Apple may not be officially exhibiting at the world's biggest technology trade show, but it still has officials on the show floor keeping an eye on accessory makers looking to cash in on the up-coming launch of the Apple Watch.
Apple avoids the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) completely, preferring to hold its own events where it gets all the attention. However that doesn't mean it does have executives on the show floor monitoring what is going on.
Ahead of the show I received an email from a company called Standzout claiming it would be showing off the "first great Apple Watch accessory" ar CES.
And so during my tours of the nether regions of the North Hall in the Las Vegas Convention Center, surrounded by thousands of iPhone and iPad accessories, I met Standzout CEO Brandon Barnard showing off the company's latest product called Bandstand.
Apple officials at CES
The stand is designed as a place to recharge your Watch at night, integrating Apple's inductive charger while featuring additional ports underneath to allow the user to simultaneously charge two other USB devices.
I asked Barnard if he had been in touch with Apple about developing the accessory and he said he hadn't, that he had used the publically available specs to 3D print the prototype on show at CES.
However he added that just before I had visited the stand, two officials from Apple had stopped by his stand to check out the accessory. He said the two men had been upfront about where they were from and were only looking at the device.
They didn't give Barnard any more information he said, and he said he didn't have any more idea of when the Watch would launch.
This week reports emerged that the Apple Watch would launch in March, with in-store training scheduled for February.
Barnard said that once the final product was launched, it would take between 60 and 90 days to get the BAndstand finalised, onto the production line and delivered to customers. He added that he was aware a number of other people were looking at creating accessories for the Watch, but believed his was original enough to succeed.
With the Apple Watch launch imminent, it is hardly surprising that Apple executives paid a visit to CES to keep an eye on what is being produced. Apple officials have been spotted at CES in previous years and some have accused the company of making announcements of purposely leaking information during CES to take some media attention from the show.
This week Mark Gurman from 9to5Mac released a detailed description of the up-coming 12in MacBook Air, however considering that Apple is not the biggest fan of Gurman and his typically accurate reports about unreleased products, it is unlikely they purposely leaked any information to him.
The iPhone and iPad accessory market has become a hugely profitable industry all of its own and no doubt we will see a slew of Watch accessories in the weeks and months after the wearable is released.
Apple has not announced any accessories for the Watch so far, and Barnard believes initially at least it won't, meaning there will be a gap in the market for his Bandstand.