Mountain View shows off its tech

Annual showcase gives a glimpse into city's innovative companies

The Mountain View Civic Center Plaza was transformed into an extravaganza of robots, self-driving cars and other gizmos for the city's annual Technology Showcase on Wednesday.

Now in its fourth year, the city's Technology Showcase has become a premier event for showing the latest products from Mountain View's businesses. The exhibitors included many of the big players -- Google, Facebook and LinkedIn -- as well as a number of new startups still in their infancy.

Resonado, an audio company in Mountain View, was started by three college students about a year ago. Resonado engineering head Christian Femrite said his company had reinvented audio speakers so they no longer had to adhere to a conical shape. Their patented speakers could be molded to fit pretty much any shape, saving energy and space, he said.

"We're the first ones to do this," Femrite said, pointing out that speakers have basically kept the same design for more than a century.

A short walk away, Sensel, a company based on San Antonio Road, was promoting its next-generation keypads. Unlike standard keyboards, Sensel produces pressure pads with a variety of simple rubber overlays that can rest on top. Along with the standard QWERTY keyboard, Sensel also had overlays that could swap out for piano keys, a drum kit, game controllers and video editing.

This year's event definitely showed some big themes -- practically half the exhibitors were hawking technology related to virtual reality (VR) or artificial intelligence. Even the healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente had a booth to promote its VR research as a potential pain management tool.

VR technology could be useful for patients dealing with pain or psychological trauma, said Roger Lam, Kaiser principal engineer. A person trying to cope with social anxiety could be gradually introduced into simulated social situations, he said. Or, the technology could be used to distract patients from pain or discomfort during minor medical procedures, possibly in lieu of medication, he said. Kaiser is currently conducting clinical trials, he said.

Putting on the Technology Showcase is a considerable undertaking for the city's three-person economic development team. Tiffany Chew, business development specialist, said her team spends much of the early summer organizing the event and encouraging new companies to attend.

"There's always something new, and we do quite a bit of research to put this event on," Chew said. "This is a chance for us to showcase the important companies that Mountain View has."

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of North Bayshore
on Jul 18, 2018 at 8:43 pm

Will there be another showcase on a weekend? It sounded like a great event, unfortunately I had to work.

1 person likes this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2018 at 11:05 am

How come this hadn't been mentioned until after the event? I would have enjoyed this yesterday. Since this is its fourth year, perhaps they could advertise it better for the fifth year.

Like this comment
Posted by Mike Laursen
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 19, 2018 at 3:32 pm

It was interesting to be able to chat with the project team from Kaiser Permanente who are using virtual reality to research Parkinson's Disease. I remember them from last year, so I got to hear about the progress they have made in a year.

2 people like this
Posted by Alex
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 20, 2018 at 11:34 am

Yeah, would be nice to have an "upcoming events," section herre. Palo alto does...

2 people like this
Posted by Andrea Gemmet
Mountain View Voice Editor
on Jul 20, 2018 at 11:39 am

Andrea Gemmet is a registered user.

The preview story was posted on Monday and can be found here: Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by DC
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 20, 2018 at 2:11 pm

Wow a 2 day notice! We have to adapt to an instant society even for a weekly newspaper.

The preview story was posted on Monday and can be found here

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

After 39 years of cakes and pastries, Palo Alto institution Prolific Oven to close
By Elena Kadvany | 56 comments | 15,252 views

What is your climate personality?
By Sherry Listgarten | 30 comments | 1,802 views

The Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) Process Explained
By Steve Levy | 3 comments | 1,081 views

"You Gotta Have Balls [to do counseling] . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 723 views


Early Bird rates end today!

On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families. Early Bird prices end Sun, Aug 18.

Register now