Hardware for a better life

Entrepreneurs selected at startAD Hardware Venture Launchpad showcased their prototypes, their breakthrough forecasts, and illustrated us with some videos about how their devices work. Inventions in electronics, med-tech, IoT applications for sports, home & transportation, will improve our lives in the future.

Congratulations to the winners: Stealthy, Maia Systems, Smado and Project Realise.

The first three won a prototyping grant and Project Realise will go to Shenzen (China), the hub for startups to build their prototypes.

The four team will get the IBM Cloud Credits from the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program and are considered for ADvance Mentoring and Seed Funding from startAD.

These are some impressions from half of the teams of the Demoday with a practical point of view.

From left to right: Saeed Al Nofeli (Maia Systems), Midhun Sankar (Smado), Nadiya-K. Siddique (Stealthy), Phil Vorster & Jonathan Marshall (Project Realise)

Stealthy, med-tech wearable: A jewel to remind you about your vitamin D intake

I wonder if Nadiya knew about my ten year+ vitamin D deficiency, but her pitch really touched me: ninety percent of the GCC population suffers from it, an invisible problem that leads to depression, osteoporosis and fertility problems. Her creative idea to improve the statistics is Stealthy, a med-tech fashionable bracelet with a sensor which alerts their owner about their goals in Vitamin D, folic acid, as well as reminding about meditation and other healthy activities related to wellness.

SMADO, home automation: For the key losers

To my dismay, one time my kids had to jump from the window to enter home because they forgot their keys. I wonder what the neighbors thought at that time, but the boys found their way to solve their oblivion, which never happened when it has to do with their mobiles, because they never forget their mobiles. Going back to the doors issue, SMADO has designed an instant locker that works with a battery and connects with Bluetooth to your mobile to enable opening your door. Google API gives you the security that nobody will breach into it, so how cool would be when the boys pull their phones out of their rack backs and spell “Open Sesame” and the magic door gets opened while the school bus disappears in the sand dust. The solution may work well for my husband too, who forgot his keys before departing for a two months trip. (I´m a different case: I even left my keys on the locker after closing the door, so I better don´t even carry them with me. What a family!)

Koshin Thermotics, refrigeration: No more warm beverages under the sun

To order a drink at room temperature is not the standard in a country at 50 degrees Celsius outdoor, so better to cool the bottles faster than clients get into the hotel and ask for some ice rocks. The Koshin beverage cooler will rock for sure in social events like weddings, concerts, open cinema and fairs in the MENA region, when public rush for a refreshment and F&B professionals have to be up to the level.

EZ Shade, Ligthing: The end of the handyman to install your lamps

EZ Shade is by far the most creative solution for a person who hates the DIY and happened to just moved into a new house, not to say a new country. First thing to feel at home is to create the right ambient with lights, which requires buying lamps, a costly mission in this region. We may leave some bulb plugs uncovered, but they are ugly. EZ Shade has designed an affordable solution: a circular bracket to hold a minimalistic shade that does not require screw drivers, drilling ceilings or walls, so even children can assemble it the polycarbonate shade, and decorate the last one with stickers and color sprays. A 100% UAE made, drop break proof product that will prevent bulb accidents and reduce the mess of installing new lights. Something that amazed me from their pitch: in 2011, there were 85 million lights in the UAE!!

Moduware, Electronics & IoT: A cross platform for mobiles

Let´s say that mobile screen sizes are never enough for users until unless we get something on the size of a tablet or we radically change attitude and stop carrying so many apps on out mobiles. I´m inclined that the latter will never happen because the trend is to accumulate more and more on the phone devices, and that´s what creators of Moduware propose to users: a platform with swappable modules to customize the capabilities of your device. We all carry the same mobile, but we are not always at the office or enjoying holidays in snowy mountains, right? So let´s optimize the smartphone by taking in and take off the options on the Modcase. Moreover, the cross platform on your ModPack (a charger in half the time of others) can be clicked straight into the Modcase, giving you access to the functions on either device. There are 12 modules already designed, but the new ones are even more exciting: carbon monoxide, temperature + humidity + altitude, second SIM card (oh, finally!), infrared remote (not planning to steal the Pink Panther diamond and become inspector Jacques Clouseau´s best enemy, but useful in other tasks, I guess), and laser distance (it´s long wait for laser meter´s prices to go down).

Protero 1.0 , Electronics: One step from the bottle to 3D filament

The evangelists of the circular economy and the “from cradle to cradle” theory will sanctify this electronic from Project Realise, a young team aiming to transform the waste of plastic bottles into 3D printer filament, a costly product for their 3D project. They want to address the young public and educate from school ages, so since there are 32,600 schools in the GCC, and let´s say there are two thousands pupils and each one drinks a bottle a day… make the numbers and get your filament rolls.

Jamalytics , IoT, Electronics, Data Analytics: The fit bit for camels

Although I don´t have a camel for space reasons (only a cat fits the pet´s description at home), I must say that the possibility of training and enhancing the numbers of a racing camel is exciting, as it must be for the 70,000 camel owners in the region. To breed a group of ten camels to find out that only one is fit for racing is quite expensive, so this “fit-bit for camels” will capture the analytics of the heart beats, pace, etcetera, and the data will signal fast the best to go onto the Al Wathba Track or the Al Maqam Track. Needless to say how many possibilities there are if the Jamalytics device developed by Maia Systems is used for horse-riding.

MPlex Diagnostics, Med tech: Never get a spreadable disease

Public opinion memory gets shaken time to time with news about intoxication than may turn into an epidemic spread, and as it is better to prevent than to cure, MPlex Diagnostics works to develop a device that can detect a disease in food in twenty minutes. Food industry, airports, health clinics, may be soon interested in a product that is affordable, sensitive, specific, user-friendly, rapid, equipped and deliverable. The scientists mentioned in their pitch that it has been already tested on malaria. This is a very promising solution for the humankind.

Offone, Consumer Electronics: Mobiles for throw away

I cannot say I need another mobile if I am the home ogre restricting Wi-Fi use, electronic screens and video games, but the truth is that when I travel to other countries, a little obsession about where my mobile is takes me over. Offone proposes a calling and texting phone with a 14 days battery which you may use and dump later. Maybe next time I climb a mountain I can hang on a cliff, and if I lose my balance and the mobile slides out of my pocket towards the vacuum, I won´t go after it.

LT-SBAS, Telematics: Get your kids on the bus and track they way on the city

Parents, especially those ones having children in very early ages, compose a delicate customer group when the bus is late, the driver does not respond and they don´t know where their little bundle is. In moments like that one, the crisis is on the air, both for families and for the school administrations. LT-Sbas is an IoT solution that tracks school buses, register pupils at the bus, inform parents when the bus is approaching their home so they get their kids to finish their cereals and get down to take the bus, and take feedback from the parents.

I have plenty of anecdotes with school buses, as a parent and as a former educator, so here I offer one from the latter one: the school dining hall may not be the most productive place to share ideas but to get isolated from the pupils´ noises, but once we shared food trays and conversation with the principal regarding the rush hour to identify students riding their buses, pointing at how stressful was everyone: for educational assistants, drivers and pupils. In the brainstorm conversation we came out with issuing an ID card readable by gate sensors, similar to the system used at sky accesses. The card could be carried on a left pocket on the shirt sleeve –a small, easy modification to be done on the uniforms- and just by walking, the gate will read their cards and the flow will be regular.

Other participant startups : Haritel, Fun Robotics, Healthy Box, My Drone Pad, H. Global Medical Devices, Eskadeña, Lectrisse, and H3D-Delta.

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