”Your sneak preview of the future” is the slogan of Innovation Origins, and that’s just what we will highlight with our Start-up of the Week column. Over the past few days, five start-ups of the day have been featured and on Saturday we will choose the week’s winner.
We shall consider various issues such as sustainability, developmental phase, practical application, simplicity, originality and to what extent they are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of UNESCO. They will all pass by here and at the end of the week, the Start-Up of the Week will be announced. Moreover, our weekly winners may be awarded another prize. Because at the end of each calendar month, our readers, together with the editors of IO, will select the Start-up of the Month!
Future Mobility Solutions – Simcity for optimal traffic flow
Anyone who has ever played Simcity or Cities Skylines faces a major challenge at some point. The roads are hit with chaos, congestion and traffic jams when your city population reaches a significant number.
As a matter of fact, this happens in real life. Traffic experts are constantly working on streamlining traffic flow in cities as efficiently as possible. Productivity is adversely affected every minute that a vehicle is stuck in a traffic jam. And it’s obviously not much fun for road users either. The German team behind Future Mobility Solutions wants to work with virtual cities in order to find the optimal solutions for urban mobility.
They have designed an urban simulation platform where new ideas can be tested out. Checking if a potential investment of millions of euros will lead to improved traffic circulation in practice is, of course, more than welcome. The focus herein is not solely on the car, but also on all present and future motorists who form, in a sense, an entire ecosystem that is connected with everything and one another.
Unifly – Air traffic control for drones
Air traffic must comply with all kinds of strict rules and regulations to keep the airspace safe. These regulations are there for a reason and ensure that fewer accidents happen. However, in recent years a new member has joined the aviation ranks. One without a pilot in a cockpit and who doesn’t always abide by the rules. We are referring to drones, which are increasingly being used for a variety of purposes.
Unifly maintains that drones must comply with air traffic regulations too. Since 2014, Unifly has been keeping the airspace safe around Antwerp Airport. They have introduced a type of license plate and tracking system for unmanned aircraft. This is a relief for everyone. ‘Old-fashioned’ aviation is no longer plagued by ‘drone anarchy.’ And drone pilots now know where they stand, without having to fear that their equipment will be confiscated or shredded by a Boeing’s engine.
APICBEAM – A screen without a monitor
With confidence verging on certainty, we daresay that you are viewing this article on a screen. Either on a small monitor or a large one. As far as APICBEAM is concerned, the era of the physical gogglebox may well be coming to an end after more than one hundred years.
This German start-up wants to use holograms to create digital displays and animations that can be seen all around you. In other words: you transform your entire immediate environment into a screen without using a monitor. These holographic images are not just static but are also able to show movement.
In any event, advertisers are already enthusiastic. They can hardly wait to use holograms to market their merchandise to unsuspecting passers-by.
Woon Duurzaam – Sustainability without unsustainable costs
The energy transition is a reality. So, as a consequence, many households will have to become more climate-neutral. This transition should take place progressively more over the next decade. Former PvdA (Labour Party) leader Diederik Samson irked a lot of people when he said that a sustainable heat pump ‘costs just €10,000.’
Through his start-up Woon Duurzaam, Rense van Dijk wants to make it clear that sustainability does not necessarily have to be expensive. He was shocked by the number of doomsday scenarios that were being touted in the media. That’s why he wants to get the real story out there.
Homeowners can install energy-saving measures step by step in their homes with the help of his tailor-made deals. Within five years, 10,000 households should have ‘gotten rid of gas’ this way. Nonetheless, whether biased reporting will subsequently also disappear into the history books remains to be seen …
Hawa Dawa – Fine particle radar
Fine particles are anything but a fine thing for city dwellers. In fact, this invisible air pollution has lowered the life expectancy of many urbanites by several years. Of course, you can measure air quality on various criteria with certain equipment, yet Hawa Dawa takes a broader and more coordinated approach. They have designed a system whereby the quality of city air can be seen at a glance on a map. This information is also updated in real time.
The Munich-based start-up uses a network of measurement units. The resulting data is linked to external factors such as weather conditions. This is comparable to a kind of weather vane for air quality. Authorities can then take appropriate action on a local level when excessive levels of toxins are found in the air via this data.
Hawa Dawa solves a burgeoning problem as more and more people live in cities. This in turn has led to a vicious circle of increasing air pollution and a greater risk to public health. Making an invisible problem visible in real-time means that governments can take proper measures to protect their citizens. This start-up has the potential to save lives over the long term. That’s why we at IO believe that Hawa Dawa more than deserves our Start-Up of the Week incentive prize!