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Tag Archives: Women in CE

Velodyne’s Highlights from CES 2013

Our LiDAR car leaving headquarters for Las Vegas, NV

CES 2013 was big for Velodyne, Inc. The show started on Tuesday, January 8, but our journey started much earlier.  A lot of preparation was required as our newly built autonomous car equipped with our LiDAR technology hit the highway to debut at the trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

LiDAR readout “On the Road to CES”

Two people from Velodyne -  Pamela Gauci from our audio division and Rick Yoder from our LiDAR division – traveled over 3,000 miles from Silicon Valley to Las Vegas with time to spare to prepare for Unveiled, a huge CES press event. Unveiled, which took place on Sunday, January 6, was an exciting night for us. We had several press inquiries, gave video interviews, and hosted a packed table several people deep all night. We had a blast sharing information about our vTrue studio headphones, vFree wireless headphones as well as our vPulse in-ear headphones. It was also quite fun fielding the “What’s that?” questions about our LiDAR unit sitting on our table.

David Short from Velodyne interacting with members of the press

Once CES actually started, it was “go time” for us in our suite at The Venetian as we were met with a constant flow of traffic.  The audio floor we were on was the perfect place to showcase not only our headphone line but many of our subwoofers which are Velodyne’s legacy. The greatest part about it was being able to engage with many of our customers who came from all over the world to attend CES. Relationships were developed, built and strengthened over the course of the week.

Our suite on the audio floor

Laurel Nissen from Velodyne e-commerce talking headphones with the German press

Our listening station at CES offered some quality time with the vTrue and vFree

One of the new relationships we developed was quite unexpected. Kelly LeBrock, best known for her roles in movies from the 1980’s, “Weird Science” and “Woman in Red” made several appearances at CES, and some would also say she made her comeback. She was tied in closely to many of the events that Velodyne was a part of through Living in Digital Times, and we spent a few days getting to know her. She posed for photos and gave autographs wearing our vFree headphones at our LiDAR car in the Sands Ballroom at the Venetian. She also emceed Fashionware, a wearable tech fashion show which also included our vFree and new interchangeable headphone skins. She stopped by our suite and visited with us as well as joined a few of us for dinner one night. She is a truly charming, intelligent, down to earth and beautiful woman and we hope to work with her again soon!

The press and fans went crazy for Kelly LeBrock!

Our vFree with piano skin on a mannequin

Model wearing our vTrue

Model wearing our vFree around her neck with interchangeable pink skin

Marta Hall, President of Velodyne, was chosen to be a panelist for Women in CE, to discuss what it’s like being a woman in an industry comprised mainly of men. It was interesting to hear the panelists discuss the necessity for marketing to women and share their ideas about how this should be done.

Marta Hall joined the Mommy Tech panel moderated by Women in CE founder, Carol Campbell

Our LiDAR car got its fair share of attention. Autonomous vehicles and “smart” cars in general seemed to be a popular theme this year and Velodyne was not the only company with a self-driving car at the show. However, there is no doubt that Velodyne LiDAR is a true pioneer of the technology and our engineer had a steady stream of interested show attendees who were full of questions. It was great to have two of our company’s divisions represented at CES 2013. It’s truly an honor to work for a company whose CEO and Founder, David Hall, is an brilliant inventor.

An autonomous car on the show floor intrigued many a passerby!

Despite the fact that most of our team contracted the “Flu of CES 2013” we all came back to work super-charged and enthusiastic about our product and our company. That is probably the brightest highlight of the trade show this year. Until next year!

 

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Women In CE – “Together We Can Get Things Done”*

L-R: Campbell, Smith, Hall, Benedetto, Millman

We are in an age where women are truly expected to do it all. Today, a “working woman” is an outdated reference, as all women work whether it be at home or in an office. If you have a career, you are still in charge of managing the family and matters of the homestead. Today, we make decisions about what products are purchased at work and at home. Somehow, many companies are still failing at how to properly market to this demographic. How do women in consumer electronics navigate around an industry where all the products are designed by men, primarily for men and the companies are dominated by men?

During CES 2013, Velodyne President and Chief Industrial Designer Marta Hall was invited to be part of a Women in CE panel discussion put on by Living in Digital Times, moderated by Women in CE Founder and Custom Retailer publisher, Carol Campbell to address these issues. Hall was in amazing company – Andrea Smith, Lifestyle Editor of Mashable, Sandra Benedetto, Director of Product Management at THX, Ltd., and Amy Millman, Founder of Springboard Enterprises. The hour-long panel covered many topics, and it was interesting to find out what technical products the panel can’t live without. Not surprisingly, most of the women rely heavily on tools to keep them organized, and connected to work and family such their iPhones (2 panelists chose this) or tablet, such as the Dell convertible tablet laptop that Millman leans on heavily. Hall, ever the artist and the designer, depends on her Wacom, which is a tablet that she can draw on which responds as though she were drawing with a pencil.

The women also discussed which were the top products and booths that were seen on the show floor. Big draws for the panel were various, from products related to the “connected home” (security, lighting, appliances) by use of apps and various devices, to the health related devices that give the public access to  health information without a visit to the doctor,  and Ultra HD televisions. Naturally Hall gravitated toward a 3D printer that she is excited to look into when more time permits. There were also discussions about which booths simply had their marketing strategy all wrong and were actually offensive to women, such as those who still employed “booth babes” and the hard drive company who had nude women in body paint within easy reach of ogling trade show attendees. The panelists brought to light their strategies of how to target other women with their products. Velodyne’s vFree headphones provide ample opportunity to personalize and customize which is something that appeals to women.

The panelists had a lot of insightful contributions. Benedetto brought up the need for better plans to market to women and build the business to apply to women as decision makers in the home. How did flat panel TV’s start becoming the way of the future? How did Velodyne subwoofers start moving toward “big sound in a small box”? It’s because women did not want these behemoths in their homes any longer. As Campbell said, “What products are going to come and live in her house?”Millman rounded out the conversation with a slide presentation with a variety of women-driven products that solve problems that are important to women, such as the Roomba. Yes, a robot was created to clean for women who did not have the time. Brilliant.

Smith brought up something that resonated with most of us in the audience. “Bring me something to…make my life easier.” Apps and tools to help keep our lives organized abound in our digital world. The key is keeping the apps simple. The reality is most of us only use a handful of apps on a regular basis despite the several screens of apps we have on our smart phones. Now, if there were only one master app to keep us organized, watch our children, get us where we need to go and get dinner on the table. A woman can dream…but likely, a woman will be the one to make it happen.

 

 *This phrase is taken from a quote from Andrea Smith at the start of the panel discussion

**Full video of the panel discussion can be seen here: http://youtu.be/47k69JGqYjA

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