬂows of
resources, water, energy, waste.
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 93
INFRA: CONNECTIVITY SOLUTIONS
WiFi and cellular solutions for IoT
Solutions for moving vehicles
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 94
New types of networks are trying to offer easier, cheaper
connection and management of smart devices.
Sigfox builds low-bandwidth cellular networks.
Raised US$151.3m in 4 rounds
INFRA: NETWORKS FOR IOT
LoRa is an industry alliance to create networks
for M2M and IoT applications
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 95
From entrance to internal networks, buildings can be upgraded
or leapfrog to new technologies.
INFRA: SMARTER BUILDINGS
Nello: connects homes to the sharing
economy (airbnb, delivery companies) by
upgrading existing intercoms
LumenCache makes new buildings smart
by turning utility closets into control centers
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 96
• New companies focus on better monitoring, deployment and usage of
urban resources: water, waste, energy, transportation, etc.
• Smarter urban furniture gives more convenience, new features or data.
INFRA: URBAN RESOURCES
Industrial / Organic
Recycling facility for rapid process
of organic waste
Numina by CTY: Analytics for places
Pedestrians, cyclists, trafﬁc,
air quality, noise pollution & more
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 97
Sensors and drones help improve the use of resources for precision agriculture.
Robots provide an alternative to the “get big or get out” in farming, enabling
smaller, more diverse farms.
Pycno: wireless soil sensors and
software platform for advice
Rowbot: robot for in-season
Agribotix: agricultural drones
for imaging & analysis.
INFRA: PRECISION AGRICULTURE
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 99
DESKTOP SIZE - Factory tools are shrinking in size
and price, and making their entry into
workshops. Tools get smarter and connected.
MICRO-FACTORIES - New machines enable
prototyping or small batch manufacturing on-
shore at lower costs.
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 100
Selective Laser Sintering
Fused Deposition Modeling
• MakerBot-style 3D printers are getting commoditized.
• New technologies offer faster speeds and higher quality, but still plastic.
• New soft materials (clay, silicone or bio-materials) are becoming usable.
FABRICATION: 3D PRINTING
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 101
• Low-cost and smarter tools are coming to market.
• Most manufacturing requires tools to cut materials, soft and hard.
• Even electronics can be prototyped faster with PCB printers
Shaper Othermill V.Former
Laser cutting Handheld cutting CNC Milling Vacuum FormingWaterjet cutting PCB Printing
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 102
Biotech is having its “PC Moment” with cheaper and smaller machines
democratizing and accelerating biotech research.
“We are heading towards machines that can print directly into people, or even… ‘people’.
Surgery robots will also be bioprinters” - Jemma Redmond, CEO, Ourobotics
OpenTrons: automates tedious
BioBots: bioprinter enabling research and
testing on biomaterials and future implants
Ourobotics: multi-material bioprinter
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 103
From new materials to 3D printing, the fabrics and garment industry is
likely to evolve quickly in the coming years.
Bolt Threads: creates spider-like silk
material. Raised $90m in 3 rounds.
Fabric printer using electrospinning
Kniterate: knitting robot making
garments from common threads
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 104
New tools will allow the mass creation of custom products.
FABRICATION: MASS CUSTOMIZATION
PinPress: a shape-shifting mold for
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 105
Pragmatic Innovation China-first
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 106
SHENZHEN - With few exceptions, all roads lead to Shenzhen
for global hardware startups.
SPEED or TECHNOLOGY? - Mix of “incremental” and high-tech startups,
generally prioritizing speed over R&D.
LOCAL & GLOBAL - While most are China-ﬁrst or China-only,
some want to be global from start.
HOT! - Oversupply of capital drives high valuations.
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 107
• Shenzhen’s reputation has grown as the
“Silicon Valley for Hardware”.
• Makerbot, the Maker Movement pioneer and
advocate of the “Made in USA” is moving its
production to Shenzhen.
• The Shenzhen supply chain is increasingly
open to startups.
• The annual FAB global conference for Fab
Labs is being held for the ﬁrst time in
Shenzhen in 2016.
Shenzhen, the Silicon Valley of Hardware
Documentary by WIRED UK
CHINA: MORE SHENZHEN
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 108
“Why are Apple products made in China?”
Charlie Rose, 60 Minutes, Dec. 2015
Tim Cook, CEO, Apple
“…you can take every tool and die maker in the U.S.
and probably put them in this room.”
“In China, you would need multiple football ﬁelds.”
CHINA: SKILLS & SCALE
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 109
• Inspired by German’s “Industry 4.0” plan,
the Chinese government is pushing for an
upgrade of its manufacturing sector under
the name “Made in China 2025”
• The plan involves automation (Foxconn
plans to replace 30% of its labor with
robots by 2020), smart and sustainable
• Premier Li Keqiang made a public call for
“mass entrepreneurship and innovation”
at the Summer Davos Forum in Sept. 2014.
CHINA: MADE BY CHINA
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 110
Chinese hardware startups tend to focus on “pragmatic
innovation” for better ROI to avoid “market risk” on top of
( DJI, Ninebot )
Getting to market fast
is seen as more important
than creating technologies
without proof of a market
While US companies
often struggle in China,
a Chinese-born startup
could - like DJI - become
a truly global leader.INNOVATION
CHINA: PRAGMATIC INNOVATION
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 111
• Xiaomi continues investing in hardware startups (55 so far). It distributes headphones,
power banks, personal transporters, e-bikes, air puriﬁers, rice cookers, drones… 7
startups announced revenue over $15m in 2015, and 2 over $150m.
• Xiaomi’s “mi-too” power play might slow down innovation by underpricing competitors.
Xiaomi Smart Rice Cooker
Xiaomi hired a star Japanese engineer
to create a cheaper, better
and symbolic product.
A 4k drone for less than US$500
Xiaomi Foldable e-Bike
45km for $450
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 112
While Segway took years to grow a market, hoverboards went from innovation
to commodity in 12 months. Thousands of Chinese factories and overseas
importers rushed to market, leading to many malfunctions. Reliable products
and brands are now emerging.
1986: First R&D (Japan) 2001: Segway (USA)
2016: Ninebot Mini (China)
CHINA: THE CASE OF HOVERBOARDS
2015: Razer Hovertrax
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 113
• Most Chinese hardware startups target China
ﬁrst, but an increasing number is global-minded.
• Chinese companies (startups and traditional
contract manufacturers) represented 30% of the
exhibitors at CES in 2016.
Ninebot is going global
China is the world leader
in consumer drones
China’s robotics startups
Starting local or global?
CHINA: MADE FOR CHINA vs. GLOBAL FIRST
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 114
• Thanks to the familiarity and proximity of
manufacturing, Chinese investors feel more
comfortable with hardware investments
than their foreign counterparts.
• Chinese software giants like LeTV and
Qihoo 360 are making an entry into
hardware. The appliance maker Midea
announced its planning of 25 smart home
• The local market is heating up and some
Chinese investors are looking abroad for
better deals, offering attractive supply chain
connections to foreign startups.
“Many Chinese startups
that shouldn't be funded
find ample supply of easy money”
Chairman, China Renaissance
CHINA: HARDWARE INVESTMENT BOOM
“Chinese startups can go to market
in 6 month where in the US it would
take 2 years”
Managing Partner, GGV Capital
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 116
• Successful product can attract
competitors, counterfeits and
• The ﬁrst protection comes from
doing something hard to copy.
• Entry barriers can come from the
science, software, manufacturing
processes, brand or community
built around your product.
“In China, do not use a US-style NDA.
Use a ‘NNN’ agreement covering non-
disclosure, non-use and non-
Lawyer, Harris & Moure
Author, China Law Blog
CHINA: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 117
0 to 0.x 0.x to 1
1 to Many
Invention Productization Production
Many to All
Leveraging the strengths of ecosystems to increase the odds of success.
HAX | HARDWARE TRENDS 2016 | PAGE 118
Hardware = People
Hardware is eating the world
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