1. Bixi: A Smart Gesture Controller
The first piece of tech we found has been given quite some love on kickstarter. Bixi, a gesture control device, had a crowdfunding target of 25 thousand dollars, but with 17 days to go, people have pledged more than 100k. Bixi allows you to gesture control most smart devices, essentially turning us into appliance conductors in our own houses.
This is great for controlling lights, toasters and your tv, but we would be especially interested in the ability to control presentations. Anyone who has organised a conference with back to back speakers knows that managing the clickers and making sure the last person doesn’t pocket his is a full time job. Bixi solves that. Plus there’s something undeniably cool about walking on stage, dimming the light with one gesture, turning down the volume of the music with the next and starting your presentation with a casual wave of the hand. Sign us up.
Currently Bixi is still being developed but its integration with a number of big names (Go-Pro, Bose, Philips Hue) at an early stage is a good indicator that this might become a big thing.
2. Augmented Climbing: Play Games on a Climbing Wall
A group of Finnish academics with backgrounds in game- and industrial design have started a project which could be the future of wall climbing. Claimed to be the world’s first global gaming platform for climbing walls, it combines projected graphics and patented body tracking to create interactive games and training applications making indoor climbing more fun for everyone. Sure looks like a great activity to implement in a trade show or for team-building exercises.
It seems like the developers are currently focusing on reinventing classic arcade games into wall climbing versions. They've already released Climball - similar to Pong. Other games include Augmented Problems, Whack-A-Bat, and Sparks.
All it takes is a special projector, which can turn any old climbing wall into a VR playground. And in case you don’t have a climbing wall yet, the guys from Augmented Climbing can hook you up with their global partners who can provide completely customised climbing walls.
3. GiveSmart Mobile Bidding
One of the smarter services we encountered this month, is GiveSmart, a young company that specializes in charity auctions. We organise a lot of fundraisers, but the logistics behind them can indeed be challenging. How do you maximise the bidding war? How do you make sure people pay? How to facilitate bidding for people that didn't bring cash? GiveSmart solves these kind of problems.
What I like is that people don't need to download the app per se in order to bid. Text messages suffice. That severely lowers the bar for people to participate, especially with the slightly older crowd that attends charity auctions. GiveSmart recently picked up some prices at the Event Technology Awards in the UK. Well deserved and I hope to work with them in Asia soon.
Finally, to close off this months edition, coffee. This is not strictly event-tech, but the Gina Smart Coffee Maker is so incredibly well designed that I can see us using these during an event with a client like a bank - or even just buying a bunch as a premium giveaway.
Gina comes with an app that tells you how much water she needs (yes, I like this one so much I’m anthropomorphising it!) and she keeps things warm with a usb charger. Functional industrial design like this has the capacity to imprint a memory in people’s brain. Those are the positive interactions that we are after!
That's it for this episode. See you next month for more event-tech trends!