With scoring built into the app, teachers can also use TinyTap to create customized activities and track students’ progress automatically. Meanwhile, more games, extended language support and an Android version are in the works, the app’s Israel-based maker says. Education entrepreneurs around the globe: one to get involved in? Creative gift-giving has remained a perennial challenge through the years, inspiring more than a few services designed to make it easier. Much like a cross between 15gifts and NOTANOTHERBILL, both of which we covered last year, Gift Owl is a UK venture that aims to take the pain out of finding the perfect gifts. Gift-givers begin by buying a Gift Owl Card on the company’s site; pricing is GBP 24.99, including delivery within the UK. Gift Owl then mails the card out to the intended recipient. When it arrives, the person on the receiving end fills out an accompanying questionnaire and sends it back to Gift Owl. “They can complete as little or as much as they want, but the more they tell us the better we can choose their gifts,” the company explains. Next, Gift Owl scouts the world of craft fairs, vintage shops, designer studios and more for unique items tailored to the recipient’s personality, style and taste. It then packages those items up, wraps the result in brown paper, and sends it along to the recipient. Where there’s pain there’s opportunity, as every entrepreneur knows. How could your brand offer some pain relief of its own, in gift-giving or beyond? We’ve already seen a combination of television broadcasting and app technology working to direct customers to extra content with the SonicNotify advertising platform. Now, the Super PAC app aims to give voters extra information about the advertisements appearing on television during the US presidential elections. Throughout September, US citizens are set to be bombarded with pleas from parties seeking their vote, particularly from the Democratic and Republican main contenders, who are heavily funded by groups known as super political action committees (PACs). Using Shazam-like technology, the app enables smartphone users to hold up their device to the television during the broadcast of a political ad in order to gain insight into who was behind its production. Super PAC recognizes the audio from the adverts and sends information its funding, as well as details about the veracity of the claims made in the commercial. They can then let others know if they loved or disliked the ad, or if they thought it was ‘fair’ or ‘fishy’, and see other viewers’ reactions. The video below shows the app in action: Currently available as a free download for the iPhone, the Super PAC app aims to bring an element of transparency to what is otherwise a period of political point-scoring and vote grabbing. Designed for use during the upcoming US presidential election, could this idea be implemented across advertising in general? Spotted by: Murtaza Patel Japanese innovators have been working hard to find preventative solutions in case of another disaster on the scale of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, from shopping bag helmets to escape pods. These ideas are still coming thick and fast, with the latest being the Shinko Industries Wood-Luck bed, which can protect sleepers from suffering injury from rubble in the case of a quake. Many of the casualties of earthquakes are a result of falling rubble and collapsing buildings. With this in mind, the company has created a four-poster bed made of a cypress wood that has been aged for 30 to 40 years, which gives it a strength that can withstand 60 tonnes of pressure from falling debris. The bed is currently available in a single version for JPY 450,000 or JPY 500,000 for a semi-double, with JPY 50,000 for installation. The following video from DigInfoTV shows the bed’s construction in greater detail: Providing a more sturdy alternative in place of taking cover under a table, as is the usual advice in the case of an emergency, it is hoped that the Wood-Luck bed could have more of a chance of saving lives, particularly during the nighttime when the majority of people will be asleep. How else could everyday objects be transformed to help in the event of a disaster? We first covered the World’s Most Valuable Social Network back in July, which operates as a global reach-out to missing children. The operation works by motivating social network users to donate their online profiles to the company. Currently confined just to Canada, whenever a child goes missing a call-out post is broadcast across all the donated profiles to help spread the message as quickly as possible. Communications Manager, Becky Scheer, has been overwhelmed by the response from the public: “We have welcomed over 2,700 Facebook networks and 550 Twitter networks donated so far, and counting. With over 3,200 networks signed up with the Most Valuable Network, our reach is over a million people.” These numbers are no surprise to Becky, who believes the network’s success so far is due to the simplicity of the action it requires from its users. “Anyone who has a child in their life can empathize and support the work that we do to find missing children and bring them home. We believe people have strongly supported our Most Valuable Network tool because they can immediately see how their simple act of donating their Facebook or Twitter feed can make such a powerful difference. We hear from people every day who want to help our work in searching for missing children, and this tool gives them an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution that is easy and doesn’t require any additional commitment.” Once a user is signed up, missing children alerts will be posted to their Facebook and/or Twitter profiles approximately four to five times a year. A recent success story for the founders is the case of a young girl who had been missing for over a month. Usually the business only operates within the geographical confines of British Columbia, but law enforcement agencies from a nearby province had asked for their help. Within two days of the Most Important Social Network spreading the message across user’s profiles, the girl made contact with her family. In Becky’s words: “This young girl had been missing for close to a month and authorities – and her family – were extremely concerned for her well-being. We were thrilled to have been able to play a role in safely locating this vulnerable teen.” Alongside support from the general public the initiative has also seen high profile backing from Canadian celebrities including TV presenter Sarah Richardson and sports broadcaster Rob Kerr since its founding in May. These celebrities have donated their widely followed online profiles thereby increasing the reach of the missing child posts considerably. The founders have been shrewd in their marketing of the initiative – launching the business to coincide with International Missing Children’s day on May 25 and reaching out to celebrities after having recognized the powerful pull they have on social networks. By utilizing Facebook and Twitter they have harnessed the sway of one of the most common mediums of communication in the 21st century, and consequently provide a constant reminder to social network users about their community responsibility. A good example of the success a startup can have with a simple premise and a finger on the pulse. You can read more about the World’s Most Valuable Social Network here or visit the World’s Most Valuable Social Network website here. We recently covered British Airways’ campaign to improve airline food which saw the company only using ingredients that taste good at 30,000 feet. Now our latest spotting, Inflightfeed, is also aiming to help fliers have a better culinary experience onboard by operating as a customer review site for airline food. Visitors to the site can browse the paid-for food options offered by over 80 airlines to help them make a decision about which company they might like to travel with. These include both the standard menu and economy class upgrades available. Fliers who have recently traveled with those airlines can also leave their comments on the menu, service received, value for money and taste – in order to help others with their future choices. They also have the option to upload a picture of the meal they had to give readers a greater indication of what the food was like. While customer review sites such as TripAdvisor have become a staple for the travel industry, this is the first that caters solely for judging the quality of airline food. Are there other aspects of travel entrepreneurs could explore that are being left out?