Robyn Davis - When I Need Help
Erica Stritch - RAIN Group

Laila Danielsen - Elliptic Labs


Laila Danielsen is nominated by Maggie McKeon.

Laila Danielsen’s direct, hard-charging approach has catapulted Elliptic Labs with its ultrasound technology from an Oslo University spinout to the world stage, where the company’s AI virtual Smart Sensor(™) platform is revolutionizing the fiercely competitive consumer electronics market throughout Asia, Europe and the U.S.

Danielsen saw that the company’s ultrasound technology could be used to enhance an essentially overlooked element of the smartphone - the proximity sensor. In October 2016, she initiated Elliptic Labs’ first foray into the smartphone market by selling her vision to Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi, known as the “Apple” of China, that allowed the electronics giant to introduce Elliptic’s INNER BEAUTY®Virtual Proximity Sensor technology into the Mi Mix phone series. This technology helped Xiaomi create an almost full-screen phone with an ultra-thin bezel, and kickstarted the market trend for full-screen phones worldwide. Since then, Elliptic’s ultrasound technology has been in the Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 2 (November 2017); Mi Mix 2S ( March 2018); the Mi Mix III (October 2018) and in Xiaomi’s mass volume Mi 9 and Mi 9 SE (February 2019.) On April 2018, another of China’s phone manufacturers, Smartisan, included Elliptic Labs’ INNER BEAUTY virtual proximity sensor into its Smartisan Nut 3 phone. Removing the proximity sensor is now in such demand that Elliptic Labs formed a partnership with Solomon Systech to enhance this solution with machine learning and make it available to OEMs for all kinds of displays.

The second element that Danielsen saw as valuable in Elliptic Labs’ technology was the fact that ultrasound could be used to detect presence in smart devices. In February 2018, Danielsen applied Elliptic Labs’ technology to the burgeoning market for smart assistants, advancing the company’s next stage of growth through its INNER REFLECTION(™) presence detection technology for smart speakers. In January 2019, Elliptic Labs won an award at CES from IoT Breakthrough for this presence detection for smart speakers.

Elliptic recently utilized the concept of sensor fusion and in January 2019, Elliptic Labs created another industry first by showing presence detection for television sets and multi media devices. View the video here, but mute a bit if you have Alexa devices nearby.

In December 2017, Danielsen brokered a deal with Qualcomm that saw Elliptic’s touch-free ultrasound gesture technology running on the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845 Mobile Platform using the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine (NPE).

Danielsen has also formed technology partnerships with top-tier blue-chip companies, including such as Knowles Electronics and Qualcomm. During her tenure at Elliptic Labs, she has expanded the Norway-based company’s global footprint with one office in San Francisco and two in China (one in Beijing and another in Shanghai) and an office in Korea.

Danielsen’s proven track record of bringing emerging technologies to global markets spans her work at companies including HotLink Corporation, CRL (acquired by AppliedTheory), Scali (acquired by Platform Computing), and FastScale Technology Inc. (acquired by EMC/VMware). Danielsen also held management roles at IBM and Penguin Computing, and currently shares her expertise as an advisor to ascending companies. She is a speaker at top MBA programs and an advisor for Innovation Norway, considered the Norwegian government's most important instrument for enhancing innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry.

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