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(Courtesy photo) HzO Inc., which has designed a proprietary chemical process that protects electronic devices from damage when they are exposed to water, received $7 million in venture capital funding in August and a follow-up $3 million during the fourth quarter. HzO is one of more than 35 Utah companies that will attend the annual International CES trade show in Las Vegas in 2013.
30-plus Utah companies to strut stuff at CES

Tech » Audio cables, screen protectors, solar-powered generators among goods at trade show.

First Published Jan 07 2013 07:19 am • Last Updated May 05 2013 11:32 pm

HzO Chief Executive Paul Clayson understands the value of a technology company showing up at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Last January, Clayson’s Draper-based company set up a booth at the trade show to unveil a technology that ended up dazzling many of the thousands in attendance. Showcasing a technique for waterproofing electronics, Clayson’s company dunked smartphones treated with his process into a water tank, and they still worked.

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"The week after CES, I flew to [South] Korea on business, and the English version of The Korean Times had HzO on the front page. That means we went viral in a week’s time," Clayson said. "We also were on ‘Good Morning America,’ CBS News and Fox News. We became very well known, and we had inquiries from 600 manufacturers within 30 days of CES."

The new International CES, as it is now called, begins Tuesday and will host 3,000 exhibitors, from television manufacturers to those who make mobile-phone accessories.

The annual four-day convention, which is staged in the Las Vegas Convention and World Trade Center, as well as the Las Vegas Hilton and Venetian hotels, is the world’s largest technology trade show and attracts more than 150,000 visitors from 150 countries. More than 35 tech companies from Utah will be there in hopes of capturing some of that same magic that helped build the buzz around HzO.

"The point of CES is to establish a brand," said CoverPlay CEO Adam Marriott. "It’s also to meet buyers. It’s one of the best places to approach a buyer from retail stores and say, ‘This is our product and you should buy it.’ "

Marriott, his three brothers and a friend created West Valley City-based CoverPlay to market a portable speaker for mobile devices.

The Mojo Speaker is thin and lightweight, about the size of a book that can connect to a mobile device through a Buetooth connection. The company hopes to start selling it in stores later this spring for about $100.

CoverPlay recently raised more than $30,000 in funding through a Kickstarter campaign (which promotes crowd-sourced funding) to help bring the Mojo to market in advance of its team’s trip to Las Vegas and CES to show off the prototype and meet retailers.

"Every major retailer has reps there searching for technology," Marriott said. "It’s a great marketing place. We also get to see what the competition is doing. And it’s fun. You go out and have a good time."

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As a follow-up to its big splash at last year’s CES, Clayson said HzO will demonstrate three devices at this year’s show — a navigation device, a monitoring bracelet and a smartphone — that will undergo the special chemical-coating process that seals out moisture from electronics. He also wants to show that his HzO process works just as well locking out juice and coffee. Clayson hopes the first consumer devices with his sealant will be sold later this year.

"It’s rare to have a technology that will transform an industry, and this is it," he said.

Utah companies demonstrating their products and services at this year’s International CES are:

Alpine Innovations (Lehi) • Electronics accessories such as screen cleaners, cases and eyewear pouches.

BodyGuardz (Bluffdale) • Screen protectors, skins, full-body protectors and headphones for mobile devices.

Braven (Provo) • Portable speaker/speakerphone/charger for your mobile device.

Changzhou One World International Co. (Brighton) • Computer and television cables, adapters and wall plates.

Clear Protector (Draper) • Film protection and screen protectors for mobile devices.

Control4 (Draper) • Software and hardware for home automation.

CoverPlay Audio (Salt Lake City) • Developing a Bluetooth speaker for compatible mobile devices.

CruxCase (Provo) • Accessories for the iPad, iPad mini and iPhone 5, including cases, stands and keyboards.

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