I’m going to go ahead a make a quick prediction on the start-ups that might win the LeWeb competition this year. This is exclusively based on their webpage, my understanding of what they’re trying to do (sometimes quite liberal understanding), and the WOW factor they have.
I’m declaring Agents of Present the winner of this year’s competition. As far as I’ve seen, they mix fashion design with new tech materials like leds and sensors to bring a new dimension to the retail industry. It’s an industry I’ve been watching closely, where you can see some pretty amazing things like the works of fellow Sandboxer. She designs outfits with leds that are sync with the music that’s being played. The tech is mainly used by popular music groups like Black Eyed Peas or even Madonna.
The one prototype Agents of Present has unveiled, marries the same concepts but instead of a music analyzer, it has a heart rate monitor. It essentially pulsates light at the same frequency as the person wearing it. The video is beautiful and it has, by far, the biggest WOW factor of all the start-ups in the competition. The only way they wouldn’t win would be by delivering a terrible presentation on stage. Something I hope doesn’t happens. The product is simple and yet beautiful. It allows imagination fly. Imagine you are talking to a girl wearing that dress and it starts pulsating faster? Ahhh I would have so much fun!
The other runner up is Jini. The problem with Jini is that, it’s a pretty battered niche. We’ve seen many products trying to fix this problem. A problem, I’m not even sure enough people have. The Jini proposition stroke me as slightly different due to the fact that they don’t need me to tell the app anything. The app tracks my behavior, including the use of the accelerometer, and suggests things to do when I really need it. The proposition is powerful enough to drag me in, but I’m still very skeptical about the solution and how it would work. If they deliver a great WOW presentation, they might have a good chance of snatching the crown.
Finally but not least, wiMAN is an interesting concept. They have a huge handicap which is called Fon. Anyone that knows Fon will undoubtedly render them a clone. The interesting concept in my opinion is the social media sign on process. If I can track the behavior and who is connecting to my wifi and learn about my customers, it can probably be a fantastic incentive for me to open the WiFi to anyone. The big question is, how are they going to prevent other players from implementing the same solution? Specially when the solution itself isn’t groundbreaking and it’s easily replicated. If they give very good answers to these questions, they might reach the top 3.
I specially like Qunb. Being a huge data junkie myself, I’ve spent hours roaming through national statistics bureues of several countries looking for the right number. Each of them has a different format, it’s hard to find the right number and then it’s nearly impossible to cross reference and correlate them with inputs from other places. These guys seem to be working on solving this problem which is a painful one. Not sure if there is enough people with the issue and how much would they be willing to pay, but the concept definitely resonates with me. My only drawback is that they could have done a better job with the graphs. Currently there are plenty of powerful graphic modules you can use to make it coolers. They’re missing a powerful WOW element, not for a lack of date, but a lack of visual elements.
Some possible runner ups to: Touchalizer (which reminds me of MadVideo) or Intoino (which is sadly to geeky).