Welcome to our weekly roundup of the latest buzz in startup ingenuity and business technology. The past several days, we’ve seen students of varied ages leaving their mark on our society – from a graduate student’s intuitive ‘smart’ glove that lets us communicate with those unable to speak, to a young clockmaker’s inventiveness-gone-awry causing a global uproar in his defence.
Sheer genius. Hadeel Ayoub, a student at Goldsmiths, University of London, has finished the 3rd prototype of her invention (aptly called SignLanguageGlove). She was inspired by her niece – an autistic 4-year old – who communicates by signing. Ayoub wondered how she could get through to someone who ‘didn’t speak her language.’
Though a few earlier concepts have come onto the scene since 2012, Ayoub’s glove is less bulky and incorporates all the hardware inside the glove’s lining – including a text-to-speech chip which turns signs into spoken language. For her, it’s very personal.“It’s all about eliminating disability, language, and physical barriers.”
Chad Mureta made his fortune designing apps – including Emoji which allows us to punctuate our messages with fun pictures. But it was his Fingerprint Scanner Pro that changed his life. With company revenues of £1.9m to £3.3m annually, it’s amusing to read that Mureta doesn’t consider himself ‘a tech person.’ But, nothing else is funny about his story.
What literally drove this young man to create a security app was flipping his car four times when he swerved to avoid a deer on the motorway. While spending 6 months in hospital with his left arm torn to shreds, he lay there watching doctors idly flicking through his cell phone and wished there was a better way to secure it. You’ve got to read this inspirational story by author, Rob Boffard!
Apparently, the fact that Britons are spending more on small pleasures these days is driving 90pc of small businesses from hairdressers to masseurs. Derived from insurance policy data provided by Simply Business, the trend has given ambitious sole traders the chance to opt into luxury markets with great service.
Other sectors trending are online retail sales, pop-up businesses like supper clubs (the overhead is next to nil) and cleaning services like windows and carpets. And, then there are the tradesmen. Home improvement is another favourite way to self-indulge, and with the UK “currently being hit by one of its worst skills shortages for 30 years,” the time is ripe to turn those DIY skills into a business.
Founder Herb Kim is staging this year’s popular conference at HOME Manchester next month, the first time it’s been held outside the North East. Expected to be a sell-out, the global-minded gathering has gained quite the reputation – as one of the UK’s leading tech events.
With a string of speakers from around the world, they aren’t necessarily what would be considered the ‘norm’ for a seminar on technology. Poet Lemn Sissay and 20-year old guitarist James Girling are scheduled to take center stage, along with a bevy of marketing and Internet and social media gurus. Kim remarks, “Our emphasis at Thinking Digital is on stimulating the Thinking rather than geeking out on the Digital.”
And, Linkilaw is on the same page – check out our recent post on why the time is right for tech-for-good!
When a fourteen year old Muslim boy named Ahmed Mohamed was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school, it started a roar heard round the world. Though later released, the fact that police arrested, handcuffed and transported him to the station for questioning sparked a furious backlash from the public.
The boy’s plight took Twitter by storm (with over 209,000 mentions in one day), and gained momentum as the hours ticked by, eliciting an empathetic response from none other than Apple founder Steve Wozniak. And, without this event, how would we have ever known that Wozniak spent a night in detention after constructing a fake bomb in a friend’s locker in high school as a prank?