Long overshadowed by neighboring metropolis Hong Kong to the north, Shenzhen has in recent years become the maker capital of the world and the epicenter of the global hardware tech startup ecosystem. Local accelerators like Hax—the world’s first and largest hardware accelerator—are solidifying the city’s reputation as the premier locale for launching a hardware-based tech offering.
From circuit board printers to robot construction kits, check out these 13 tech startups from Shenzhen you need to know about in 2017 and beyond.
OnePlus is a smartphone manufacturer offering a highly customizable Android phone with features comparable to top-end Apple, Samsung, and Google phones. The company’s mobile offerings consistently score high marks with veteran reviewers and phone aficionados.
System compatibility challenges over time and upgrade difficulties are a constant issue with building power management and maintenance. LumenCache’s direct current power and open control platform enables future-proof LED lighting and automation features to be built into all smart buildings.
Prynt has developed a device that turns the average smartphone into an instant camera. The solution consists of a printer/smartphone case and accompanying app for accessing memories or scanning new photoes.
Voltera’s circuit board printer makes creating electronic circuits as easy as clicking a button. The solution uses conductive ink technology to quickly print prototype boards, reducing hardware development time from months to days.
Revols develops affordable, custom-fitted headphones that allow users to mold their headphone tips into a shape customized to their earhole, on-the-fly. The company has already raised over $2.5 million and sold 12,000 units on Kickstarter.
Factory-grade metal cutting machines can cost upwards of $100,000; in contrast, Wazer’s device costs around $5,000 and accomplishes the same results. The desktop-sized offering uses pressurized water to cut any material precisely.
You may have heard of Shenzhen-based drone manufacturer DJI, the current market leader in consumer drone technology. The company develops commercial and recreational unmanned aerial systems for a variety of consumer and enterprise use cases.
Seeed Studio has developed an open hardware innovation platform for helping innovators scale from prototype to mass production. The website features a myriad of components for Rasberry Pi, Arduino, and Grove projects, among others.
Darma has dubbed itself the world’s first “inactivity tracker”: using a smart cushion device to monitor sitting habits and an accompanying app, the solution helps users improve physical/mental health and posture. The offering is available for iPhone/Android devices as well as on the desktop.
Grobo aims to make growing plants as easy as pushing a button. The solution handles all of the intricacies of botany/farming for the user—nutrient feeding, pH levels, temperature, humidity, and light spectrums, enabling even neophyte growers to achieve impressive results.
Kniterate’s compact digital knitting machine allows aspiring designers to cost-effectively fabricate new creations in their personal workshops. The solution consists of the desktop device and accompanying easy-to-use software for designing carves, beanies, shoe uppers, sweaters, dresses, and more.
HabitAware’s wearable offering senses users’ behavior and sends a vibration to help develop awareness and curb subconscious habits like hair-pulling, skin-picking, nail-biting, thumb-sucking, and more. The startup has been featured in VentureBeat, TechCrunch, Yahoo! Beauty, InStyle Magazine, and more.
Shenzhen may not be a household name yet, but sooner or later—tech products from this South China hub of innovation are bound to find their way into your home. Be sure to keep these 13 tech startups on your radar in 2017 and beyond.