Guest post by Fred de Haro on October 31, 2016
Having spent an amazing 2 days in Edinburgh with back to back speeches/presentations, its easy to understand how I have yet to come off this incredible buzz. Firstly, Edinburgh University. A few words which would best describe such a forward thinking University? Simple: Pioneers and visionaries! It did not take much to convince us to join their recent Hackathon using the newly released triple bearer network LoPy modules.
Posted By Simon Montford on June 15, 2016
The Europas is an annual conference and awards ceremony for technology startups. The event was organised and hosted by technology journalist Mike Butcher MBE, and took place yesterday (June 14) in London, at The Grand Hall at Old Billingsgate. As tech conferences go, it was a reasonably relaxed affair, with no VIP lists or sectioned off areas in order, to facilitate networking and knowledge transfer between attendees.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 1, 2016
As a species we are becoming more and more connected. Today fitness trackers are pretty basic, but tomorrow they will become embedded precision instruments capable of monitoring our health 24/7. Our cars will be self-driving, our homes will be operated by powerful artificial intelligence, and one leading academic recently predicted that robots will be able to read our minds by 2030 - welcome to the future!
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 23, 2015
A Hungarian startup called Codie, that successfully raised $96,306 back in May 2015 via crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, has started shipping its robotic toy. The device offers a fun way to teach kids how to code. The campaign was so successful that it raised one third of its funding goal in only two days, and ended up exceeding it by 115%.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 21, 2015
A UK registered company based in Bristol called OXY Technologies, has launched a campaign on Indiegogo for a smartwatch that will be able to connect with Android, iOS and Windows 10 smartphones. The makers are working with the open source community to accelerate development, and improve the product.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 16, 2015
Pillow Talk is a smart pillow that connects to a wristband via an app. It works by live streaming the sound of your loved one's heartbeat directly to the pillow thanks to a tiny little speaker. I met Joanna Montgomery, founder of Little Riot, the company behind the product, at TechCrunch Disrupt in London last week. She was extremely passionate about her product, and provisionally agreed to speak at our LoveTech event that will take place in Edinburgh on 15th February 2016.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 14, 2015
Experts have been talking about the potential of wireless charging for a while now, but so far not a single commercial product capable of wirelessly charging has entered production. I remember watching a TED talk by Eric Giler of MIT, in which he told the audience that within the near future, our wired lives would become untangled. He then went on to demo a prototype wireless charging technology called WiTricity, which back in 2009, when he did the talk, was supposed to be a "near-to-market" invention.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 14, 2015
Luke Roberts, the makers of Fluxo, claim that it's the world’s first smart LED lamp. On the basis that I've come across plenty of smart bulbs like the Misfit Bolt and the Hue, but never a smart lamp, I'll assume this claim is correct. Like the aforementioned smart bulbs, FLUXO can be controlled via a smartphone or tablet, enabling an entire room to become dynamically “painted” with whatever colour you desire, at the click of a button.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 12, 2015
This weekend over 50,000 people are attending Brick2015, an annual Lego convention taking place at ExCel in London. I have been invited by a Hungarian-based company called Vengit that's exhibiting a prototype of their latest product, "Towers Game". The eventual aim is that the game will enable up to sixteen opponents to construct Lego towers armed with catapults. You can probably guess the rest...
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 11, 2015
ONAGOfly is a micro-drone with an on-board camera so it can take stills and record video. It can be controlled via a smartphone and comes with infrared obstacle avoidance. Pledges start at $179 for the first 200 units, and $199 thereafter. The company's estimated shipping date is February 2016.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 10, 2015
MATRIX is a smart hub for the home and workplace that can be used to carry out a wide range of tasks. Its creators have designed it to be open, which means third party developers can produce apps that can be used to utilise its incredible versatility and power. The company's Kickstarter campaign, which is about to end, has so far raised over $100,000.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 9, 2015
Brick 2015 is coming to town this weekend. The Lego-themed event will take place at the Excel conference centre in London's Docklands Dec 11-13. Not only will there be seasonal displays such as a snowman constructed using over 250 thousand bricks, but attendees will also be able to checkout Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Batman-inspired Lego creations. In addition, SmartBrick will be there.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 1, 2015
Omate announced today that they will be holding a flash sale of their new 3G enabled smartwatch, the Omate Rise, exclusively on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. The company will be accepting pre-orders from 3pm GMT / 10am EST on Monday December 7th, for a 48hr period. Backers will be the first in the World to wear the Rise when it becomes available to them in March 2016, instead of June.
Posted By Simon Montford on Nov 20 2015
From hero to zero, the Zano drone failed to take off. Having been one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns of 2014, the team behind the doomed project concede defeat. The company raised over £2m worth of pre-orders from 12,000 supporters, and it now appears that the majority of those that paid £170 to own one will have nothing to show for it.
Posted By Nicola Osborne on Oct 29 2015
18:15 - 18:20 Simon Montford (WEB3//IOT) @simonmontford
The theme tonight is the maker revolution – the opening up of industrial technologies to amateaur makers. Maker Culture contributes 30 billion to the global economy, so this is a big and growing thing, with Internet of Things at the centre (the recorded livestream can be viewed here).
Posted By Keesjan Engelen on June 25, 2015
Q1 of 2015 saw a record 128 electronic projects raise at least $100K each on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Reaching $100K is often considered a successful campaign, and many think that the founders can take this money to a factory and just get the stuff made. The 4 out of 5 hardware campaigns that don’t manage to ship in time show that most teams still underestimate the DFM (Design For Manufacturing) process. A number of factors complicate things:
Posted By Simon Montford on May 26, 2015
One of the most frustrating things about operating a drone is flight time. This is because the limitations of battery technology prevents most drones from flying for more than 25 minutes. This is why Holger Willeke decided to build a hybrid powered drone called the Yeair, that can fly for 60 min at speeds of upto 60mph.
Posted By Simon Montford on May 21, 2015
Lily claims to be the world's first "throw-and-shoot camera" drone, however, I'm pretty sure I have already seen other similar products that can fly autonomously, if thrown in the air. Take Nixie for example. If you look at this Youtube video (2:56 /4:31), you will see one of the company's co-founders demonstrate this feature at CES back in January. Other "selfie drones" worth checking out are Zano, Air Dog, and Hexo+.
Posted By Simon Montford on May 20, 2015
An increasing number of people are concerned about the security of their private data. Most of us store our data on servers that are owned and operated by third parties, but is it 100% safe and secure? Last year hackers obtained highly sensitive images via a breach of Apple's cloud services suite iCloud, and posted them on the Internet. As a result "private cloud" hosting has become more popular.
Posted By Simon Montford on May 1, 2015
Pulse Play is a social scorekeeping, and ranking system for racket players. It is aimed at amateurs because they often don't have anyone impartial to keep score, which can result in disagreements, or even arguments during a friendly game of tennis, squash, badminton, or table tennis. If you're a fan of racket sports, then I'm sure you'll be able to relate.
Posted By Simon Montford on April 20, 2015
There are plenty of home automation systems available to purchase these days. In fact consumers are spoilt for choice. Two of the greatest problems, however, faced by most people who are thinking of buying smart home tech is configuration, and compatibility. A Chicago-based startup claims to have solved both problems.
Once the "smart peddle" by Connected Cycle affixes to any bicycle, it can automatically record the location of the bike, track journeys, and act as a theft deterrent. A notification is sent if the bike is moved, or tampered with. A really great feature is that it doesn't need to be charged as it's self-powered. If only someone could invent a phone, or smartwatch that does that!
Posted By Simon Montford on April 23, 2015
This device is clearly aimed at serious swimmers, however, I can also see it appealing to those that already own a fancy smartwatch, or intend to buy an Apple Watch, which is splash and water resistant, but not waterproof. Swimmo is, as you'd expect, waterproof and offers advanced functionality specifically for those who wish to improve their lap times. The device records number of laps, calories, distance, heart rate, and speed.
Posted By Simon Montford on April 20, 2015
A San Franciso-based startup called Prana Tech is seeking $100,000 on Kickstarter, however with only 10 days remaining it looks doubtful if the $100,000 campaign target will be met. According to the company's CEO, good breathing and posture are keys to good health. By providing the wearer with gentle encouragement and reminders to sit straight and relax, it's like having mini Tai Chi and Yoga workouts throughout the day.
Posted By Simon Montford on April 1, 2015
As I've said previously, the fitness tracker's days are numbered. I just can't see why anyone would bother with a FitBit or a Jawbone once the smartwatch goes mainstream (which it will). Highly specialised devices, however, that are designed for elite athletes, and those with specific requirements such as swimmers (xmetrics), weightlifters, CrossFitters (Beast, PushStrength, GymWatch, Atlas, Moov), and yoga (Smartmat) will continue to thrive.
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