Discovering innovations that matter since 2002

Sensor-based wearable technology is not just good for tracking our fitness regimes, it can also monitor our health in general. In the past we’ve seen a sports bra that can detect the presence of breast cancer, helping wearers to take early preventative measures. Now LifeTip is a tag that can be attached to bras in order to detect heart attacks and immediately alert emergency services.

Currently seeking funding on Indiegogo, the device is a small triangular ECG sensor that comes with a clip for attaching to the front of a bra, resting on top of the heart. LifeTip is capable of monitoring wearers’ heartrate and detecting irregular rhythms. It also senses a range of other metrics, such as body temperature, posture, exercise and even emotional state. Using the LifeTip app, users can keep on top of their general health. If a heart attack occurs, the device uses the owners’ smartphone to instantly contact emergency services with a request for help. Most cardiac deaths happen due to a lack of adequate response time, and LifeTip hopes to save more lives by alerting paramedics almost as soon as an attach occurs.

Additionally, the device includes a button which can be programmed to perform any task through the users’ smartphone, helping double as a rape alarm or caregiver alert.

Watch the video below to learn more about LifeTip:

As well as the bra tag for women, LifeTip also comes in a version for men, designed to be attached to the front of a shirt or t-shirt. Either option can be purchased for USD 59 through Indiegogo until 13 August. Are there other ways to use technology to ensure heart attack victims get the immediate help they need?

Indiegogo: www.igg.me/at/lifetip

It was once the case that only professional film editors knew what it was like to sift through hours of footage to find the best content. With smartphones and consumer-level cameras now enabling anyone to shoot as much video as they like, the job of editing it down into a presentable format is familiar to many. In the past we’ve seen apps such as Cinch make the process possible on smartphones themselves. Now researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania have created LiveLight, which uses machine learning and algorithms to automatically edit video reels into a montage of the most interesting clips.

Computer scientists at the college developed a method of scanning footage for elements typically deemed uninteresting, such as limited action and repetitive shots. According to the team, the algorithm compiles a “learned dictionary” of events from each piece of footage as it scans, which compares sequences and decides which ones to discard and which ones to keep. For example, a long static shot of passing traffic would be reduced to a short clip because of its repetitive nature, but a crash in the same footage would be identified as a new event in its dictionary and flagged for inclusion in the summary.

Watch the video below for a demonstration of the program:

LiveLight is useful for those who don’t want to spend hours editing long pieces of footage, but could also provide security teams with summaries of unusual activity over periods of time without having to sit through the entire raw video. At the same time, those shooting footage who want to upload it to the web using mobile data can cut down their file sizes using the software, meaning quicker upload times and reduced data charges.

The team envisions the arrival of products such as Google Glass to result in the creation of yet more unedited user produced content, and hopes LiveLight will provide the tools to quickly break it down into useful clips. Are there other ways to help amateur filmmakers create better video content?

Peer-to-peer lending has already hit a wide range of industries, from audio-visual equipment business goods, enabling those who can’t afford to own limited use items to lend them from others in their community. Now MuniRent wants to encourage city councils to take advantage by pooling their resources and lending them to each other.

The platform is available as a free-to-use website and an app for both Android devices, and enables municipalities to list any equipment they’re willing to loan. Each listing includes details such as the make and model, how old it is, whether transportation or an operator can be included, and the price of rental per day. Other local authorities can then browse the app and quickly arrange to hire the equipment they need for a typically lower price than commercial rental. The site currently offers items such as diggers, specialist trucks, street cleaning vehicles and pavement rollers.

Councils often spend money on expensive equipment that is used for occasional projects but otherwise sits in storage. MuniRent helps authorities to cut their operation costs and even create a new revenue source by lending out their unused items. Are there other industries that are still to take advantage of P2P sharing?

Cloud companies always offer security alongside their file storage packages, but the truth is that any piece of data can be stolen so long as it can be accessed via the web. Products such as Lyve have recognized this, giving households a way to store their shared photos and videos on a personal, private cloud system. Now Singapore’s Digify is taking cues from Mission Impossible by offering a file sharing service that deletes documents after custom time periods.

While in the TV series and films, the cassette recording usually physically destroyed themselves by setting on fire, Digify has updated the concept for the digital age. When sharing a file, users have complete control over its accessibility. The self-destruct feature enables them to set how long the file will be available for, whether it’s one minute or one month. Each file is copy protected, meaning it can’t be downloaded, copied, edited or forwarded on to anyone else. One desktop and Android devices, the screenshot mode is disabled, and iOS screenshots instantly send a notification to the original file owner. Even after files have been sent, users can revoke access at any time. For each document, the app shows details about when it was viewed, who by and for how long. Teh service also works with Dropbox.

Watch the video below to learn more about Digify:

Digify takes cues from the popularity of apps such as Snapchat by taking away the permanence of cloud-based file sharing and giving control back to the user. The service can be downloaded for free on the App Store and Google Play, as well as downloaded for Windows and Mac. Are there other ways to stop important data from straying into the wrong hands?

When it comes to showing something on your phone to friends or co-workers, it’s not always ideal to have them crowd round the small screen size of typical mobile devices. While it’s possible to push the display to larger screens such as connected TVs, the element of touch control is still limited to the smartphone. Currently seeking funding on Indiegogo, TouchPico is a device that can wirelessly project an 80″ display from Android smartphones, with a touch interface.

The device is a highly-portable projector around the same size as the Samsung Galaxy S4. When connected to an Android phone over wifi, the projector is able to display its contents on any suitable surface up to 80 inches in size. Using the TouchPico stylus, users can interact with their phone using the projected display, meaning they don’t need to carry out tasks on one screen while everyone else is looking at the larger display. Businesses can present their meetings in a more interactive way and educators can let kids use apps and games collaboratively on a large screen. On top of this, TouchPico can simply be used as a basic handheld projector for laptops and other computers.

Watch the video below to learn more about TouchPico:

TouchPico is available to pre-order via Indiegogo for the special price of USD 329, or can be reserved for that price for a USD 99 deposit. The crowdfunding campaign will run until 26 August, after which the device is set to have a full retail price tag of USD 499. Are there other ways to attach digital interactivity to any type of surface?

Indiegogo: www.igg.me/at/touch-pico

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it can often be found in the most unsuspecting of places. In the past, we’ve seen jewelry created out of the shrapnel and scrap metal left behind by landmine explosions in Cambodia, and now Detroit’s Rebel Nell is turning pieces of graffitied wall — considered an eyesore by some — into luxury jewelry pieces, while also helping disadvantaged women.

Since the globalization of the automobile industry, the Detroit economy has been in decline, leaving the city in a state of urban decay. As such, graffiti is abundant and Rebel Nell collects pieces that have fallen off the walls. The organization then uses a special technique to create its unique designs. It says: “Initially these scraps of graffiti look a little rough on the surface, just like many people’s first impression of Detroit. However, after we take it through our process, we’re able to reveal all the beautiful layers that make up the graffiti.”

Each piece is also created by disadvantaged women from Detroit, who are employed by Rebel Nell to give them the skills to create their own jewelry and eventually start their own business. The pendants, rings and earrings are therefore imbued with a sense of the history and people of the city. Rebel Nell product range from around USD 65 to USD 165. Are there other ways to craft products from pieces of an actual location, while also giving something back to the communities that live there?

Money management isn’t something that’s officially taught in schools, which means many people reach adulthood without really knowing what’s best for their finances. The KidZania Mumbai theme park has previously enabled children to roleplay as bank customers in order to teach them about the real world, and now UK-based Osper is a prepaid debit card for pocket money that gives 8-18 year olds independence while providing parents with tools to track their spending.

The scheme intends to give children a taste of what it’s like to be in charge of their money, even if they’re still only young enough to get pocket money. The card is a prepaid debit card, which means it can be used at basically any store or ATM, but can’t use funds beyond what’s loaded onto it. As well as having the freedom to pay for whatever they like on card, kids can also use the Osper app to view their balance and a statement of their spending. Their parents get a separate login to the account and can monitor exactly when and where their child spends money. Parents can instantly load money onto the card through their smartphone either for emergencies or as monthly allowances. Notifications keep them informed of their kids’ activity and they can lock the card at any time. Naturally, purchase attempts on over-18 websites and services are automatically blocked.

Watch the video below to learn more about Osper:

https://player.vimeo.com/video/97758577
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Rather than simply dealing in cash, Osper enables kids to learn how to budget for all kinds of transactions — including spending online and through their phone. Membership into the initiative is free for the first year, then GBP 10 annually after that. Currently available only in the UK, could this type of scheme work in your part of the world?

Aside from being one of the most popular kids’ toys of the past 50 years, Lego has even proved useful in the adult world, with the company’s Lego Serious Play program enabling product designers to come up with creative prototypes using the simple building blocks. We recently saw OLLA offer modular furniture for kids inspired by Lego, and now Kite Bricks wants to create real-life buildings more quickly and cheaply by using concrete blocks that slot together.

The foundation of the system is the Smart Brick, which is made of high-strength concrete and looks just like a piece of Lego. It has raised knobs on the top and recesses on the bottom that enable each piece to simply slot on top of the other. Instead of cement, the Smart Bricks are sealed together with a special adhesive, while steel rods can be slotted into place provide extra reinforcement, much like traditional concrete construction. Each brick has space inside for insulation and infrastructure elements such as plumbing and wiring, making it easier to fit out the building with amenities.

At present, the system is still in prototype phase (pictured above), but the company believes that the innovation will save time, energy and waste during construction and lead to more energy savings thanks to Smart Bricks’ thermal properties. Buildings can also arrive on site in a single kit, and Kite Bricks envisions quiet robots replacing cranes and other equipment during the building process.

Watch the video below to learn more about the company:

According to Wired.co.uk, Kite Bricks is looking for USD 3 million in funding to help bring the product to market. With modularity and flexibility gaining ground in the architectural world, could innovations such as this help make structures less permanent and more adjustable?

Analyzing the hard figures from your website can be extremely useful, but a bit overwhelming for some. In the past, Echobox has provided action suggestions to go along with its data, and now Numerics is an app that simplifies and customizes business analytics, making it easier for companies to track their numbers using mobile devices.

Developed by India-based Cynapse, the app provides an aesthetically-pleasing, infographic-like alternative to the usual tables and number lists. Users can create their own personalized dashboard using widgets that display the most pertinent figures in various formats, such as pie charts, line graphs and funnel lists, with options for custom colors and labels. From website visitors and social media engagement to sales numbers and account balances, businesses can place their key figures wherever they need them on the screen. The app can pull in data from Google Analytics, Salesforce, Github, Paypal, Zendesk and more, as well as company spreadsheets from Dropbox and Google Drive. Users can also set up notifications based on their data and easily share metrics with others.

Numerics enables businesses to track all of their data in one place in a user friendly and customizable format. It’s available for a one-off fee of USD 19.99 on the App Store. Are there other ways to help companies take control of their analytics and use it to make better decisions?

The modern phenomenon of a group of friends sitting together while individually staring at their smartphones is one that leaves a bitter taste, especially in the mouths of restaurant owners who are finding the atmosphere in their venue is being killed. We’ve already seen Singpore’s Social Rehab offer drink discounts for those who agreed to leave their device at the door, and now Canada’s Faraday Café has gone even further, using a unique architectural design to create a space where all phone and wifi signals are blocked.

Located at the Chinatown Experiment pop-up space in Vancouver, the temporary coffeeshop was set up inside a smaller construction inside the building. The room was designed as a large Faraday cage, an enclosure made of a mesh of conducting material that is able to block any electric signals. Once visitors stepped into the café, their phones and laptops became unable to connect to outside cell, wireless internet or wifi coverage. The idea for the café was to encourage customers to take a break from their devices and maybe even talk to strangers sharing their table. Artist Julian Thomas, who designed the café, told Fast Company: “I wanted to design a space where you don’t have to tell someone to stop. The arrangement of the room and the materials allow people to effortlessly walk in and decide their own limits.”

The café was open for a limited time at the beginning of this month, where a variety of events including meditation sessions and talks about digital technology were held. Are there other spaces that could be created to give people a break from social media and always-on connectivity?