Discovering innovations that matter since 2002

While Australia’s Jellybeanstreet has enabled parents to turn their kids’ doodles into prints for the home, a new app is bringing those drawings to life in a different way. When viewed through the colAR augmented reality app, children see their colorings turned into animated, 3D characters.

Available for both iOS and Android devices, the app requires users to first download templates from the colAR website that kids can then print off and color in in any way they choose. Once they’ve finished their creation, they can open up the app and view their drawing through a smartphone or tablet. The app uses augmented reality to show a 3D animation of their chosen character, complete with the personalized shading and additions made by the child. The app could be used at home, or even in schools to make art more engaging for kids. The video below shows how the app works:

Considering kids are used to spending their time playing with apps, what’s unique about colAR is that it actively encourages them to take part in a physical, offline activity. With a large enough and ever-changing library of images for children to choose from, could a platform such as this become a big hit with young people, inspiring their creativity?

Spotted by: Murray Orange

Cancer Research UK’s ClicktoCure platform has already enabled anyone to help out researchers by analyzing their data. Putting a gamification twist on this concept, GeneGame challenges users to form the best combinations of genes – aiding research in the area in the process.

Created by games developer Guerilla Tea at a Cancer Research UK hackathon in March, the game is based on the fact that researchers have reams of data about genes and their role in diseases such as cancer. In order to produce reliable results from these datasets, it’s necessary to combine at least 25 different variables each time for each human gene – of which there are around 20,000. Rather than leaving this job up to researchers alone, the GeneGame app turns these combinations into winning ‘hands’ that the player has to build using their knowledge or searching the web for answers. The best players get to show off their knowledge through league placings, which researchers can then use to find out the players that are producing the most reliable datasets.

Although the game requires a certain knowledge of genes and how they relate to diseases, the GeneGame shows how scientists could develop platforms to engage the public in research that benefits society while competing with friends. Are there other fields of research – medical or otherwise – that could be gamified?

Spotted by: Murtaza Patel

Regular readers of Springwise may remember BillGuard, the platform that enables consumer to check and dispute so-called ‘gray charges’ – hidden fees, payments charged by mistake, bills that haven’t been cancelled and fraudulent transactions. The Israel-based company has now launched the new BillGuard app, allowing users to immediately dispute charges and keep in contact with merchants to resolve the issue wherever they are.

Available for free on the App Store, those downloading the app first set up a membership and link their bank account. The app works similarly to an inbox for payments – users can swipe right to confirm the payment is fine or swipe left to mark it as a potential gray charge, and the app learns from user actions. The app uses algorithms and crowdsourced data to determine outgoings that match the profile of queried payments in the past, and users can choose to receive push notifications whenever a new payment requires their attention. Users can even contact the merchant through the app. The video below shows the BillGuard app in action:

Are there other ways to ensure consumers are keeping track of their finances?

Spotted by: Murray Orange

While health services such as the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Canada have invested in humanoid robots to calm children down during visits, our latest spotting is offering a similar idea, but this time for the home. Teddy the Guardian is a soft toy that is embedded with sensors and delivers data on babies’ vital signs in a fun and playful way.

Developed by health marketer Josipa Majic and business graduate Ana Burica, the toy looks like a standard soft bear from the outside, but features sensors that can detect vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and body temperature. Parents can get their child to hold the bear’s hand, or place its paw on their forehead in order to take a reading. The data is then sent wirelessly to parents’ smartphones, enabling them to check their child’s health and keep a record over time, without having to take trips to the doctor’s. As the creators point out, those trips can cause stress and lead to false readings, but Teddy the Guardian allows parents to take readings in the comfort of their own home and share this with doctors later on.

The bear is made of Croatian wool and has received approval from the FDA and CE. Parents can pre-order Teddy the Guardian for USD 69 for delivery in October 2013. Are there other ways to disguise potentially distressing medical exams to ensure kids remain healthy?

Spotted by: Murray Orange

We’ve already seen Artsy provide a way for anyone to browse the world’s art, with facilities to buy a piece for themselves. However, a lot of original art isn’t in the budget of typical households. ARTtwo50 is a platform that sells original pieces for USD 250, with users able to see what it might look like in their home through augmented reality.

Customers can download the iPad app for free, before browsing some of the pieces available to buy. By taking a photo of the space they’d like to hang some art, users can then virtually place the item to see whether it’s a good fit. Once they’ve found a piece they like, ARTtwo50 will deliver it for a fixed price of USD 250. The pricing makes buying art a simpler process for consumers, while the emerging artists whose work is featured on the site win the peace of mind of a suitable sum of money for their labor. The video below explains a bit more about the platform:

https://player.vimeo.com/video/57291792
cap

ARTtwo50 opens up the art market to consumers who don’t have the means to afford art from a traditional gallery, or know whether they’re getting a good deal. Are there other ways to make home décor simpler for amateurs?

Spotted by: Murray Orange

We recently saw Russian site Suit Up provide a way for shoppers to see how clothes might fit them virtually before they buy. Now a new collection for women uses the Triofit system, which takes into account the wearer’s bra size when buying online.

Created by InStyle Essentials, the range features three types of tops for women – a Classic Button Front shirt, a Bow Blouse and a Weekend Tunic. The Triofit system was developed by Rebecca Matchett and Drew Paluba, but the InStyle collection is the first to integrate the method for sizing. Rather than using more simple measurements to determine if the item will fit, customers choose their shirt based on the circumference of their chest as well as their bra size. The aim is to enable women to know what they’re getting before the item is shipped, because each shirt more closely matches their particular proportions.

Are there other ways for online fashion retailers to give consumers a better idea of what they’re buying, before the purchase and shipping goes ahead?

While some may be happy to stick to the old-fashioned stress ball when it comes to managing pressure, new technology is giving workers and consumers smarter options. One of these is the PIP, a small device that monitors moisture and heat when held, to detect stress but also offers users a way to learn how to control it. We caught up with David Ingram – director and shareholder in Galvanic, the Ireland-based startup that created the device – to find out how he relaxes when he’s not helping others to do so.

David is a specialist in finance, gaining experience at GE Money and later as the CEO of Start Mortgages. He is now focusing on leading new startups in bringing their products to market and offering his business expertise through consultancy roles. David joined the Galvanic team in January this year, overseeing its successful funding on Kickstarter.

11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?

I said it earlier: don’t trade backwards. It’s a waste of time, energy – and it’s a great way of losing the respect of existing and prospective partners.

10. Tell Springwise a secret…

The back door of our office is only 100 metres from a pub that serves one of the best pints of Guinness in Dublin (developers please note!)

11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?

I said it earlier: don’t trade backwards. It’s a waste of time, energy – and it’s a great way of losing the respect of existing and prospective partners.

9. If you weren’t working on the PIP right now, what would you be doing?

Following our experience in getting as far as we have, I’d probably set up a genuinely impartial business (i.e. not backed by a major technology company) that helps incubate tech businesses with founders, but which really does have all the business, financial and fund-raising skills in-house, and can help them succeed and share in the rewards. I still haven’t seen this done properly in Europe.

10. Tell Springwise a secret…

The back door of our office is only 100 metres from a pub that serves one of the best pints of Guinness in Dublin (developers please note!)

11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?

I said it earlier: don’t trade backwards. It’s a waste of time, energy – and it’s a great way of losing the respect of existing and prospective partners.

8. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?

We have a very clear picture of what we want to be when “we grow up” and the route to getting there. What’s the vision? A thriving business with a global presence across a network of distribution and software partners with annual unit sales of 5 million where on a daily basis our people are proud and happy to come to work in a business which is “doing well by doing good” in helping people to relax and de-stress.

9. If you weren’t working on the PIP right now, what would you be doing?

Following our experience in getting as far as we have, I’d probably set up a genuinely impartial business (i.e. not backed by a major technology company) that helps incubate tech businesses with founders, but which really does have all the business, financial and fund-raising skills in-house, and can help them succeed and share in the rewards. I still haven’t seen this done properly in Europe.

10. Tell Springwise a secret…

The back door of our office is only 100 metres from a pub that serves one of the best pints of Guinness in Dublin (developers please note!)

11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?

I said it earlier: don’t trade backwards. It’s a waste of time, energy – and it’s a great way of losing the respect of existing and prospective partners.

7. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Throughout last year we were focusing on another project but our focus now is on the PIP. In a short period of time with engaged, aligned and dedicated team players we have achieved an awful lot. You should never trade backwards, and I don’t, but as the question has been asked, I would have started earlier.

8. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?

We have a very clear picture of what we want to be when “we grow up” and the route to getting there. What’s the vision? A thriving business with a global presence across a network of distribution and software partners with annual unit sales of 5 million where on a daily basis our people are proud and happy to come to work in a business which is “doing well by doing good” in helping people to relax and de-stress.

9. If you weren’t working on the PIP right now, what would you be doing?

Following our experience in getting as far as we have, I’d probably set up a genuinely impartial business (i.e. not backed by a major technology company) that helps incubate tech businesses with founders, but which really does have all the business, financial and fund-raising skills in-house, and can help them succeed and share in the rewards. I still haven’t seen this done properly in Europe.

10. Tell Springwise a secret…

The back door of our office is only 100 metres from a pub that serves one of the best pints of Guinness in Dublin (developers please note!)

11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?

I said it earlier: don’t trade backwards. It’s a waste of time, energy – and it’s a great way of losing the respect of existing and prospective partners.

6. What motivates you to keep going?

Entrepreneurs are hard-wired with self-belief and like winning, and I guess I am no different from others here. Adversity is probably a strong motivating force for me. The saying “if it was easy everyone would be doing it” works for me and finding a solution or a way forward where others have stumbled or halted gives me a buzz.

7. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Throughout last year we were focusing on another project but our focus now is on the PIP. In a short period of time with engaged, aligned and dedicated team players we have achieved an awful lot. You should never trade backwards, and I don’t, but as the question has been asked, I would have started earlier.

8. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?

We have a very clear picture of what we want to be when “we grow up” and the route to getting there. What’s the vision? A thriving business with a global presence across a network of distribution and software partners with annual unit sales of 5 million where on a daily basis our people are proud and happy to come to work in a business which is “doing well by doing good” in helping people to relax and de-stress.

9. If you weren’t working on the PIP right now, what would you be doing?

Following our experience in getting as far as we have, I’d probably set up a genuinely impartial business (i.e. not backed by a major technology company) that helps incubate tech businesses with founders, but which really does have all the business, financial and fund-raising skills in-house, and can help them succeed and share in the rewards. I still haven’t seen this done properly in Europe.

10. Tell Springwise a secret…

The back door of our office is only 100 metres from a pub that serves one of the best pints of Guinness in Dublin (developers please note!)

11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?

I said it earlier: don’t trade backwards. It’s a waste of time, energy – and it’s a great way of losing the respect of existing and prospective partners.

5. What drove you crazy when building your business?

Unnecessary bureaucracy, time wasters and big egos… Galvanic has a clean bill of health is this regard.

6. What motivates you to keep going?

Entrepreneurs are hard-wired with self-belief and like winning, and I guess I am no different from others here. Adversity is probably a strong motivating force for me. The saying “if it was easy everyone would be doing it” works for me and finding a solution or a way forward where others have stumbled or halted gives me a buzz.

7. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Throughout last year we were focusing on another project but our focus now is on the PIP. In a short period of time with engaged, aligned and dedicated team players we have achieved an awful lot. You should never trade backwards, and I don’t, but as the question has been asked, I would have started earlier.

8. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?

We have a very clear picture of what we want to be when “we grow up” and the route to getting there. What’s the vision? A thriving business with a global presence across a network of distribution and software partners with annual unit sales of 5 million where on a daily basis our people are proud and happy to come to work in a business which is “doing well by doing good” in helping people to relax and de-stress.

9. If you weren’t working on the PIP right now, what would you be doing?

Following our experience in getting as far as we have, I’d probably set up a genuinely impartial business (i.e. not backed by a major technology company) that helps incubate tech businesses with founders, but which really does have all the business, financial and fund-raising skills in-house, and can help them succeed and share in the rewards. I still haven’t seen this done properly in Europe.

10. Tell Springwise a secret…

The back door of our office is only 100 metres from a pub that serves one of the best pints of Guinness in Dublin (developers please note!)

11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?

I said it earlier: don’t trade backwards. It’s a waste of time, energy – and it’s a great way of losing the respect of existing and prospective partners.

4. What’s the secret ingredient to success as an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurs are opportunists, optimists and risk takers… these are the given ingredients. They may have a great idea but they don’t have all the answers and it’s critical that they surround themselves with good people who MUST be team players. Reward these people so they can benefit from the exciting journey and company growth and you have a real chance. This is code for “founders, don’t be greedy with the equity” – a smaller percentage of a bigger better business is much better than owning a lot of very little. There is a statistic that points to only a third of new businesses getting to their 10th year and I would bet a couple of PIPs that there is a correlation between the successful third and engaged and rewarded team players.

5. What drove you crazy when building your business?

Unnecessary bureaucracy, time wasters and big egos… Galvanic has a clean bill of health is this regard.

6. What motivates you to keep going?

Entrepreneurs are hard-wired with self-belief and like winning, and I guess I am no different from others here. Adversity is probably a strong motivating force for me. The saying “if it was easy everyone would be doing it” works for me and finding a solution or a way forward where others have stumbled or halted gives me a buzz.

7. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Throughout last year we were focusing on another project but our focus now is on the PIP. In a short period of time with engaged, aligned and dedicated team players we have achieved an awful lot. You should never trade backwards, and I don’t, but as the question has been asked, I would have started earlier.

8. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?

We have a very clear picture of what we want to be when “we grow up” and the route to getting there. What’s the vision? A thriving business with a global presence across a network of distribution and software partners with annual unit sales of 5 million where on a daily basis our people are proud and happy to come to work in a business which is “doing well by doing good” in helping people to relax and de-stress.

9. If you weren’t working on the PIP right now, what would you be doing?

Following our experience in getting as far as we have, I’d probably set up a genuinely impartial business (i.e. not backed by a major technology company) that helps incubate tech businesses with founders, but which really does have all the business, financial and fund-raising skills in-house, and can help them succeed and share in the rewards. I still haven’t seen this done properly in Europe.

10. Tell Springwise a secret…

The back door of our office is only 100 metres from a pub that serves one of the best pints of Guinness in Dublin (developers please note!)

11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?

I said it earlier: don’t trade backwards. It’s a waste of time, energy – and it’s a great way of losing the respect of existing and prospective partners.

3. How do you unwind or relax when you’re not working on the PIP?

With the PIP!! We also have a busy enough family life with four sons (two still in high school) so unwinding with the family is good. Taking a cycle down Dunlaoghaire Pier (south of Dublin City) with my best friend and partner, Carolynn, watching the boys play rugby and barbequing get my vote – in that order. In fact the boys are great advocates of the PIP… it’s used ahead of important matches to relax and focus, to wind down (the first time it was used by one of them I found him asleep at the kitchen table he was so relaxed). It’s often used with their friends for a bit of fun… The Lie Detective game is no longer used amongst the family as the boys now realise that they can’t fool it!

4. What’s the secret ingredient to success as an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurs are opportunists, optimists and risk takers… these are the given ingredients. They may have a great idea but they don’t have all the answers and it’s critical that they surround themselves with good people who MUST be team players. Reward these people so they can benefit from the exciting journey and company growth and you have a real chance. This is code for “founders, don’t be greedy with the equity” – a smaller percentage of a bigger better business is much better than owning a lot of very little. There is a statistic that points to only a third of new businesses getting to their 10th year and I would bet a couple of PIPs that there is a correlation between the successful third and engaged and rewarded team players.

5. What drove you crazy when building your business?

Unnecessary bureaucracy, time wasters and big egos… Galvanic has a clean bill of health is this regard.

6. What motivates you to keep going?

Entrepreneurs are hard-wired with self-belief and like winning, and I guess I am no different from others here. Adversity is probably a strong motivating force for me. The saying “if it was easy everyone would be doing it” works for me and finding a solution or a way forward where others have stumbled or halted gives me a buzz.

7. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Throughout last year we were focusing on another project but our focus now is on the PIP. In a short period of time with engaged, aligned and dedicated team players we have achieved an awful lot. You should never trade backwards, and I don’t, but as the question has been asked, I would have started earlier.

8. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?

We have a very clear picture of what we want to be when “we grow up” and the route to getting there. What’s the vision? A thriving business with a global presence across a network of distribution and software partners with annual unit sales of 5 million where on a daily basis our people are proud and happy to come to work in a business which is “doing well by doing good” in helping people to relax and de-stress.

9. If you weren’t working on the PIP right now, what would you be doing?

Following our experience in getting as far as we have, I’d probably set up a genuinely impartial business (i.e. not backed by a major technology company) that helps incubate tech businesses with founders, but which really does have all the business, financial and fund-raising skills in-house, and can help them succeed and share in the rewards. I still haven’t seen this done properly in Europe.

10. Tell Springwise a secret…

The back door of our office is only 100 metres from a pub that serves one of the best pints of Guinness in Dublin (developers please note!)

11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?

I said it earlier: don’t trade backwards. It’s a waste of time, energy – and it’s a great way of losing the respect of existing and prospective partners.

2. Can you describe a typical working day?

The thing about a young business is there is no typical day, as one day varies from the next. But having said that, there is a standard approach which has worked to date.

The day starts with the gym followed by a cup of strong coffee (the former is important, the latter imperative)

I get emails out of the way first, and try to read as many relevant technology news articles as possible.

This is usually followed by a Team Meeting – short, focusing on the deliverables we all committed to at the previous meeting and what we’re all doing next. As a team, we agree a “Top 10” at the start of each month identifying the key areas of focus and what success should look like at the end of the month for each area – it’s a one pager with one line for each area – no more.

3. How do you unwind or relax when you’re not working on the PIP?

With the PIP!! We also have a busy enough family life with four sons (two still in high school) so unwinding with the family is good. Taking a cycle down Dunlaoghaire Pier (south of Dublin City) with my best friend and partner, Carolynn, watching the boys play rugby and barbequing get my vote – in that order. In fact the boys are great advocates of the PIP… it’s used ahead of important matches to relax and focus, to wind down (the first time it was used by one of them I found him asleep at the kitchen table he was so relaxed). It’s often used with their friends for a bit of fun… The Lie Detective game is no longer used amongst the family as the boys now realise that they can’t fool it!

4. What’s the secret ingredient to success as an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurs are opportunists, optimists and risk takers… these are the given ingredients. They may have a great idea but they don’t have all the answers and it’s critical that they surround themselves with good people who MUST be team players. Reward these people so they can benefit from the exciting journey and company growth and you have a real chance. This is code for “founders, don’t be greedy with the equity” – a smaller percentage of a bigger better business is much better than owning a lot of very little. There is a statistic that points to only a third of new businesses getting to their 10th year and I would bet a couple of PIPs that there is a correlation between the successful third and engaged and rewarded team players.

5. What drove you crazy when building your business?

Unnecessary bureaucracy, time wasters and big egos… Galvanic has a clean bill of health is this regard.

6. What motivates you to keep going?

Entrepreneurs are hard-wired with self-belief and like winning, and I guess I am no different from others here. Adversity is probably a strong motivating force for me. The saying “if it was easy everyone would be doing it” works for me and finding a solution or a way forward where others have stumbled or halted gives me a buzz.

7. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Throughout last year we were focusing on another project but our focus now is on the PIP. In a short period of time with engaged, aligned and dedicated team players we have achieved an awful lot. You should never trade backwards, and I don’t, but as the question has been asked, I would have started earlier.

8. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?

We have a very clear picture of what we want to be when “we grow up” and the route to getting there. What’s the vision? A thriving business with a global presence across a network of distribution and software partners with annual unit sales of 5 million where on a daily basis our people are proud and happy to come to work in a business which is “doing well by doing good” in helping people to relax and de-stress.

9. If you weren’t working on the PIP right now, what would you be doing?

Following our experience in getting as far as we have, I’d probably set up a genuinely impartial business (i.e. not backed by a major technology company) that helps incubate tech businesses with founders, but which really does have all the business, financial and fund-raising skills in-house, and can help them succeed and share in the rewards. I still haven’t seen this done properly in Europe.

10. Tell Springwise a secret…

The back door of our office is only 100 metres from a pub that serves one of the best pints of Guinness in Dublin (developers please note!)

11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?

I said it earlier: don’t trade backwards. It’s a waste of time, energy – and it’s a great way of losing the respect of existing and prospective partners.

1. Where did the idea for the PIP come from?

People everywhere in the world experience stress and need help in dealing with it. So the question was how can people be empowered to relax anywhere and at any time and it was from this question that the PIP was born.

The PIP is an easy to use, portable and unobtrusive device which is Bluetooth-enabled and talks to applications on smart devices, providing immediate feedback to the user so they can learn what works for them in managing stress and relaxing.

2. Can you describe a typical working day?

The thing about a young business is there is no typical day, as one day varies from the next. But having said that, there is a standard approach which has worked to date.

The day starts with the gym followed by a cup of strong coffee (the former is important, the latter imperative)

I get emails out of the way first, and try to read as many relevant technology news articles as possible.

This is usually followed by a Team Meeting – short, focusing on the deliverables we all committed to at the previous meeting and what we’re all doing next. As a team, we agree a “Top 10” at the start of each month identifying the key areas of focus and what success should look like at the end of the month for each area – it’s a one pager with one line for each area – no more.

3. How do you unwind or relax when you’re not working on the PIP?

With the PIP!! We also have a busy enough family life with four sons (two still in high school) so unwinding with the family is good. Taking a cycle down Dunlaoghaire Pier (south of Dublin City) with my best friend and partner, Carolynn, watching the boys play rugby and barbequing get my vote – in that order. In fact the boys are great advocates of the PIP… it’s used ahead of important matches to relax and focus, to wind down (the first time it was used by one of them I found him asleep at the kitchen table he was so relaxed). It’s often used with their friends for a bit of fun… The Lie Detective game is no longer used amongst the family as the boys now realise that they can’t fool it!

4. What’s the secret ingredient to success as an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurs are opportunists, optimists and risk takers… these are the given ingredients. They may have a great idea but they don’t have all the answers and it’s critical that they surround themselves with good people who MUST be team players. Reward these people so they can benefit from the exciting journey and company growth and you have a real chance. This is code for “founders, don’t be greedy with the equity” – a smaller percentage of a bigger better business is much better than owning a lot of very little. There is a statistic that points to only a third of new businesses getting to their 10th year and I would bet a couple of PIPs that there is a correlation between the successful third and engaged and rewarded team players.

5. What drove you crazy when building your business?

Unnecessary bureaucracy, time wasters and big egos… Galvanic has a clean bill of health is this regard.

6. What motivates you to keep going?

Entrepreneurs are hard-wired with self-belief and like winning, and I guess I am no different from others here. Adversity is probably a strong motivating force for me. The saying “if it was easy everyone would be doing it” works for me and finding a solution or a way forward where others have stumbled or halted gives me a buzz.

7. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Throughout last year we were focusing on another project but our focus now is on the PIP. In a short period of time with engaged, aligned and dedicated team players we have achieved an awful lot. You should never trade backwards, and I don’t, but as the question has been asked, I would have started earlier.

8. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?

We have a very clear picture of what we want to be when “we grow up” and the route to getting there. What’s the vision? A thriving business with a global presence across a network of distribution and software partners with annual unit sales of 5 million where on a daily basis our people are proud and happy to come to work in a business which is “doing well by doing good” in helping people to relax and de-stress.

9. If you weren’t working on the PIP right now, what would you be doing?

Following our experience in getting as far as we have, I’d probably set up a genuinely impartial business (i.e. not backed by a major technology company) that helps incubate tech businesses with founders, but which really does have all the business, financial and fund-raising skills in-house, and can help them succeed and share in the rewards. I still haven’t seen this done properly in Europe.

10. Tell Springwise a secret…

The back door of our office is only 100 metres from a pub that serves one of the best pints of Guinness in Dublin (developers please note!)

11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?

I said it earlier: don’t trade backwards. It’s a waste of time, energy – and it’s a great way of losing the respect of existing and prospective partners.

We recently saw Locket enable consumers to get paid for giving up their lock screens as advertising space. Now SnapMyAd is another app that gains Instagram users rewards for letting brands use their smartphone shots in ad campaigns.

Currently available for iOS devices only, users sign into the service with their Instagram account details. They can then select the images they would be happy to be used by third parties who may be able to use them to sell their product. The creators of the app believe that Instagram users already show their appreciation for brands and products by including them in their photographs, essentially acting as promotion for those businesses. Through SnapMyAd, companies can set up promotion campaigns to collect such images and the permission to use them. Photographs that are selected or receive a high number of likes from fans are then rewarded with perks and discounts from that brand.

While Instagram was last year mistakenly accused of introducing a new privacy policy that would enable it to sell any user content to third parties without permission, SnapMyAd gives power to consumers to monetize their own content as they see fit. At the same time, businesses can harness their fanbase for promotional imagery that has more authenticity behind it. Could content from other social media channels be leveraged in this way?

Spotted by: Murray Orange

The Solar Ad Charger campaign has already demonstrated how even magazines can contain ultra-thin solar panels to enable consumers to charge their smartphones. Now OnBeat Solar Headphones conveniently charge users’ devices at the same time as providing high quality sound.

Recognizing that one of the main accessories that people couple with their tablets or smartphones is a pair of headphones, audio engineer Andrew Anderson has created a set that include solar panels and a charging outlet. The headphones feature a strip of photovoltaic cells along the top of the headband, where the kit is most likely to come into contact with the sun’s rays when being worn. The headphones include a standard 3.5mm jack that is connected to one of the earcups, while the other earcup has a USB slot that can fit typical smartphone or tablet charging cables. Users can therefore enjoy high quality sound from their devices at the same time as being able to charge them with renewable energy on-the-go. The following video explains more about the product:

The OnBeat Solar Headphones were initially put onto Kickstarter, but media and consumer interest in the product led to the headphones being backed by a private investor. Consumers can now pre-order the headphones for GBP 89. What other devices could be turned into smartphone chargers through solar technology or otherwise?

Spotted by: Dietfried Globocnik

We’ve recently seen drones repurposed to deliver food and even beer to consumers, but our latest spotting could give the devices another, more vital application – saving lives. The aeroSee project enables anyone to remotely help search and rescue missions by analyzing live images from a drone-mounted camera.

Developed by researchers at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK, the scheme uses unmanned aerial robots fitted with a camera and the facility to relay images in real-time to emergency responders. The team recently carried out trials in the Lake District, a popular spot for walkers where hundreds of people get lost, injured and even find themselves in life-threatening situations each year. The pilot harnessed web users, who could view live imagery from the drones and help search for missing persons by tagging images. The data is then sent back to emergency responders who can head to the location to look for the stranded party, while the drones are used to more thoroughly explore the area.

The project could result in quicker response times, increasing the chance of saving the lives of those who get into trouble. At the same time, search and rescue teams can remain safe by only traveling to locations where the subject has been spotted. Are there other ways that drones could be used to save lives, rather than contribute to warfare?

Spotted by: Murray Orange