The 23rd Innovative Technology Show (ITS) was held last week in the COEX center in Gangnam, Seoul. Like last year, Ubergizmo was an ITS Awards jury member (via video conferencing). We carefully reviewed and rated the value proposition and technical excellence of the finalists of the “K-Innovation Company” award.
The ITS opened with a welcoming speech by Minister Young Lee of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups who called the show “Korea’s biggest SME-centered technology innovation event”. This year’s theme was ‘Tech-Innovation, Talk to the Future!’.
10 companies out of 245 made it to the final, so the competition was intense, and we were impressed by the general level of sophistication of the products and technologies used across diverse industries.
Ubergizmo nominated three companies as Ubergizmo’s “Best of ITS 2022” based on their innovation, capacity to export worldwide, and value proposition. They are Everchemtech, SHENB, and NES&TEC Co., Ltd, in this order.
Everchemtech is a company that develops films made of various materials typically used for industrial purposes, to insulate electronics, for example. However, they came up with a new product that could reach every consumer because it is related to food: NEXRIER.
NEXRIER stands for NEXt BarRIER and is a bio-degradable replacement for plastics used in the food industry. Its goal is to prevent contact between food and oxygen, and it can be a drop-in replacement for traditional plastic wrapping.
It is extremely typically difficult to create a bio-degradable plastic that won’t degrade very quickly when in contact with moisture or food. Everchemtech says it has managed to do so, and although its product will bio-degrade eventually, they are stable during the food’s shelf life.
Additionally, the company says it can produce this NEXRIER 30% to 40% cheaper than the traditional plastic equivalent in the Ethylene-vinyl alcohol (EVOH) family. As far as we know, this is a huge breakthrough that could lead to a drastic and economically sustainable reduction in petroleum usage in this industry.
Surprisingly, the base component of NEXRIER is whey protein, which is normally a by-product of Cheese-making. Everchemtech’s NEXRIER received one of two “Excellence Awards” from the combined jury.
SHENB is a medical device maker demonstrating its VIRTUE RF Microneedling device.
Microneedling is a medical procedure typically utilized in the cosmetic industry to rejuvenate or heal people’s skin. For example, it has been used to treat Acne, Hair loss, Scars, Sun damage, Wrinkles, and more.
Microneedling works on the principle that pricking the skin with tiny needles (controlled skin damage) causes your body to heal (rebuild) that area by producing more collagen and elastin. The healed skin might have a better appearance, although it’s not without risk, and experts should do procedures according to local regulations.
SHENB uses RF (radiofrequency) technology in addition to the needle, hence the VIRTUE RF product name. RF turns into heat and can reach deeper into the skin layers, giving even more control and treatment options. Most people don’t realize it, but human skin has three distinct layers.
Other manufacturers also use RF, but SHENB’s novelty comes from a few features. First, it has ACS (advanced cooling system), which cools down the skin as soon as the RF energy has done its job. This makes it possible to use more energy (reach deeper) while avoiding the risk of thermal injury.
Next, IPRS (Integrated Pulsed Radiofrequency System) offers better energy pulse control which turns into a “wider area of skin rejuvenation,” says SHENB. Finally, the device works across multiple frequencies (0.5MHz to 2MHz) and can safely deliver energy for up to 7 seconds (vs. 0.8s previously), the company says.
Apparently, the Virtue RF has already been approved by the U.S FDA and its European equivalent, and SHENB is already working on the 2024 upgrade. SHENB is the other recipient of an ITS 2022 “Excellence Award.”
NES & TEC Co LTD was pitching its SWID drone (multi-copter UAV system in industry lingo) that has multiple potential purposes. It has all it takes to be utilized as an industrial drone to keep an eye on infrastructures, or by fire departments during forest fires, for example.
However, it also has a strong military potential because it is built to resist jamming and can navigate even when traditional positioning systems (like GPS) aren’t available.
To thwart hackers, NES & TEC uses a proprietary flight control system. While we can argue about the safety level of proprietary vs. open-source code, the company didn’t really have a choice since the South Korean military prohibits existing open-source communications systems. The one used in this drone adheres to the Korean Military Specification-level encryption (KCMVP) standard.
NES & TEC also got security certifications in the USA and Europe but didn’t go into details about which ones. The company mentioned that the drone can resist jamming and can still navigate despite being cut off from GPS. It does so by using a camera-based positioning system as an alternative.
Given recent military developments, this capability is likely to attract attention from security forces worldwide as drones have proven to be extremely valuable reconnaissance tools.
The other great finalists are listed below. Most are excellent as well and worthy of your attention: