HAXLR8R Startups Report Back from Shenzhen, the Hardware Candyland

6/20/12Follow @wroush

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see a visualization of their brain activity in real time and, supposedly, use the feedback to enter a more relaxed or more alert mental state. The Axio device “helps you get in the zone when it counts,” said co-founder Arye Barnehama. The company plans to make money by selling the headbands as well as premium upgrades for the mobile app.

Loccie

Loccie (pronounced Lock-ee) is developing two related products: a Web-based service that helps users discover fun things to do in the cities where they live or cities they’re visiting, and a simple mobile device that helps them navigate to the recommended locations. You start by giving the Loccie a rough idea of where you are, what you want to do, and how you’re feeling. The service will select 15 appropriate destinations and send them to the mobile device, which is called the Loccie Walkie. It has just one indicator—a light that changes colors, shifting to warmer colors as you approach a destination. The overall idea is to reinject some randomness into the experience of travel. “Too many facts kill the mystery of a journey,” says co-founder Mila Marina Burger, who is from Croatia.

Bilibot

Garratt Gallagher of Bilibot

Garratt Gallagher, co-founder of Bilibot, notes that there’s been an explosion in access to free, open-source software for programming robots, but that there hasn’t been a similar explosion in access to robot hardware. The Bilibot robot, a squat three-wheeled affair resembling a rolling coffee table, is designed as a low-cost platform that hobbyists and entrepreneurs can use to explore different applications. It’s got a computer and a Kinect motion and depth sensor inside, and can carry a 200-pound load at up to 10 miles per hour; it’s a literal platform in that the top panel has bolt-holes for various structures, such as a stand for a tablet computer or display. Gallagher says the company plans to raise operating revenue by selling its first batch of robots to vendors who want to soup up their trade-conference booths. That could give the company runway to build lower-cost robots for hobbyists and university researchers.

Portable Scores

Portable Scores founder Bob Baddeley is developing a portable LED scoreboard that can be programmed to act either as a clock, a timer, or a scorekeeper for indoor and outdoor games. “I want everyone to feel like they’re playing in a stadium,” Baddeley says. The scoreboard fits inside a backpack and mounts on a wall or tripod, and can be controlled from a special remote or from a smartphone. Baddeley hopes to raise $200,000 for the project on Kickstarter.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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