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Market Insights

Buyers’ Insights

Chinese mainland
Smart home solutions and IoT products were on the upbeat trend because they were more affordable nowadays. The affluent middle-class in emerging markets, especially those in the Chinese mainland, was spending more in those products to increase their quality of life and home environment.

Consumers opted to spend money on more high tech electronic products, so Smart solutions and IoT were also highlighted by most of the Brazilians.

In Korea, air purifier market is booming due to the fine dust. This year, the fine dust issue came earlier than usual so the environment electronics industry is busy with catching up with customers by launching new products. The air purifier market has experienced steady growth of over 40% annually for the past three to four years due to related issues such as fine dust and dust.

Although their purchasing powers generally remained weak, consumers were highly interested in most up-to-date solutions within consumer electronics, such as wireless speakers, wearable electronics and smartphones. The demand to the smart electronics is also growing (smart home solution, ehealth). Smart scales are in a great demand now.

Smart City solutions
Second-or third-tier mainland cities may be even more eager to invest in smart city projects than those first-tier cities.

Big Data solutions
Big data is the hottest topic everywhere. Enterprises have a strong tendency to collect the data from social media and search engine, so as to get a better understanding of their customers and make corresponding predictions. For example, while retailers are making use of big data to predict the best-selling items, shopping malls are using big data to get a better understanding of the buying behavior of their customers. In this way, the shopping malls can provide support to attract relevant mall tenants. In fact, even the political parties are making use of big data to get a better understanding of the voters so as to set their corresponding canvassing strategies.

IoT solutions
IoT is applied in various aspects, including smart home, smart building, smart factory and smart logistics. Such a trend will finally lead to the development of a smart city or even smart planet. It is not only a trend for developed countries, but also an up-and-coming trend in developing countries such as Brazil, Indonesia and Taiwan.

Overseas Journalists’ Insights

  • Top product types with great potential in Russia: Autonomous and semi-autonomous drones (flying, underwater and driving); electric vehicles; AR/VR/MR
  • Global trends: Autonomous driving; cloud storage for business purposes; strong demand for high-quality mobile content; 5G network

  • Top product types with great potential in the US: Smart home and IoT products; AR/VR; medical tech
  • Global trends: Medical tech has great potential; transportation will change; AR/VR will make a change to people’s entertainment activities and daily lives

  • Top product types with great potential in Korea: AI; IoT and connected technology
  • Global trend: Big data and AI will be the upcoming focus

  • Top product types with great potential in Taiwan: Wearable tech; outdoor sporting items; medical tech especially targeting at elderly and aging population
  • Global trend: IoT will create many business opportunities for the market

  • Top product types with great potential in India: IoT, smart city and wearable electronics
  • Global trend: Vehicle automation

  • Top product types with great potential in Japan: AR/VR; smart mobility; IoT products
  • Global trend: Robots for home


Hot Picks at the 2018 Fairs by Media Experts

img Inkjet-Printed Flexible PCB: Startup to Save Time and Money

Startups are meant to be disruptive initiatives, dramatically changing established practices. Japanese company Elephantech (booth: 3CON-A20) in Startup Zone presented really innovative technology that have every possible chance to change the way electronics is produced all around the world.

The technology named P-Flex combines silver nano inkjet and high-speed electroless copper plating to produce thin, flexible and reliable PCBs. P-Flex is a shift from traditional subtractive method of PCB manufacturing to Elephantech’s proprietary pure additive processing.

Subtractive lithography uses lots of steps: copper foil formation, etching, photomask creation, exposure to light, development, another etching and removal of etching residue. Those steps are time-consuming, energy-demanding, produce lots of waste and generally not environmental-friendly.

Additive technology consists of only two key steps: inkjet printing and electroless copper plating. Instead of covering all the base board surface with metal foil and then removing unnecessary parts, P-Flex only adds metal (in form of nano-particles) right where it is needed by the PCB design and nowhere more.

P-Flex allows Elephantech to create PCBs on demand even in small volumes offering its customers very attractive prices, about 6x less comparing to traditional PCB manufacturers. This startup technology has all the potential to be ultimately disruptive, because it tremendously lowers initial cost of electronics production—which, in its turn, makes it much easier for other startups to create their own breaking new products.

Maksim Belous, acting Editor-in-Chief, PC Magazine/Russian Edition, MoscowAntonella Garello, Editor, L'Orafo Italiano, Italy
img Substantial Indian Presence at ICT Expo  

With India becoming an economic power house thanks to its excellence in the field of ICT many Indian IT companies exhibit at major events across the globe - one such important show is the HKTDC ICT Expo. This year again 28 Indian exhibitors are participating under the aegis of ESC. 

Atlanta (booth : 3G-E26) which specializes in GPS based tracking solutions and passenger info systems are participating at the show for the sixth time has found the show quite useful. “Earlier our aim to participate was to promote our products and generate more business but this year we plan to use this platform also to brand ourselves. In fact since morning we have got 3 enquiries for our school buddy product,” said Sujeet Narula, Director Atlanta Systems.

imgAosta (booth: 3G-F20), a first time exhibitor is full of enthusiasm. They have a unique product suitable for hospitals and have already catered to 150+ hospitals. They already have a global presence and last year got one of the largest WHO project in Kenya. “We plan to replicate the same success stories in Hong Kong and mainland China. This we felt would be the best platform. We are also looking for business partners who can represent us in this region,” said Sreedhar, COO, Aosta.
Perfect Team (booth: 3G-F19)Engineers Director, Dinesh Pathrikar who has been to the show four times is also looking at brand building and indirect marketing said, “Our ATM related products have great potential in this region and we have already tasted success.

img Another banking related company Yalamanchili (booth : 3G-F32) is displaying their financial solutions and aim to bring in awareness of their products. “We have recently launched our self-service kiosks which have multiple uses - can be used for information, transactions or event registrations etc, said K.B.Teo, COO, Yalamanchili.
Apart from these there were also specialized website designer companies. In the morning the Indian Pavilion was graced by Karun Bansal, Consul (Political, Commerce and Press), Consulate General of India and he visited quite a few stalls. The Indian pavilion is located in Hall 3G.

Chandragupta Amritkar, Editor, Global Technologies, India
img Hong Kong Shows Off Latest in Locally Made Apps 

Hong Kong is showing off some of its latest information technology products and services at Asia’s largest Spring Electronics and ICT fairs. Below are some interesting solutions at the fairground:

@Hong Kong Smart Airport
In an effort to make Hong Kong International Airport (booth: 3G-E02)friendly to visitors, the facility has developed the “HKG My Flight” mobile application to track your luggage in real time.

imgTime spent standing at the luggage belt can now be reduced by the app alerting you when the suitcases are coming. Tourists could also use the app to translate text signs written in English and Mandarin languages into other languages, including Thai and Indonesian, said an airport official. 
img@Smart City
 To reduce air pollution from traffic on the Island, the Hong Kong government is promoting the use of electric vehicles (EV), and that has led to variety of new products and services aimed at creating a “smart city”.
For example, the Automotive Parts and Accessory Systems R&D Centre (APAS) (booth: 3G-A08) funded by the Hong Kong Administration, has developed a portable charger kit for EV.
The hand held EV charger with a proprietary AC power socket through wireless authentication. The driver could simply plug the charger into a nearby PCK socket and get medium-fast charge for the vehicle after parking. It replaces the traditional bulky wall mounted AC chargers, resulting in low-cost and easy installation and maintenance.  APAS has also developed a smart streetlamp project that uses a wireless network to control and monitor streetlamps. Its key features include remote on/off control of streetlamps; voltage, current and power measurement of individual street lamps; dimming control and automatic detection of malfunctioning streetlamps and report alerts. 

Hong Kong companies are also developing many new products and services, which were demonstrated at the event.

img@Smart Eyeshade
A smart eyeshade designed to enhance quality of sleep is being developed by the Hong Kong Enter Trade Technology Co. (booth : 3CON-B15)Named “Luuna”, the shade is equipped with special sensors that could capture the user’s brainwave activity with electroencephalography (EEG) technology in real time. The data is then transferred to an application embedded with an AI algorithm and machine learning ability. The app will determine and play music tailored to the user to help them relax and get better sleep. The company is now raising funds through the Kickstarter platform with a target retail price of US$127 (Bt3,953). The company has already launched an eyeshade product for naptime at a $149 price tag.
@DIY tool for creating animation
GoAnimate Hong Kong Ltd (booth: 3F-E04) has developed an animation tool for DIY video. It is very simple as it is designed for non-technical users. No coding is needed – users just use a mouse and the drag-and-drop tool to create video, said Billy Chung, director of business development. He said his company is now focused on business clients after a previous effort to reach individual consumers. The monthly subscription fee is $39 (Bt1214) and annual fees are $300 for the basic version. Free trails are available. The tool would allow simple production of animated videos that could be posted on popular social media and other channels. Animation can be an effective tool to communicate complicated issues more easily than using text alone, said Chung.

imgUsers could use their own language as the company employs text-to-speech technology owned by Amazon. Customers have used the tool to create 22 million videos since the company launched in 2007. “Most of our customers are in North American and Europe, accounting for 80 per cent,” said Chung.  The company has research and development facilities in Hong Kong and a sales office in the Silicon Valley of the United States.
Wichit Chaitrong, Senior Editor, Nation News Network Co., Ltd., Thailand