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#HouseofWonder: Our five favourite innovators

#HouseofWonder: Our five favourite innovators

It’s hard to imagine a world without Uber, Airbnb or Deliveroo, and yet surprisingly, not one of these global pioneers existed eight years ago. In fact, in less than ten years, consumer awareness has grown at such an incredible pace that new start-ups are no longer just seen as ‘the Uber for X’ but as innovative companies within the wider sharing economy!

One of those companies, Wonder, held their own ‘app’-tly #HouseofWonder event this week to showcase some ground-breaking new technology, and as sharing economy enthusiasts, naturally we had to attend. Here, we’ve chosen our five favourite brands who showcased their tech on the night.

Pepper – Created by Softbank Robotics

According to his creators, Pepper is a kindly, endearing, and surprising human-shaped robot – this is certainly the case! Designed to be a day-to-day companion, Pepper is the first humanoid robot that can recognise the principal human emotions and adapt his behaviour to the mood of whoever is interacting with him. To date, more than 140 Softbank Mobile stores in Japan use Pepper as a welcoming face when customers enter stores and he is also the first humanoid robot to be brought to Japanese homes. As Pepper grows and becomes more advanced, it’s likely that we’ll start to see him as a regular in our shops and homes.

Thync

The first consumer health solution devoted to lowering stress and anxiety, Thync uses safe, low-level electrical stimulation to activate specific nerve pathways on the head and neck. It’s these pathways which communicate with areas in the brain that help control stress levels, mood and sleep quality. The ‘pod’ which attaches to the user’s temples, delivers carefully constructed stimulation patterns that tap into your body’s own mechanisms to relax, improve mood and sleep better. With a team made up of neurobiologists, neuroscientists, and consumer electronic specialists from MIT, Stanford, and Harvard, Thync is a unique product which combines cutting-edge science, with accessible tech.

Generic Robotics

Generic Robotics is taking Virtual Reality to the next level. Through their innovative interactive computer-based simulation which combines VR and haptics – the science of simulating the sensation of touch with machines – the company is bringing true immersion to VR simulations. Focused on real-world applications, the team have applied their haptic technology to training and education, specifically developing simulators to train clinical students in medicine and dentistry. Using the VR and haptic simulation, students can practice procedures in a safe environment, gaining the confidence necessary to move on to real patients when they are experienced enough to do so. As the technology becomes more widely adopted, we will definitely see more real-world applications like this take off.

Micro drone 3.0

The Micro drone 3.0 is just that, micro. At 50mm x 145mm x 55mm, this tiny drone can fly up to 45mph and has a range of up to 500ft. Gimbal equipped and with an upgraded camera, the third iteration of the micro drone can shoot up to 720p HD, perfect for livestreaming and social content. Users can also view live streaming drone footage in 3D with a VR headset. The drone’s FPV (first person view) puts users in the pilot’s seat, providing an immersive flying experience.

Wonder

Wonder, the night’s hosts, are also more than deserving for a place in our top five. The company, who are aiming to make ‘trying things really easy’, is a sharing economy platform for anyone who owns or makes new and hot tech products. Users can explore the platform for inspiration, experiments or just for fun and rent products for a couple of days from like-minded people at a fraction of the cost of purchasing the product. The innovative platform already has some ground-breaking tech listed on its website, from the brand new DJI Spark, to the world’s first roast-grind-brew coffee maker from Bonaverde.

Top 10 Robotics Companies to Watch at CES 2016

Another year, another CES, brimming with start-ups and household names alike, looking to become the next big tech trend. But who will come out victorious? In the first of a six-part series, we give our verdict on the most awe-inspiring hopefuls of the New Year in the Robotics category.

Historically CES has been a platform to get a glimpse of the latest products and technologies, focusing on the emerging and evolving tech companies and robotics will be no exception at CES 2016, with a 71% growth of the Robotics Marketplace from 2015.

There are a lot of companies out there changing and shaping the future of robotics from gaming consoles to household appliances. Let’s take a look at the top 10 robotics companies that are standing out from the crowd out this year at CES.

Reach Robotics

Image: Reach Robotics

Image: Reach Robotics

 

  • Reach Robotics (UK): Developing the world’s first gaming robot, Reach Robotics brings the computer game into the real world by combining gaming, robotics and Augmented Reality together to create a unique experience like no other. With two types of robots, Brute and Berserker, they have created Mecha Monsters that you can collect, customise and compete with, shaping the future of gaming.

Orbbec

  • Orbbec (CN): Breaking ground with its 3D camera creations, Orbbec is changing the way we interact with the world around us. This year at CES they will launch Orbbec Presse, the world’s first intelligent 3D camera-computer, with the ability to hear and understand its environment. This enables it to ‘learn’ from past use making it a pioneering product in the developing world of interactive tech.

Blue Frog Robotics

Blue Frog's Buddy Robot

Blue Frog’s Buddy Robot

 

  • Blue Frog Robotics a.k.a. Buddy (FR): Blue Frog Robotics is leading the way for companion robots with the revolutionary creation Buddy, ‘the worlds first companion robot that is accessible to everyone’. Buddy interacts with each member of the family by entertaining, protecting and assisting them. He challenges the image of robots being hard-edged and cold with his friendly nature and design.

Flower Robotics

  • Flower Robotics (JP): Flower Robotics aims to start a quiet revolution and make robots a natural part of our daily lives with pioneering technology and minimalistic designs. Their mission is to bring joy and enrich people using technology. At CES they will launch Patin. Built around adaptive and learning artificial intelligence Patin can predict and anticipate needs and react to environmental changes – an innovative robot that could be the next step in the evolution of household robots.

Ozobot

  • Ozobot (US): Ozobot is one of the smallest smart robots that is designed to educate children through fun activities. It can teach children how to code and program through gamified learning made for kids of all ages. With the Ozobot app, you can connect the digital and physical world creating a whole new world of play. The tiny robot is equipping children with skills needed for the future.

Leap Motion

  • Leap Motion (US): Augmented and Virtual Reality is making a comeback and 2016 is set to be the year for it, with the likes of Samsung and Oculus Rift set to release VR headsets. But the one to watch out for at CES is Leap Motion who have created innovative technology that allows you to naturally interact with digital and virtual worlds using your hands and your fingers, bringing science fiction to life and breaking the barrier between people and technology. The Leap Motion controller tracks the movement of your hands and allows you to grab, pinch or swipe.

Hexo+

  • Hexo+ (US): Hexo+ is the worlds first autonomous drone that allows you to create amazing aerial footage hands-free. The drone is designed to follow and film allowing you to enjoy the adventure. Using an app, you can control the movement of the drone to capture stunning footage that accurately framed and stable. Hexo+ is an innovative product that allows you to tell your own story through groundbreaking technology.

XYZprinting

XYZprinting's Da Vinci 1.1 Plus 3D Printer

XYZprinting’s Da Vinci 1.1 Plus 3D Printer

 

  • XYZprinting (TW): An exciting ground-breaking company for emerging technologies, XYZprinting has created 3D printers that are affordable and lightweight, making it ideal for commercial use and bringing technology to the masses. The world’s largest 3D printer maker believes that 2D printing will one day be obsolete and they are paving the way for the future of printing.

Double Robotics

  • Double Robotics (US): Helping telecommuters feel more connected and changing the face of remote working, Double Robotics’ creation is Double, a robotic stand that is a simple way to maintain a physical presence. The robot connects to an iPad, is easy to set up and allows the user to move around through a workspace, removing the need to have a fixed place for videoconferences. This will immensely reduce the inconvenience of long-distance travel while ensuring the telecommuter gets a more accurate feel for what they are viewing.

Candy House Inc.

  • Candy House Inc. (US): A design house that creates innovative products to inspire an enjoyable lifestyle, Candy House Inc. is a candy store for futuristic tech. They have raised £1.4 million with their Kickstarter campaign for Sesame, a lock that can be used via an app, reinventing the key. Launched in 2015, Sesame is easy to install and means you lock and unlock from anywhere, powered by a battery that lasts for about 500 days.

Enjoyed this post? Read more of our series on CES 2016 companies to watch: