Show founder and innovation champion Sue Nelson was joined by Rich Walker, Managing Director of the renowned Shadow Robot Company; Holly Brockwell, tech journalist and founder of Gadgette.com; and Sarah Luxford, Co-founder of Tech London Advocates’ Women in Tech working group. Focusing on innovation, creativity and potential for future development, the judges were looking for fabulous ideas that are taking tech to places it has never been before.
The list has been published to millions of readers on leading news website TechRadar.com and the winners will be invited to appear on future episodes of The TechTalk Show, so keep your ears open! And so, in no particular order, here are the very first TechTalk 22...
A spinout company from the Department of Zoology at Oxford University. They use deep science to understand natural movement in the animal world to develop new products.
Judges’ comments: “We’re very excited by the team’s approach to understanding evolutionary adaptations in flight, swimming and walking. Companies developing robots and high performance machines will be looking more to nature to inspire their design decisions.”
Uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyse historical email data for use in cyber security applications.
Judges’ comments: “This next generation email security technology prevents users from accidentally committing one of the key data security breaches. Employee behaviour is currently the weak spot for company security and solutions that can predict or spot real time abnormal behaviour patterns will be in demand.”
Smartplug (Smart Driver Club)
The Smartplug app reads your car’s on-board data and provides features to monitor and improve your driving and check performance.
Judges’ comments: “A textbook example of how to develop a huge range of features and ensure they’re totally integrated, while making the user experience deceptively simple. A company that knows how to achieve profitable longevity, with a set of must-have features that are cleverly monetised.”
Slick Revolution (Pin Feather Trading)
The company’s mission is to create the best electric street transport at a price point accessible to everyone.
Judges’ comments: “The team has created a sleek, lightweight electric skateboard with a high top speed and long-range capability. This team is designing ever more features and gizmos to target this growing market sector.”
Machines With Vision
Innovative technology that covers every point of a road surface so it can be measured and mapped.
Judges’ comments: “Clever new technology that allows companies to enhance the road positioning of their driverless cars and autonomous vehicles. This soon-to-be booming sector will need suppliers of associated technology to make self-driving practical and safe.”
The PASSsystem (EveryLIFE Technologies)
Eliminates time consuming paperwork and dramatically reduces the risk of medicines mismanagement.
Judges’ comments: “Healthcare delivery at home is set to explode, with an ageing population requiring health checks and medicines management in a domestic setting.The PASSsystem is driving up quality of care and service compliance.”
Fully programmable, WiFi-enabled, customisable and upgradable low-cost walking robot.
Judges’ comments: “Allows children, makers and educators to interact and programme their own robotic solutions and ensure the next generation can capitalise on robotic technology... Definitely more than a toy.”
Using the power of AI and geolocation functionality, Streetbees is where market research meets technology.
Judges’ comments: “We were impressed by Streetbees’ ability to literally collect data from anyone, anywhere in the world. Understanding culture, preferences and buying behaviour at a global level will be the key to success for many companies.”
Elvie (Chiaro Technology)
The world’s smallest and smartest pelvic floor exerciser, made from medical-grade silicone.
Judges’ comments: “A taboo-fighting wearable that goes inside the body, to monitor pelvic floor health and encourage the patient to keep up their exercises. Wearables will become increasingly invisible and will begin to be ‘worn’ inside the body, not just outside.”
Innovation kits for families to teach them coding, engineering and DIY.
Judges’ comments: “The team has developed an intelligent chatbot solution and impressive DIY kits for families, making technology accessible in a truly fun way. Games that involve the whole family but can teach programming and technical skills are a win-win.”
Action Artificial Intelligence
Off-the-shelf commercial intelligent chatbot that understands users’ requests to enable humanlike responses.
Judges’ comments: “Companies that deal directly with customers will need to embrace chatbot technology to remain competitive. This solution gives functionality at a fraction of the cost of in-house development and allows them to respond using everyday natural language.”
Monster robots controlled by mobile devices for use with video games.
Judges’ comments: “Gaming is being embraced by an ever-widening demographic and this is a really exciting company in the gaming sector - a great UK rising star.”
A wearable technology company designing heated gloves for women.
Judges’ comments: “A really beneficial wearable, designed and developed for women (for once!) and with a clear focus on practicality. Women will be seeking out truly female-centric products, not those adapted from designs for men and they have the consumer power to shape new markets.”
A virtual reality experience seat designed for all head mounted displays.
Judges’ comments: “Consumers are looking for an even better immersive experience and this takes the experience of virtual reality far beyond the home headset.”
Development of the next generation consumer robot, focussing on companionship and enhancing the quality of human life.
Judges’ comments: “We all wanted to take one of these home! A programmable dog-like robot being developed specifically for therapeutic purposes. An underdeveloped but much-needed product area.”
Active Needle Technology
Ultrasound-guided needle device to enable precision injection targeting for clinicians.
Judges’ comments: “It’s great to see something that helps healthcare professionals to improve medical outcomes and patient safety, which will be a real focus in the coming years. It’s also reassuring for potential needlephobes!”
Blaze Laserlight (SMIDSY)
The Blaze technology company is on a mission to make urban cycling safer, by combining a white light and laser image to beam out of blind spots and junctions.
Judges’ comments: “The Laserlight projection product has completely changed the way cyclists are seen by other road users. We see the product everywhere and despite imitations, it’s still leading its field and we expect them to lead the category for years to come.”
An innovative company developing interactive computer-based simulation combining virtual reality and haptics.
Judges’ comments: “They are experts in the field of haptics, which is still relatively young but has exciting potential. They are improving the quality of touch interaction with machines, particularly in the medical and dental world.”
E-commerce model photography allowing the capture of human body size and shape and 3D garment digitisation.
Judges’ comments: “A clever patented technology that allows the user to buy clothes that suit and fit them. The system is also tackling issues about body perception and size. Both retailers and consumers will be looking at technologies that will reduce the number of product returns.”
Government-grade encryption for secure communications, including voice, messaging, video and data.
Judges’ comments: “Cyber security is big. This development allows businesses to go to the next level of security through everyday devices such as smartphones and tablets. Armour not only protect the content of communications but can hide the fact that you are communicating at all.”
Tiny four-wheeled robot that goes through air vents armed with a 3D scanner, to survey the underside of floor boards and apply insulating foam as required.
Judges comments: “Not very glamorous but a much-needed use of robotics in the construction sector. The industry is ripe for disruption and will be looking at solutions that help house-building or renovation work become quicker, more cost-effective and safe.”
Artificial intelligence and robotic technologies to make large-scale one-off manufacturing easier.
Judges’ comments: “This team is shifting the focus from small scale 3D printing to large scale affordable 3D manufacture, with huge potential.”
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