Ontario’s startup community has never been stronger than it is today. Every day we are hearing about local startups raising funding or being acquired by tech giants like Google. There are some incredibly talented and creative people developing some amazing things in Ontario, and this year there’s three companies we’re keeping a close eye on: Thalmic Labs based out of Kitchener, Kiwi Wearables from Toronto, and Whirlscape from Toronto…
Thalmic Labs – Toronto
It is rather difficult to watch the demo video of what Thalmic Labs’ Myo is and what potential applications it has and not be intrigued. The Myo essentially takes your real world movements and applies them to virtual applications such as your computer, video games, and other devices. It does this through a combination of biometrics, gyroscopes and accelerometers. Some applications include controlling remote control vehicles, adjusting video and sound, and generally just making both work and play more fluid. Available in early 2014, preorders for the Myo device are on now for $149.
Kiwi Wearables – Toronto
It weighs about an ounce, can clip to any part of your clothing or body, and purports to being the ultimate piece of wearable technology – offering insights into your lifestyle and daily activities. The Kiwi Move by Toronto based Kiwi Wearables has a 5-day rechargeable battery, and comes with built in accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, barometer, thermometer and microphone. After connecting to your smartphone you can track all sorts of personal insight and information, but not only that, you can use it to create movement gestures to control home devices or even use your voice to take notes and control applications. The Kiwi Move is slated for release in July 2014, and you can preorder now for $99.
Whirlscape – Toronto
Typing continues to take up a large slice of real estate on the screens of our smartphones; the only solution to date has been to make larger screens. This has remained constant until Minuum was originally proposed on Indiegogo 9 months ago – a minimal QWERTY keyboard that fits in a single bar yet understands and interprets every tap for lightning fast input with minimal mistakes. The campaign achieved its funding goal eight times over and Minuum beta was released during the summer. Whirlscape has now been accepted into the US accelerator Y Combinator, which has a fantastic history of taking startups to the next level. During the crowdfund campaign, they displayed the potential of Minuum as wearable communication technology with devices like the Kinect or even Google Glass, which, naturally, has us excited about its potential in 2014.