High tech is not just about making bigger phone screens. It’s about re-imagining the way we do basic things like moving around or delivering food. And the Internet plays a central role in this, with an increasing number of everyday objects becoming connected.
LeWeb in Paris, Europe’s largest tech conference, is where those with the ideas come and seek contacts and investment.
Veteran start-upper Jamie Siminoff was there with his latest invention, Ring, a Wi-Fi enabled video doorbell that allows you to see and talk to anyone standing on your doorstep.
“I was working in the garage, had a few employees, we just kept playing around with stuff, and we kept missing deliveries from shippers and I kept missing people coming to the door because I couldn’t hear them. So, I literally looked to see if I could get a Wi-Fi doorbell, and one didn’t exist. And so, it just became one of those things… We said, you know, ‘Why don’t we just build it?’,” Siminoff told euronews.
Fellow Silicon Valley entrepreneur Marcus Weller was at LeWeb with his Skully AR-1 motorcycle helmet. Bluetooth-enabled and voice controlled, it includes a rearview camera and a “heads up” display, and provides data like speed and GPS navigation.
“They have integrated, basically, Google Glass inside of the helmet with speakers and a camera, to provide the rider with an abnormal amount of control and competence, and, basically, a perception of the world around him inside the helmet. And that’s going to change the entire motorcycle industry,” said high tech analyst Brian Solis.
And hardware startup OnBeep is doing its best Star Trek imitation with Onyx, a clip-on communicator that works over any distance.
It clips easily onto a lapel, sleeve, or bag strap, and has a built-in speaker and button for activating its microphone. The Onyx syncs with your smartphone via Bluetooth, transmitting your voice through the network to other team members.