Discovering innovations that matter since 2002

With the world increasingly going digital, it is tricky for parents to offer children tangible rewards for doing good. We recently wrote about a New Zealand bank using e-moneyboxes to tackle this problem, and now Argentina-based Yumit are using smart tech to address the age-old dilemma of getting children to eat their food.

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The Yumit meal set connects to a companion app, which makes eating an interactive experience. Meals are weighed in real time, with an inbuilt sensor detecting how much food the child is eating. The amount children eat is turned into ‘virtual energy’, which is uploaded to associated video games, incentivizing them to eat more to receive a greater amount of virtual currency. The placemat contains an LED display that keeps children informed of how many fun games they’ve unlocked during their meal, making eating a fun experience rather than a chore. All materials are machine washable, slip-proof and easy for children to use, minimizing meal-time mess.

Yumit’s interactive plates are designed to make a difficult parenting situation more fun for children, and less stressful for adults. What other disruptive tech could be used to help parents?

Ads that trigger immediate responses often elicit more fun and seamless customers interaction. We’ve seen this radio app enabled users to speak back to streamed ads. This Halloween, giant retailer Target is using spooky interactive videos and a crowdsourced trick-or-treat map to boost sales.

Making use of YouTube’s new 360-degree technology, ‘The House on Hallow Hill’ is an interactive house full of spooky rooms with a choose-your-own-adventure storyline. Users can explore the rooms by moving their device towards the direction they wish to look. Scattered throughout the rooms are Halloween-related objects that link directly to the online store customers can buy. Target have also launched the ‘Treatster’ app — a crowdsourced, trick-or-treat map that allows children and parents to explore neighborhood houses where the best treats can be found, upvoting the most epic houses and putting their own on the map.

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What other new technology can brands use to make their campaigns more fun?

Communities around the globe are using private sponsorship to provide free services for citizens — we’ve already seen free cycle cabs in South Africa. In the US, Evesham township is partnering with local businesses to fund a free Uber-based designated driver program.

Following record levels of DUI arrests and alcohol-related fatalities, Evesham Mayor Randy Brown launched the initiative to deliver free rides home for those who feel they are too intoxicated to drive. By using the Uber app from participating Evesham bars and restaurants, users are able to select a special free-ride option. The car service charge their normal rates, including peak-time fees, which are funded by the town’s non-profit Evesham Celebrations Foundation and private businesses. The service has taken over 350 people home in the first 30 days of service. Mayor Brown states that other local cab companies are welcome to get involved, and hopes to see the scheme implemented throughout the country.

Users are able to experience — however drunkenly — the convenience of taxi services like Uber, benefiting private companies and sponsors with advertising. Can other towns use local business to fund community initiatives?

Twitter has the power to spread messages like no other, and we’ve seen the platform used for activating charitable tweeters. Now #OneBigTweet are helping charities tap into the non-monetary, but just as valuable currency of followers.

The organization asks Twitter users to let them auto-retweet a single message from their account, which will be seen by all of their followers. They hope to make use of the viral nature of mass retweeting. #OneBigTweet will be auctioning off this one immensely viral tweet to the highest corporate bidder, with all donations going to the Cafedirect Producers’ Foundation, which helps farmers across Africa. The organization wishes to emulate the advertising success of the ‘Oscar selfie’.

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Targeting the ‘slacktivists’ who tweet about issues without ever actually giving, #OneBigTweet enables tweeters to be involved in raising charitable funds without having to donate themselves. Are their other ways to seamlessly activate social media users for positive change?

We recently saw commuters in Romania given free tickets for reading instead of using their smartphones. Residents of the French town of Grenoble are also being encouraged to make time for reading in their daily schedules.

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Short Edition, a French publishing company, has installed several vending machines around Grenoble stocked with short stories penned by authors from the company. Users choose how much time they want to kill: 1, 3 or 5 minutes, and receive a short story printed on a long, receipt-like piece of paper. The literary company believes that reading the short stories will be more inspiring for residents than playing smartphone games, and better for health than the usual sweet snacks found in vending machines.

Commutes and public spaces are increasingly being used to encourage the public to look up from their smartphones. What other analogue schemes could encourage people to not be so dependent on their digital devices?

More innovations are enabling travelers to go luggage-free, such as a wardrobe-storage service, or the option for frequent visitors to leave clothes at the hotel, which will be laundered when they return. US-based unPack is now letting travelers to have a set of essentials delivered to their destination, so they take the hassle out of packing, or just travel light and go luggage-free.

unPack have identified three areas of travel difficulty — taking toiletries through security, remembering the right appliance chargers and buying specific clothing appropriate for the destination and its season. With the service, users are given a set of toiletries, and can choose to rent a clothing bundle of designer brands to suit the local weather conditions for the duration of their trip. Visiting New York in the fall would give users a bundle of warm coats, gloves, scarves and an umbrella. When it’s time to check out, users leave the clothes and accessories with the hotel for pickup, and travel back to the airport as lightly as they arrived.

To keep prices low, the startup has partnered with brands looking for travelers to try their products, and users have the option to purchase an item just by keeping them when they head home. (Toiletries are for users to keep.)

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unPack is currently in invite-only beta and limited to New York and Boston, with hopes of adding further destinations in the near future. How else can users travel luggage-free?

In the entrepreneur sphere we often see the creativity of the masses trumping the work of one lone genius. We recently saw a startup using crowdsourcing from idea generation to fine-tuning the product details. CrowdSound is using the model to create a musical masterpiece.

Users can listen to how the song currently sounds on a piano-based track, then vote on the notes they believe follow best. When a certain number of votes is reached, the note with the most votes is selected and deliberation begins for the next note. There are some restrictions — the melody is based on a preset chord progression to keep things anchored, and certain notes are held back for use in specific sections. When the track is completed, voting will open for lyrics, crowdsourcing each word one-by-one. Artists will then be able to send in their own versions of the finished song.

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The track already sounds like a decent pop song. What other popular opinion driven projects can benefit from crowdsourcing?

The growing online education sector enables more people to benefit from distance learning, but questions remain over the potential for cheating. That’s why Software Secure developed Remote Proctor Now (RPNow), a webcam software that monitors students to ensure that online exams maintain educational integrity.

The software integrates with any existing online education and management platform, and uses facial recognition algorithms to track unusual behavior during exams — such as when a user looks away from the screen for long periods of time, or when another person’s face is detected. Video is not observed in real time, but irregularities are flagged up, recorded and passed on. RPNow uses a cloud-based system for integration and data access, so institutions can scale up to large, worldwide online courses, and reduce planning and costs for physical exams where rooms and people would have to be hired for several hours.

Remote proctoring is providing a scalable solution to the growing online academic community. Can other exam types utilize camera-based recognition software?

10 Spritz powered wrist wearable lets consumers speed read notifications

While it’s strictly speaking not a gaming device, we were impressed with the Uno Noteband, which is a wearable that uses Spritz’ speed reading technology to give consumers instant notification updates. For those unfamiliar with Spritz, it is a system of text ‘streaming’ that lets any user speed read. Could this be used for quick in-game notifications from other players, or incorporated into existing gaming wearables to allow players to be notified without being distracted from their activity?

Read more about Uno Noteband »

9 Smart BMX sensor gamifies real life freestyling and racing

Extreme sport computer games often mimic the real world experience of skating and BMXing, but Iddo is a smart BMX add-on that is giving that tradition a 180. The device uses sensors to recognize real world tricks and track laps, connecting the data to the user’s app and enabling them to record and share their achievements. It can also sense light, temperature and humidity so the rider can assess their optimum performance conditions.

Read more about Iddo »

10 Spritz powered wrist wearable lets consumers speed read notifications

While it’s strictly speaking not a gaming device, we were impressed with the Uno Noteband, which is a wearable that uses Spritz’ speed reading technology to give consumers instant notification updates. For those unfamiliar with Spritz, it is a system of text ‘streaming’ that lets any user speed read. Could this be used for quick in-game notifications from other players, or incorporated into existing gaming wearables to allow players to be notified without being distracted from their activity?

Read more about Uno Noteband »

8 Computer games help players confront cancer and learn about native Alaskan heritage

Continuing the trend of gaming going beyond offering just entertainment, we also saw That Dragon, Cancer, a crowdfunded point and click adventure game created by Ryan Green, which tells the story of his son Joel’s four year fight with cancer. We even saw a game designed to educate players about ancient heritage through Never Alone — which was supported by the Cook Intel Tribal Council and transforms a traditional native Alaskan story into a two player puzzle platformer.

Read more about Never Alone »

9 Smart BMX sensor gamifies real life freestyling and racing

Extreme sport computer games often mimic the real world experience of skating and BMXing, but Iddo is a smart BMX add-on that is giving that tradition a 180. The device uses sensors to recognize real world tricks and track laps, connecting the data to the user’s app and enabling them to record and share their achievements. It can also sense light, temperature and humidity so the rider can assess their optimum performance conditions.

Read more about Iddo »

10 Spritz powered wrist wearable lets consumers speed read notifications

While it’s strictly speaking not a gaming device, we were impressed with the Uno Noteband, which is a wearable that uses Spritz’ speed reading technology to give consumers instant notification updates. For those unfamiliar with Spritz, it is a system of text ‘streaming’ that lets any user speed read. Could this be used for quick in-game notifications from other players, or incorporated into existing gaming wearables to allow players to be notified without being distracted from their activity?

Read more about Uno Noteband »

7 Game helps treat traumatized youngsters

Mental health is another issue the gaming industry has been addressing, especially when it comes to youth and children who often find it hard to communicate with those wanting to help them. Triangle of Life is one such app, developed by students at the Entertainment Technology Center of Carnegie Mellon University and Allegheny Health Network. The game, targeted at children who have suffered from traumatic experiences, teaches them healthy cognitive coping skills, and helps to replace negative thoughts with positive reinforcements.

Read more about Triangle of Life »

8 Computer games help players confront cancer and learn about native Alaskan heritage

Continuing the trend of gaming going beyond offering just entertainment, we also saw That Dragon, Cancer, a crowdfunded point and click adventure game created by Ryan Green, which tells the story of his son Joel’s four year fight with cancer. We even saw a game designed to educate players about ancient heritage through Never Alone — which was supported by the Cook Intel Tribal Council and transforms a traditional native Alaskan story into a two player puzzle platformer.

Read more about Never Alone »

9 Smart BMX sensor gamifies real life freestyling and racing

Extreme sport computer games often mimic the real world experience of skating and BMXing, but Iddo is a smart BMX add-on that is giving that tradition a 180. The device uses sensors to recognize real world tricks and track laps, connecting the data to the user’s app and enabling them to record and share their achievements. It can also sense light, temperature and humidity so the rider can assess their optimum performance conditions.

Read more about Iddo »

10 Spritz powered wrist wearable lets consumers speed read notifications

While it’s strictly speaking not a gaming device, we were impressed with the Uno Noteband, which is a wearable that uses Spritz’ speed reading technology to give consumers instant notification updates. For those unfamiliar with Spritz, it is a system of text ‘streaming’ that lets any user speed read. Could this be used for quick in-game notifications from other players, or incorporated into existing gaming wearables to allow players to be notified without being distracted from their activity?

Read more about Uno Noteband »

6 3D printed chocolate according to how much users exercise

Some consumers will still prefer tangible rewards for exercising. Using wearable technology and 3D printing, Exertion Games Lab’s Edipulse will print chocolate according to how much the user worked out. The more they exercised, the more beautiful and cheerful the chocolate will be — it will even print a sad face if their activity was lacking.

Read more about Exertion Games Lab »

7 Game helps treat traumatized youngsters

Mental health is another issue the gaming industry has been addressing, especially when it comes to youth and children who often find it hard to communicate with those wanting to help them. Triangle of Life is one such app, developed by students at the Entertainment Technology Center of Carnegie Mellon University and Allegheny Health Network. The game, targeted at children who have suffered from traumatic experiences, teaches them healthy cognitive coping skills, and helps to replace negative thoughts with positive reinforcements.

Read more about Triangle of Life »

8 Computer games help players confront cancer and learn about native Alaskan heritage

Continuing the trend of gaming going beyond offering just entertainment, we also saw That Dragon, Cancer, a crowdfunded point and click adventure game created by Ryan Green, which tells the story of his son Joel’s four year fight with cancer. We even saw a game designed to educate players about ancient heritage through Never Alone — which was supported by the Cook Intel Tribal Council and transforms a traditional native Alaskan story into a two player puzzle platformer.

Read more about Never Alone »

9 Smart BMX sensor gamifies real life freestyling and racing

Extreme sport computer games often mimic the real world experience of skating and BMXing, but Iddo is a smart BMX add-on that is giving that tradition a 180. The device uses sensors to recognize real world tricks and track laps, connecting the data to the user’s app and enabling them to record and share their achievements. It can also sense light, temperature and humidity so the rider can assess their optimum performance conditions.

Read more about Iddo »

10 Spritz powered wrist wearable lets consumers speed read notifications

While it’s strictly speaking not a gaming device, we were impressed with the Uno Noteband, which is a wearable that uses Spritz’ speed reading technology to give consumers instant notification updates. For those unfamiliar with Spritz, it is a system of text ‘streaming’ that lets any user speed read. Could this be used for quick in-game notifications from other players, or incorporated into existing gaming wearables to allow players to be notified without being distracted from their activity?

Read more about Uno Noteband »

5 In-game rewards for outdoor exercise

Consumers are always on the look out for new ways to gamify their physical exercise routines. In China, Timi Run Everyday proved to be a popular option for players to exercise and earn in-game rewards in return. A walking challenge took the form of a story-themed game called Step Ahead: Zombies, which let office workers escape an invasion through IRL activity. For those with back pain (perhaps from too much in-seat gaming), Valedo is a wearable device that gamifies physical therapy.

Read more about Timi Run Everyday »

6 3D printed chocolate according to how much users exercise

Some consumers will still prefer tangible rewards for exercising. Using wearable technology and 3D printing, Exertion Games Lab’s Edipulse will print chocolate according to how much the user worked out. The more they exercised, the more beautiful and cheerful the chocolate will be — it will even print a sad face if their activity was lacking.

Read more about Exertion Games Lab »

7 Game helps treat traumatized youngsters

Mental health is another issue the gaming industry has been addressing, especially when it comes to youth and children who often find it hard to communicate with those wanting to help them. Triangle of Life is one such app, developed by students at the Entertainment Technology Center of Carnegie Mellon University and Allegheny Health Network. The game, targeted at children who have suffered from traumatic experiences, teaches them healthy cognitive coping skills, and helps to replace negative thoughts with positive reinforcements.

Read more about Triangle of Life »

8 Computer games help players confront cancer and learn about native Alaskan heritage

Continuing the trend of gaming going beyond offering just entertainment, we also saw That Dragon, Cancer, a crowdfunded point and click adventure game created by Ryan Green, which tells the story of his son Joel’s four year fight with cancer. We even saw a game designed to educate players about ancient heritage through Never Alone — which was supported by the Cook Intel Tribal Council and transforms a traditional native Alaskan story into a two player puzzle platformer.

Read more about Never Alone »

9 Smart BMX sensor gamifies real life freestyling and racing

Extreme sport computer games often mimic the real world experience of skating and BMXing, but Iddo is a smart BMX add-on that is giving that tradition a 180. The device uses sensors to recognize real world tricks and track laps, connecting the data to the user’s app and enabling them to record and share their achievements. It can also sense light, temperature and humidity so the rider can assess their optimum performance conditions.

Read more about Iddo »

10 Spritz powered wrist wearable lets consumers speed read notifications

While it’s strictly speaking not a gaming device, we were impressed with the Uno Noteband, which is a wearable that uses Spritz’ speed reading technology to give consumers instant notification updates. For those unfamiliar with Spritz, it is a system of text ‘streaming’ that lets any user speed read. Could this be used for quick in-game notifications from other players, or incorporated into existing gaming wearables to allow players to be notified without being distracted from their activity?

Read more about Uno Noteband »

4 Virtual reality social space lets users share experiences as avatars

We also saw new businesses attempt to counter the often negative, antisocial stigma attached to gaming. A virtual reality hang out space by AltspaceVR let users share experiences as avatars — they could even watch Netflix and share interesting Reddit threads with others.

Meanwhile, GamerLink connected gamers with similar playing styles and skill levels, which also facilitated the social aspect of gaming to enhance online multiplayer experience.

Read more about AltspaceVR »

5 In-game rewards for outdoor exercise

Consumers are always on the look out for new ways to gamify their physical exercise routines. In China, Timi Run Everyday proved to be a popular option for players to exercise and earn in-game rewards in return. A walking challenge took the form of a story-themed game called Step Ahead: Zombies, which let office workers escape an invasion through IRL activity. For those with back pain (perhaps from too much in-seat gaming), Valedo is a wearable device that gamifies physical therapy.

Read more about Timi Run Everyday »

6 3D printed chocolate according to how much users exercise

Some consumers will still prefer tangible rewards for exercising. Using wearable technology and 3D printing, Exertion Games Lab’s Edipulse will print chocolate according to how much the user worked out. The more they exercised, the more beautiful and cheerful the chocolate will be — it will even print a sad face if their activity was lacking.

Read more about Exertion Games Lab »

7 Game helps treat traumatized youngsters

Mental health is another issue the gaming industry has been addressing, especially when it comes to youth and children who often find it hard to communicate with those wanting to help them. Triangle of Life is one such app, developed by students at the Entertainment Technology Center of Carnegie Mellon University and Allegheny Health Network. The game, targeted at children who have suffered from traumatic experiences, teaches them healthy cognitive coping skills, and helps to replace negative thoughts with positive reinforcements.

Read more about Triangle of Life »

8 Computer games help players confront cancer and learn about native Alaskan heritage

Continuing the trend of gaming going beyond offering just entertainment, we also saw That Dragon, Cancer, a crowdfunded point and click adventure game created by Ryan Green, which tells the story of his son Joel’s four year fight with cancer. We even saw a game designed to educate players about ancient heritage through Never Alone — which was supported by the Cook Intel Tribal Council and transforms a traditional native Alaskan story into a two player puzzle platformer.

Read more about Never Alone »

9 Smart BMX sensor gamifies real life freestyling and racing

Extreme sport computer games often mimic the real world experience of skating and BMXing, but Iddo is a smart BMX add-on that is giving that tradition a 180. The device uses sensors to recognize real world tricks and track laps, connecting the data to the user’s app and enabling them to record and share their achievements. It can also sense light, temperature and humidity so the rider can assess their optimum performance conditions.

Read more about Iddo »

10 Spritz powered wrist wearable lets consumers speed read notifications

While it’s strictly speaking not a gaming device, we were impressed with the Uno Noteband, which is a wearable that uses Spritz’ speed reading technology to give consumers instant notification updates. For those unfamiliar with Spritz, it is a system of text ‘streaming’ that lets any user speed read. Could this be used for quick in-game notifications from other players, or incorporated into existing gaming wearables to allow players to be notified without being distracted from their activity?

Read more about Uno Noteband »

3 Hacker toolkit teaches kids to build electronics while playing Minecraft

For the Minecraft generation, a DIY hacker toolbox by Piper was a kit containing a Raspberry Pi 2 mini computer, which teaches them about building real electronics while playing their favorite game. Startup Hackaball joined this trend of educational gaming with their programmable ball, which is a throwable computer combining the thrill of physical play with an app for kids to invent and program new games.

Read more about Piper »

4 Virtual reality social space lets users share experiences as avatars

We also saw new businesses attempt to counter the often negative, antisocial stigma attached to gaming. A virtual reality hang out space by AltspaceVR let users share experiences as avatars — they could even watch Netflix and share interesting Reddit threads with others.

Meanwhile, GamerLink connected gamers with similar playing styles and skill levels, which also facilitated the social aspect of gaming to enhance online multiplayer experience.

Read more about AltspaceVR »

5 In-game rewards for outdoor exercise

Consumers are always on the look out for new ways to gamify their physical exercise routines. In China, Timi Run Everyday proved to be a popular option for players to exercise and earn in-game rewards in return. A walking challenge took the form of a story-themed game called Step Ahead: Zombies, which let office workers escape an invasion through IRL activity. For those with back pain (perhaps from too much in-seat gaming), Valedo is a wearable device that gamifies physical therapy.

Read more about Timi Run Everyday »

6 3D printed chocolate according to how much users exercise

Some consumers will still prefer tangible rewards for exercising. Using wearable technology and 3D printing, Exertion Games Lab’s Edipulse will print chocolate according to how much the user worked out. The more they exercised, the more beautiful and cheerful the chocolate will be — it will even print a sad face if their activity was lacking.

Read more about Exertion Games Lab »

7 Game helps treat traumatized youngsters

Mental health is another issue the gaming industry has been addressing, especially when it comes to youth and children who often find it hard to communicate with those wanting to help them. Triangle of Life is one such app, developed by students at the Entertainment Technology Center of Carnegie Mellon University and Allegheny Health Network. The game, targeted at children who have suffered from traumatic experiences, teaches them healthy cognitive coping skills, and helps to replace negative thoughts with positive reinforcements.

Read more about Triangle of Life »

8 Computer games help players confront cancer and learn about native Alaskan heritage

Continuing the trend of gaming going beyond offering just entertainment, we also saw That Dragon, Cancer, a crowdfunded point and click adventure game created by Ryan Green, which tells the story of his son Joel’s four year fight with cancer. We even saw a game designed to educate players about ancient heritage through Never Alone — which was supported by the Cook Intel Tribal Council and transforms a traditional native Alaskan story into a two player puzzle platformer.

Read more about Never Alone »

9 Smart BMX sensor gamifies real life freestyling and racing

Extreme sport computer games often mimic the real world experience of skating and BMXing, but Iddo is a smart BMX add-on that is giving that tradition a 180. The device uses sensors to recognize real world tricks and track laps, connecting the data to the user’s app and enabling them to record and share their achievements. It can also sense light, temperature and humidity so the rider can assess their optimum performance conditions.

Read more about Iddo »

10 Spritz powered wrist wearable lets consumers speed read notifications

While it’s strictly speaking not a gaming device, we were impressed with the Uno Noteband, which is a wearable that uses Spritz’ speed reading technology to give consumers instant notification updates. For those unfamiliar with Spritz, it is a system of text ‘streaming’ that lets any user speed read. Could this be used for quick in-game notifications from other players, or incorporated into existing gaming wearables to allow players to be notified without being distracted from their activity?

Read more about Uno Noteband »

2 Augmented reality game makes a haunted house of any home

Following the footsteps of VR is AR — immersive augmented reality experiences. Night Terrors is a horror game app that will transform any house into a petrifying hellscape using environment mapping, gyroscope sensors, and the player’s own smartphone camera and flashlight.



Read more about Night Terrors »

3 Hacker toolkit teaches kids to build electronics while playing Minecraft

For the Minecraft generation, a DIY hacker toolbox by Piper was a kit containing a Raspberry Pi 2 mini computer, which teaches them about building real electronics while playing their favorite game. Startup Hackaball joined this trend of educational gaming with their programmable ball, which is a throwable computer combining the thrill of physical play with an app for kids to invent and program new games.

Read more about Piper »

4 Virtual reality social space lets users share experiences as avatars

We also saw new businesses attempt to counter the often negative, antisocial stigma attached to gaming. A virtual reality hang out space by AltspaceVR let users share experiences as avatars — they could even watch Netflix and share interesting Reddit threads with others.

Meanwhile, GamerLink connected gamers with similar playing styles and skill levels, which also facilitated the social aspect of gaming to enhance online multiplayer experience.

Read more about AltspaceVR »

5 In-game rewards for outdoor exercise

Consumers are always on the look out for new ways to gamify their physical exercise routines. In China, Timi Run Everyday proved to be a popular option for players to exercise and earn in-game rewards in return. A walking challenge took the form of a story-themed game called Step Ahead: Zombies, which let office workers escape an invasion through IRL activity. For those with back pain (perhaps from too much in-seat gaming), Valedo is a wearable device that gamifies physical therapy.

Read more about Timi Run Everyday »

6 3D printed chocolate according to how much users exercise

Some consumers will still prefer tangible rewards for exercising. Using wearable technology and 3D printing, Exertion Games Lab’s Edipulse will print chocolate according to how much the user worked out. The more they exercised, the more beautiful and cheerful the chocolate will be — it will even print a sad face if their activity was lacking.

Read more about Exertion Games Lab »

7 Game helps treat traumatized youngsters

Mental health is another issue the gaming industry has been addressing, especially when it comes to youth and children who often find it hard to communicate with those wanting to help them. Triangle of Life is one such app, developed by students at the Entertainment Technology Center of Carnegie Mellon University and Allegheny Health Network. The game, targeted at children who have suffered from traumatic experiences, teaches them healthy cognitive coping skills, and helps to replace negative thoughts with positive reinforcements.

Read more about Triangle of Life »

8 Computer games help players confront cancer and learn about native Alaskan heritage

Continuing the trend of gaming going beyond offering just entertainment, we also saw That Dragon, Cancer, a crowdfunded point and click adventure game created by Ryan Green, which tells the story of his son Joel’s four year fight with cancer. We even saw a game designed to educate players about ancient heritage through Never Alone — which was supported by the Cook Intel Tribal Council and transforms a traditional native Alaskan story into a two player puzzle platformer.

Read more about Never Alone »

9 Smart BMX sensor gamifies real life freestyling and racing

Extreme sport computer games often mimic the real world experience of skating and BMXing, but Iddo is a smart BMX add-on that is giving that tradition a 180. The device uses sensors to recognize real world tricks and track laps, connecting the data to the user’s app and enabling them to record and share their achievements. It can also sense light, temperature and humidity so the rider can assess their optimum performance conditions.

Read more about Iddo »

10 Spritz powered wrist wearable lets consumers speed read notifications

While it’s strictly speaking not a gaming device, we were impressed with the Uno Noteband, which is a wearable that uses Spritz’ speed reading technology to give consumers instant notification updates. For those unfamiliar with Spritz, it is a system of text ‘streaming’ that lets any user speed read. Could this be used for quick in-game notifications from other players, or incorporated into existing gaming wearables to allow players to be notified without being distracted from their activity?

Read more about Uno Noteband »

1 VR exercise machine lets users fly while they workout

Virtual reality led innovations in the gaming industry this year with the proliferation of companies such as Oculus Rift. One of the most popular new businesses was Icaros from HYVE, a ‘bodytainment’ system which combines a VR headset with a futuristic looking workout station that lets users enjoy adventures such as flying through space or deep sea diving while exercising. For many VR fanatics, VOID was also a highlight — it will be the world’s first virtual reality theme park, using Rapture headsets and wearables to provide immersive, interactive gaming.

There was also Stompz, a pair of VR shoes that let users control their in-game movements with their own feet. The common problem of motion sickness experienced while gaming was also offered a remedy: the VIRMO pill containing ginger roots that helps combat the nausea, headaches or dizziness resulting from mismatched motions during VR.

Read more about Icaros »

2 Augmented reality game makes a haunted house of any home

Following the footsteps of VR is AR — immersive augmented reality experiences. Night Terrors is a horror game app that will transform any house into a petrifying hellscape using environment mapping, gyroscope sensors, and the player’s own smartphone camera and flashlight.



Read more about Night Terrors »

3 Hacker toolkit teaches kids to build electronics while playing Minecraft

For the Minecraft generation, a DIY hacker toolbox by Piper was a kit containing a Raspberry Pi 2 mini computer, which teaches them about building real electronics while playing their favorite game. Startup Hackaball joined this trend of educational gaming with their programmable ball, which is a throwable computer combining the thrill of physical play with an app for kids to invent and program new games.

Read more about Piper »

4 Virtual reality social space lets users share experiences as avatars

We also saw new businesses attempt to counter the often negative, antisocial stigma attached to gaming. A virtual reality hang out space by AltspaceVR let users share experiences as avatars — they could even watch Netflix and share interesting Reddit threads with others.

Meanwhile, GamerLink connected gamers with similar playing styles and skill levels, which also facilitated the social aspect of gaming to enhance online multiplayer experience.

Read more about AltspaceVR »

5 In-game rewards for outdoor exercise

Consumers are always on the look out for new ways to gamify their physical exercise routines. In China, Timi Run Everyday proved to be a popular option for players to exercise and earn in-game rewards in return. A walking challenge took the form of a story-themed game called Step Ahead: Zombies, which let office workers escape an invasion through IRL activity. For those with back pain (perhaps from too much in-seat gaming), Valedo is a wearable device that gamifies physical therapy.

Read more about Timi Run Everyday »

6 3D printed chocolate according to how much users exercise

Some consumers will still prefer tangible rewards for exercising. Using wearable technology and 3D printing, Exertion Games Lab’s Edipulse will print chocolate according to how much the user worked out. The more they exercised, the more beautiful and cheerful the chocolate will be — it will even print a sad face if their activity was lacking.

Read more about Exertion Games Lab »

7 Game helps treat traumatized youngsters

Mental health is another issue the gaming industry has been addressing, especially when it comes to youth and children who often find it hard to communicate with those wanting to help them. Triangle of Life is one such app, developed by students at the Entertainment Technology Center of Carnegie Mellon University and Allegheny Health Network. The game, targeted at children who have suffered from traumatic experiences, teaches them healthy cognitive coping skills, and helps to replace negative thoughts with positive reinforcements.

Read more about Triangle of Life »

8 Computer games help players confront cancer and learn about native Alaskan heritage

Continuing the trend of gaming going beyond offering just entertainment, we also saw That Dragon, Cancer, a crowdfunded point and click adventure game created by Ryan Green, which tells the story of his son Joel’s four year fight with cancer. We even saw a game designed to educate players about ancient heritage through Never Alone — which was supported by the Cook Intel Tribal Council and transforms a traditional native Alaskan story into a two player puzzle platformer.

Read more about Never Alone »

9 Smart BMX sensor gamifies real life freestyling and racing

Extreme sport computer games often mimic the real world experience of skating and BMXing, but Iddo is a smart BMX add-on that is giving that tradition a 180. The device uses sensors to recognize real world tricks and track laps, connecting the data to the user’s app and enabling them to record and share their achievements. It can also sense light, temperature and humidity so the rider can assess their optimum performance conditions.

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10 Spritz powered wrist wearable lets consumers speed read notifications

While it’s strictly speaking not a gaming device, we were impressed with the Uno Noteband, which is a wearable that uses Spritz’ speed reading technology to give consumers instant notification updates. For those unfamiliar with Spritz, it is a system of text ‘streaming’ that lets any user speed read. Could this be used for quick in-game notifications from other players, or incorporated into existing gaming wearables to allow players to be notified without being distracted from their activity?

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As biotechnology becomes cheaper to manufacture, we’re seeing more businesses turn to the #CitizenScientist market — Post/Biotics are even hoping to crowdsource future antibiotics this way. US-based Amino is joining this fleet to let anyone try synthetic biology.

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Hoping that even those without a natural inclination to science will be able to participate in the synthetic biology industry, Amino’s kit is very simple to use. It begins by explaining the science behind cell culturing “Tamagotchi-style”, guiding users through all the processes used by professional labs. The home lab contains all the necessary equipment for growing and feeding cells, inserting DNA into them and even a safe, professional lab standard self-cleaning feature. The companion Amino app provides educational resources and allows users to order add-ons to create different cell cultures. One day, Amino hope, users will be able to experiment with creating their own synthetic medicines, food or fragrances. Of course, strict regulations may need implementing.

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Amino are currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo. With sophisticated but easy-to-use home labs, the team hopes to democratize biotechnology in the same way 3D printing is doing for manufacturing. What other technologies could be made available for makers at home?