Vivatech 2024: A dive into AI overload and hidden tech gems

Benoit Lamouche
4 min read2 days ago

I had the chance to participate in Vivatech, here are my immediate comments.

Vivatech is a tech trade show held in Paris that brings together large companies, startups, and communities to showcase and present their products and innovations. It’s a smaller equivalent of CES.

AI Everywhere

Let’s be honest, the buzzword this year is AI. If you’re in tech in 2024 and your company name doesn’t include ‘AI’, you’ve missed the boat (French private joke).

It’s overwhelming, the noise generated by AI overshadows all other tech innovations that might be hitting the market.

A Multitude of Micro Stands

Wow factor? Not really. Few large stands with big demos, but a multitude of micro stands (= one person with a laptop and that’s it) for which you have to make the effort to stop and read the small sign above their head to understand what they do.

It’s also unfortunate that there are no thematic zones. Groupings are done by “sponsor”, meaning large companies, countries, or regions hosting startups. This might make sense administratively, but it’s not very practical when navigating through these hundreds of stands.

The Largest Stands Were Not the Most Interesting

Tesla set up a dealership displaying their vehicles… No interest unless you wanted to buy a Tesla or take a selfie with the monstrous Cyber Truck.

Peugeot installed a concept car with a giant screen, very visually appealing but very poor tech-wise.

Fnac set up a stand… to sell phones and books… wtf.

It was hard to find my way through this maze of stands. Luckily, I got a guided tour with one of our partners who helped select some companies working on interesting and truly innovative projects.

To name a few:

  • Esper Bionics offers a bionic prosthetic hand with seemingly impressive capabilities and precision.
  • Sweetech offers a solution to generate energy through ionic exchanges occurring in estuaries. It’s scalable and non-polluting.
  • Bioteos uses algae to clean the air.
  • BeFC manufactures “paper” batteries that can be recycled with regular paper.
  • Outsight uses lidar technology for object surveillance.
  • Biomemory is developing molecular data storage. This technology could reduce the required storage space by 5000 times while making the data more “persistent” as molecular technology is much more durable than other technologies currently on the market.

And many other things: a robot that diagnoses pipes, a “friendly” robot that doesn’t scare people and can perform simple tasks, an e-ink photo frame that allows you to change the displayed photo with one click, lots of generative AI, a platform on actuators for realistic video game playing, many image-related technologies, and other more traditional tools (CRM, HR, etc.).

--

--