There is one thing I absolutely love and that is gadgets. The beauty of the whole concept is that they are slowly turning from the geeky nerd fab into something a little more mainstream. With the advent of 3D Printing, hardware prototyping platforms such as arduino/raspberry pi and crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, we are truly in the age of gadgets.
Back in the day, when I tried to get the first ever MP3 CD-Player for a couple of hundred bucks, people though I was mad. Now, it is normal to chase gadgets and nearly everybody has some. However what is a lot more impressive, and important, is that we can all create gadgets without having to buy-out factories in China and raise millions of EUR’s in funding. In fact with some of the modern tools for prototyping, it should be possible to put something together in a matter of a couple of days.
As you've likely seen today, Finnish handset up-and-comer has started showing off their hardware at a demo event in Helsinki. I'll let others tell you how their market viability is, but if anything they're going to be a fun company to watch.
With Ubuntu and Firefox also getting into the handset game, they've got competition even among up-and-comers, let alone the giants like Apple and Android. They say there's plenty of room for innovation to challenge the larger competition, as as far as the newer competitors, they believe their experience in hardware, coming from Nokia, will be their path to success. As ex-CEO and current Head of Sailfish Marc Dillon says, "We know how to make products."
But it's unclear if they're really fighting in the specs war in the mid-to-high range, given they haven't released too many specs aside from 16GB + microSD memory, 8 MP camera, and 4G capability, and a removable battery. As co-founder Sami Pienimäki puts it, "The whole point of Jolla is to innovate in the combination of hardware and software."
Tuxera is a Finnish software startup specialized in file system interoperability software. The firm has developed Windows-interoperable file system drivers for NTFS and exFAT, allowing device manufacturers who use Linux or other non-Windows platforms to still provide plug and play access to the files from Windows or Mac computers. It claims to be the only company currently providing such system drivers to device manufacturers who use Linux or other non-Windows platform.
But Powerkiss is not really what it looks like on the surface. One could easily think their core offering is wireless charging. Think again. Increasingly in the future it will be centered around Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled service platform which acts as a glue between different consumer services. Think location based advertising, where the location has been pinned down to the level of a restaurant table, or really selling any other service that is tied to a location. The variations are endless.
The winner of the MindTrek Launchpad 2009, a pitching competition for statups at MindTrek, has just been announced on stage. This year's winner is Multitouch, a Finnish table- and wall-sized multitouch display manufacturer.
The winner receives € 20,009 and of course a major publicity boost. Congratulations to Multitouch!
This year, just as last year, the short list included some promising companies and some complete misses. Also they were from a broad variety of industries, ranging from hardware manufacturer (Multitouch) to a Facebook game (Kamu World).
Compared to the quality of last year's startup pitches at Mindtrek Launchpad, this year saw a big improvement. The pitches were better structured and more coherent. A good pitch does not equal a successful company, but it's part of it.
We first wrote about Senseg, a Finnish company developing a haptic interface for all kinds of screen, when it had just been chosen to be part of a Finnish delegation of seven companies to pitch their offering to Israeli VCs about a year ago. Senseg told us earlier on they are looking into getting the first products in the market during the 2009 and it seems they are more or less in schedule by telling CrunchGear's John Biggs that the company "expects to have some working devices in production in a year".
Biggs is currently visiting Finland and met Senseg to get a better understanding of their technology (read the full story at CrunchGear here). It's hard not to think of iPhone when you watch the video, but do try, since I'm sure there are plenty of interested customers beyond Cupertino (video below by CrunchGear).