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Innovation Lab: Hologram Displays, Instant Meal Makers and Flying Phones

Tim Maytom

At Mobile Marketing we're proud to help tech companies showcase their cutting-edge solutions; the Startup Showcase at our Mobile Marketing Summits gives a platform to those companies, and brings audiences one step closer to ideas and developments that are breaking new ground in the market.


In that spirit, our Innovation Lab feature takes a step beyond the world of apps, ads and handsets with slightly bigger screens, in order to share some of the tech world's innovative ideas. They might be interesting, disruptive or just outright strange, but these are the stories that have caught our eye over the past week.

Holographic Display Startup Wants to Inspire Artists



According to hologram startup Voxon, we are on the cusp of holographic entertainment and communication technology becoming a mainstream phenomena, and it is hoping to encourage artists and engineers to experiment with the format using its VoxieBox device.

The creation places volumetric representations of items onto a 3D grid, creating light sculptures that can move around by using emitters that work at very high speeds. This creates the illusion of a 3D object, which can be viewed from all angles, whether the viewer is moving or stationary.

According to the designers, the devices is like Lego meets 3D-printing with light, and the project is currently seeking funding on IndieGoGo to provide a display that can be shared by the artistic community in New York, enabling them to integrate holographic elements into exhibitions and performances.

"A cross between sculpture and video – we've developed a new vessel for story telling, for picture making, for expressing what may never have been possible to share before – and now we invite you to take it from here – because art matters," said Sean Kean, co-founder of Voxon.

Star Trek-inspired Appliance Creates Meals in Secondsgenie food podIt sounds like something out of science fiction, and in fact the creators admit to being inspired by the replicators in Star Trek that could create meals instantly. The Genie is a kitchen appliance that uses pods of dehydrated ingredients to create meals in around 30 seconds, with everything from ramen to chocolate soufflé available.

The meals come in pods resembling small ice cream cartons, and contain only natural ingredients, albeit freeze-dried and with a shelf life of around two years. The pods are inserted into the machine in the same manner as an Keurig-style coffee maker, then an accompanying app is used to activate the machine and produce a meal in under a minute.

The makers, White Innovation, aren't looking to replace dining out or home cooking necessarily, and will instead be targeting convenience stores, cafes and even the military. They also promoted the environmental benefits that the device could have, and its use in areas stricken with poverty or famine.

"In our world, we are getting fat and we are throwing away a lot of food; in their world, they don't have any food. So if you use Genie, you can distribute the food better, you can have the shelf life much longer without the preservatives, give the people better food for them," said Doron Marco, founder of White Innovation.

Scientists Use iPhone to Detect Blood Parasites



A team of scientists at UC Berkeley in California has adapted its existing iPhone microscope project to identify dangerous blood parasites in under three minutes, potentially revolutionising medical testing in areas where doctors and medical equipment are stretched thin.

"We previously showed that mobile phones can be used for microscopy, but this is the first device that combines the imaging technology with hardware and software automation to create a complete diagnostic solution," said Daniel Fletcher, associate chair and professor of bioengineering at UC Berkeley. "The video CellScope provides accurate, fast results that enable health workers to make potentially life-saving treatment decisions in the field."

The device will be used to diagnose Loa Loa, which, while dangerous in its own right, also prevents treatments for river blindness and elephantiasis, as medicines used to treat these two diseases can cause brain damage and even death when the patient is co-infected with Loa Loa. Public health campaigns to help combat river blindness and elephantiasis have been stalled due to this fact, so the CellScope could end up having a dramatic effect on efforts against three different diseases.

bruno smart canSmart Bin Vacuums Up Dust As You Sweep

Dustpan manufacturers beware - Bruno, a smart bin with a built-in suction slot is aiming to make sweeping your kitchen floor a much easier task by sucking up dust, dirt, pet hair and even scraps of food from in front of the bin and depositing them in its bag.

The appliance, currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, incorporates multiple sensors to detect when users are sweeping into it, and its 18v battery can last 30 days on a single charge (although probably less during the first month, as you play around with seeing what it can suck up).

The device also includes phone and wifi connectivity, notifying owners when the bag is getting full, the built-in supply of replacement bags is running low, or its rubbish collection day, as well as a motion sensing lid that can be opened hands-free.

Transform Your Phone into a Drone with the Pragmatically-named PhoneDrone



We've seen multiple drones that make use of mobile phone apps to steer and control the aerial vehicles, but PhoneDrone by xCraft goes one step further, and enables you to place your smartphone directly into the drone to record video, take photos and more.

An accompanying app for phones means the drone can be pre-programmed with instructions about how high to fly, where to go and more, or can be controlled with a second device to give you more precise control.

By relying on an existing smartphone for most of its computing power and camera, the PhoneDrone aims to eliminate a lot of the expense associated with drones that have similar capabilities, and for those worried that battery drain means their new iPhone 6 will suddenly crash to the ground from 100ft up, the drone is programmed to automatically return and land when the power starts to run out.

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