TechUp Taps into an $18 Billion Opportunity working with CES 2019

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Connected play will represent an $18 billion market by 2023, up from an estimated $6 billion in 2018, that’s a remarkable 200% growth in less than four years according to Juniper Research. The “AR Gaming Market” is expected to reach over $280 billion by 2023 (HTF). Consumer robotics will reach almost $23 billion per annum by 2022, up from an estimated $6.4 billion in 2018 (Juniper Research). There is a 13% increase in STEM related jobs vs. 9% of all other jobs according to Education Commission of the United States and in the U.S. voice-activated speaker sales are expected to see a 50% growth this year (NPD Forecast).

With that kind of growth there’s no surprise that innovators from around the world are creating new ways for kids to play, learn and explore the world with cool connected experiences.

After a successful launch at Wired Live and Wired Next Generation, TechUp, a curated service designed by connected play experts, Peter Jenkinson, Toyologist and Founder of Toyology alongside Valerie Vacante, connected play innovator and Founder of strategy and innovation firm, Collabsco joined forces with Living in Digital Times and the Kids@Play Summit at CES 2019, to unveil cool connected products, emerging technology on the global stage of innovation.


Insightful interviews and demos of the coolest connected play experiences were held by TechUp on the Living in Digital Times stage, they included:

  • CES Innovation Honoree, Snow Shine by Immersive Play, the first companion toy of its kind, able to interact with multiple inputs such as Spotify, YouTube, Alexa and more through data over sound technology.
  • CES KAPi Award Winner, Nerf Laser Ops Pro by Hasbro combines the active play of Nerf blaster play with popular video game features like game modes, scorekeeping, and leaderboards.
  • Reach Robotics, the creators of the world’s first AR gaming robot, MekaMon, announced the upcoming launch of a dedicated education program Reach Edu.
  • British startup SwapBots, the collectible, customisable toys and game that come to life through augmented reality with hundreds of combinations in the physical and digital world.
  • The Explorers created by Unicorn Games, part of The Electric Factory’s Incubator Rabbit, is transforming family board gaming by combining traditional board game play with digital mini-game challenges, treasure hunts and augmented reality surprises.
  • Birde is the world’s first smart media player specifically designed for preschool-aged children allowing children to independently play audiobooks, music and video content safely.
  • Touchscapes, by Novalia, a screen-free, immersive playscape that augments children’s’ imagination with natural sound and touch and voice technologies providing updated content that grows with your child.

“We are excited to be bringing together the most forward thinking innovators in connected play to a global stage and we look forward to future collaborations.” – Valerie Vacante, Co-Founder, TechUp.

“We are honoured to be a CES Innovation award winner and partner with TechUp to share our story with their connected community on a global stage. We appreciate the global perspective that TechUp brings to our products.” Marco Carvalho, Founder, Immersive Play.

“Working with TechUp allows us to be in more of the right places than we could otherwise be and have the insights of industry experts as if they were part of our own team, we are very excited about this partnership with these passionate connected play champions!” Dr. Kate Stone, Founder and Chief Inventor Novalia.

“We are very excited to be able to partner with TechUp and present Birde to the global market as part of CES 2019. Birde is perfectly positioned to launch as part of the new product to showcase at CES Kids and Family.” Jack Lord, CEO and co-founder of Birde.

What’s Next

TechUp is currently curating cool connected play experiences for SXSW – if you are looking to amplify your brand on a global stage, gain insights by connecting with consumers, influencers, thought leaders and journalists, contact TechUp Co-Founders Valerie Vacante or Peter Jenkinson to find out how you can be part of TechUp’s global network of connected collaborators.


About Peter Jenkinson

Peter Jenkinson
Toyologist Pete Jenkinson regularly writes about toys in national newspapers like The Sun and The Mail. This super-dad has an unmatched passion and dedication for trying and testing the latest, coolest and most interesting offerings from the world of toys.

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