Hardware startups in China are quickly becoming as normal as over-priced coffee is in San Francisco, but when taking a look at Techcrunch Beijing 2014 “The Red Hardware”, it’s clear China has a unique take on creating an ecosystem of innovation. Mobile Geeks was on the ground checking out some new innovative startups aiming to bring IoT to China.
The biggest difference between a start up show in China and one found in US is that there is a greater focus on the business plan. Products and services are designed to sell and it’s refreshing not to end a meeting being told about the companies potential for acquisition.
We wadded through the droves of makers, hackers and tech savants to come up with a list of 10 companies that we’d love to give a tip of the hat. Only one of the 10 is part of the official competition for Techcrunch Beijing 2014. Ghost, a company that Mobile Geeks started working with a few weeks ago because, well…we just fell in love with their drone. If you wanted to see who else was part of the official competition, you can head on over to Technode (the Chinese version of Techcrunch).
Golo4 Brings the Connected Car to Everyone
Golo4 is looking to bring WiFi to your car for just 499CYN or $80USD. This pint sized device can be installed discreetly inside your card and provides internet through a SIM card. It also comes with additional connectivity through Bluetooth and a ODB data port. The Golo4 is controlled through an app that is available for Android & iOS and can track your car as well as provide.
If you’ve got some time, their site has a very active forum – there was even a pretty interesting thread from some biking enthusiasts that I might be keen to try out on my bike. It might be built for automotive, but it’s a gadget with tremendous potential for home automation and IoT in general.
Innoactor – Upping the Production Value of Your Mobile Phone Videos
Innoactor is an app that has been available on iOS and Android but today they’ve decided to up their game by increasing the production value of your smarpthone videos. Their microphone would be paired with your smartphone. Nothing will ruin a wonderful video quicker then crappy audio. This karaoke style microphone is small enough to be carried around with you so you can always be ready to capture any moment.
But it brings more than just clean audio to your mobile phone masterpieces, the app is a video editor that allows for voice-overs and subtitles. You can earn virtual coins or Vcoins for sharing. These can, in turn, be redeemed for real life rewards. The Microphone connects to the smartphone through an audio cable. It also has a connector for power and 2 micro usb connectors.
One very cool feature is that it can actually be used as a Karaoke microphone for your Smartphone. There are a few switches on the mic itself for echo, volume, and most importantly, a switch to remove the vocals from (insert your favorite Karaoke track here) so that everyone around you can hear what it was supposed to sound like. This resourceful mic will cost you only $38USD.
Kissntell: Improving Diabetes Management Through Saliva Based Glucose Detection
eNano Health showed off KissnTell, an early prototype of a Saliva-based glucose detection machine. Moving from a blood-based sample to a non intrusive testing method will significantly improve a patients ability to manage diabetes. The Biochip sensor has the ability to selectively measure glucose concentrations in complex fluids. Universities from around the world started publishing about the possibility a few years ago: this year we are starting to see more significant progress.
eNano is aiming to provide an affordable product that can test for a wider range of marker besides glucose, Cancer, cholesterol, bacteria or even certain types of infections. What makes it even more impressive is that the results would be available instantly.
Action RocketSkate is a Motorized Electric Skate. It’s Awesome. End of Story.
This is one we couldn’t help but notice on Kickstarter, it still has 11 days to go and is edging on the 1/2 Million mark. We can see why it’s a just retro looking enough that it’s clearly from the future. It looks like the funnest thing EVER. We acknowledge that it could become all the rage this Christmas, but next time Santa comes around this won’t be in his sleigh. Regardless, it is pretty neat. Each battery-powered skate has two motors that are regulated by an SoC.
The skates talk to each other so that they maintain the same speed and can even be controlled by an app if you want to use it as like a RC car.
AutoBot – Your Cars’ First Wearable
Mechanics aren’t the only ones who can benefit from your cars On-board diagnostics (OBD). AutoBot gives the average consumer the ability to monitor their car health as well as their driving habits.
“You only need to plug it into the OBD port or cigarette lighter of your car, click the app, and you can instantly view the real time data of your car. Autobot will sync the data to your phone via Bluetooth, record it, and save the data to cloud storage.”
They didn’t do very well on their Indiegogo Campaign, which could have a lot to do with a general trend that Chinese companies do better on DemoHour (the Chinese version of Kickstarter) than they do on Western based crowd funding platforms…but that is perhaps a discussion for another time.
Raiing Smart Fertility Tracker is Really Up in Your Business
Raiing has been in the wireless temperate game for a few years, they had a Wireless thermometer for babies which got FDA approval. They are back with a Fertility Tracker that is meant to get your pregnant 3 times faster then your peers. On top of figuring out when your ovulating it monitors your general health, offer improvements on sleep quality and sets reminders that will get you knocked up quicker.
Like the baby thermometer it is fitted onto your armpit with double sided tape. The unit has 240 hours of storage capability, will monitor 20,000 data points overnight and it’s not connected to your smartphone.
Ghost Drone – A Drone You Can Control from Your Smartphone
We love this company! We had the opportunity to check out the Ghost Drone by Ehang while in Shenzhen and got one in our offices now! These guys have done a great job making a high end product for a reasonable price by cutting out cost of manufacturing a controller. You simply use your smartphone to manage this Quadcopter.
The Ghost Drone has a 3-cell 5,400mAh battery, which sits inside a molded polycarbonate chassis, next to plastic propellers and feet – all of which weighs in at only 650 grams. The drone uses four propellers to take flight and is controlled via your smartphone. Your phone is connected to a dedicated Bluetooth router, which then relays the radio signals to the drone. The app lets the user have full control over the drone’s movements with options to program a preset flight path, as well as several other commands like “fly”, “hover”, “land” and “return”. The app also has a graphical joystick for manual maneuvers.
We’ve got a whole post already written up on them with a bunch more photos and details, so head on over if you’d like some more information.
Kepler – Protecting your Home from Gas Leaks
Many countries have regulations in place, dictating homes and business should have a monitoring system to protect from Carbon Monoxide and other dangerous gas leaks. Kepler has shot past their goal on Kickstarter with over a week to go.
The kitchen is the perfect place for a gas monitor so they’ve added in a few different features. Kepler comes with a clock and programmable timer. Turning the dial enables timer function and cooking reminders. Not impressed? Well, they’ve made the timer gesture controlled so you can silence it with a wave of your hand.
Goccia – The World Smallest Wearable
Goccia made some waves on Kickstarter a few months ago, aiming to be the worlds smallest wearable. No doubt they’ve come up with a stylish one! It’s made from aluminum and Gorilla Glass, measuring only 18mm wide. The unit comes with a ton of accessories, giving you style options, and it doesn’t have a display so it can really look like jewelry. Weighing in at three grams, it’s surprising that it will last 14 days on a single charge. And since it does that wirelessly, that means it’s also waterproof.
Sensoro – Bringing Your Digital World to Life
Sensoro is designed to act as a trigger to bring your digital world to life or draw you into someone’s online space. This is more of a B2B game. Imagine and art gallery making each installation interactive with additional information. Or think of a retailer interacting with a customer in such way. We could even take it all the way up to payment verification for the financial sector.
The devices are surprisingly beautiful. Sensoro uses Bluetooth 4.0 to connect, and devices can be triggered using a few different sensors like ambient, temperature and motion. If you’d like to purchase a set, they come in 3’s and will set you back 299Yuan or $50USD.
What did you think of these 10 StartUps? China is a very interesting fast-moving market. Do you think these companies have what it takes to take a piece of the pie, or will they get their fingers burned simply trying to take it out of the oven?