None of our choices for who to watch this month (aside from our first) are incredibly well-known in the wearables game — but that’s is precisely what we believe is going to change change. The following players are only beginning to make waves in the industry, which we are certain will lead to tsunamis (in the best possible way).
From the Google Self-Driving Car to software that allows you to customize your smart home down to the smallest detail, below are the 5 people you need to know about in July.
Sebastian Thrun, CEO of Udacity + Google Engineer
Aside from being a genius, Sebastian Thrun is a jack-of-all-trades. He is the CEO of Udacity, where millions of students have taken online courses and earned accredited degrees. He is a research professor at Stanford University, having previously been the director of the Artifical Intelligence lab there. He also co-invented Google Street View (you may have heard of it). But the reason Thrun is on our list is his role as the lead engineer on the Google Self-Driving Car project, which has been making headlines lately due to the fact that it’s so cool — and there’s bound to be some sort of wearable connectivity once it’s fully baked.
Adam Tilton, Co-Founder of Rithmio
Rithmio is the world’s leading gesture recognition program. The most unique aspect of the software is its versatility and multi-function application; As Steven Holmes of Intel mentions, “Real-time analytics for user-specific physical activities represents a potential game-changing technology for fitness, physical therapy, and rehabilitation applications.”
Adam Tilton and partner Prashant Mehta just helped their company raise $3 million in investments, positioning it to be a game-changing software — literally.
Cees Links, Founder + CEO of GreenPeak Technologies
GreenPeak Technologies is a Netherlands-based company that provides products for ZigBee, an industry leader in IoT and smart home tech. Since IoT is on the tip of everyone’s tongue as a growing industry with buy-in from all the big wigs (Amazon, Apple, and Samsung, to name a few), we felt it important to include a little-known company that is changing the game by providing software compatible with both IoT and smart home devices.
“Both ZigBee and Thread will be dominant in the Smart Home and IoT” says Cees Links. “In order to support both communication technologies, the new [chipset] supports the two protocols in a single QFN package thereby offering a future-proof, low-cost, small footprint, single chip solution.”
Jay Sales, Innovation Strategy + Co-Head of The Shop at VSP Global
Jay Sales helped found The Shop at eye care mogul VSP Global, an innovation lab that produced Product Genesis. Project Genesis is an activity tracking eyewear prototype. What makes it stand out, however, is that it looks so good — a far cry from the fairly hideous and failed Google Glass.
The lab is already working on its second prototype; think sensors to measure vitals, assess stress, posture, gait, and hundreds of other functions. “We’ve established a platform—a wearable platform that we can start to branch off of,” says Sales. “There are many different aspects of where we can go in the future.”
Ville Ylläsjärvi, Vice President + Co-Founder of Thingsee
You probably haven’t heard of Thingsee, but it certainly is worth keeping an eye out for. The Finnish startup surpassed its $100,000 Kickstarter goal with the development of a device aimed at programming home appliances. What makes it so different from any other IoT platform though are the multitude and diversity of its sensors, aimed at measuring a myriad of variables depending on the device’s purpose.
“Just give Thingsee One a purpose of your own by choosing from a variety of tasks ranging from simply following the temperature and humidity, to keeping up with your kid’s driving habits or setting it up to monitor your boat’s movements,” states the Kickstarter page.
By creating software allowing you to customize your own smart home device based on your individual needs, Thingsee is giving other IoT companies a run for their money.