”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 de 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.
For the Dutch, cycling is the most normal thing in the world. Apparently, we are a pretty innovative people when it comes to this. More and more entrepreneurs from all over the world are recognizing the advantages which two wheelers have to offer. Cycling is green, healthy and prevents traffic jams in urban areas as well as emissions of harmful substances. On top of that, you’re free to go wherever you want. Well, except in Amsterdam …
Folding bikes have been around for some time now and in 2019, even an electric bike doesn’t really trigger us anymore at Innovation Origins. Neveretheless, the Austrian couple Valentin Vodev and Valerie Wolff have proven that a combination of these existing ideas can indeed be a veritable Egg of Columbus. They developed the ultimate urban folding bike, called Vellobike. What is it that makes it so “ultimate”? It recharges itself, is ultra-light, is comfortable to ride and is – at least according to its makers – very easy to fold and unfold.
Are you a man taller than 1.95 metres and is your height still the same as when you were 18? No? Me neither … Yet you may have noticed that people vary in size, length and width quite a lot. Of course, ready-to-wear sizes have been included for this purpose, but in practice this means that clothes are almost a good fit for everyone, but not completely.
How cool would it be if every piece of clothing you have, fitted exactly like a tailor-made outfit which has been meticulously fitted by a tailor who took measurements of you which you didn’t even know you had? Pretty cool, that’s what people at the start-up True Size believe. By using algorithms, this start-up wants to cause a revolution. The ambitious initiator envisions it all: consumers with their exact measurements on their smartphone and a range of shops that speak the same language. In the clothing store of the future, will you have to hold an app up to a scanner, type in your preferences, step on a conveyor belt, get clothes fitted by robot arms and leave the building in a completely new and perfectly-fitting outfit? Who knows!
At Ciclogreen they do not believe in punishing undesirable behaviour, but in rewarding good behaviour. The bicycle once again plays a prominent role in this, and the idea is not from the Netherlands. This time it’s from Spain. The idea is very simple – for every meter that a user of this app keeps their car off the road, they receive points. Where in the past you could save points by eating, drinking or consuming wherever possible, you now score them by choosing as many ‘sustainable mobility options’ as possible. So, that means cycling, carpooling, walking or electric skateboards.
These points can be exchanged for discounts on yoga classes, vertical gardens, bicycle parts and clothing, depending on the city you are in. By seeking out coopreation with the business community and local authorities, creator and leader Gregorio Toral thinks that traffic hassles are a thing of the past and that CO2 emissions can be drastically reduced. This makes cities more inhabitable, where residents exercise more and where children can once more play on the streets. A kind of green AirMiles, so to speak, but for cleaner air and without eco-footprint-increasing holiday flights.
Kepler Vision Technologies
There is a saying that prevention is better than cure, although in the case of health care, this likely involves quite a bit of effort on the part of nursing staff. As there is already a glaring shortage of nurses, this is not actually feasible. However, even this process can be automated by algorithms and cameras. Sort of like what the Chinese government is doing on a social scale, but not linked to a points system that can get you into a lot of trouble. These Amsterdammers are actually using this technology for more noble purposes.
The AI doctors at Kepler Vision Technologies from Amsterdam keep an eye on senior citizens and are able to use algorithms to see when something is not right. Has walking suddenly become more difficult for that particular older person, are they sneaking a cigarette, or have they stopped eating? This could indicate health problems. In that case, the system triggers an alarm so that a doctor or nurse can respond in time. This means that personnel can be spared and medical conditions are able to be detected at an early stage. With a whole generation of baby boomers approaching seventy years of age, this smart system is likely to become hugely popular in the near future ..
Innovations in healthcare are not only available for the last stage of life, but also for the earliest. Our Start-up of the Week is from Poland, aims to help deliver as many healthy babies into the world as possible. How do they do this? Using a portable device and a smart app, a pregnant woman can monitor the condition of her unborn child at any time. This already exists, current medical data does not really provide the average mother-to-be with much information.
At Nestmedic, however, this data is forwarded to a team of external medical professionals. This allows you, wherever you are, whenever you want, to check on your baby. If nothing is wrong, you will automatically receive a reassuring text message. If something is wrong, then immediate action is taken, such as calling an ambulance or in less acute cases, making an appointment with a doctor. Nestmedic has already prevented a baby from suffocating itself when the umbilical cord stretched around its neck.
Innovation that saves lives, that’s worth a Start Up of the Week award! A critical note: the Nestmedic equipment is intended purely for pregnancies and offers no advice at all to control freaks or hypochondriacs. They’ll still have to go to an “analog” psychologist …
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