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Urban-X’s investors showcase features high-tech face masks, navigation for the blind and more



The City-X investors showcase is a closed-door occasion that exhibits off eight completely different incubated startups to potential investors and press. I finished by earlier this week to see what the fuss was about.

Of the eight companies in Urban-X’s 02 cohort, I picked 4 that tackled issues regarding air pollution, the visually impaired, city deliveries and sustaining public cleanliness: O2O2 Facewear, WearWorks, Upcycles and Sencity, respectively.

Haptic navigation for the blind

Maybe the doubtlessly life-changing of the merchandise and companies demoed at the City-X showcase is by WearWorks. Their prototype wristband is a proposed answer to GPS-based navigation for the blind and visually impaired.

Utilizing haptic suggestions, the WayBand makes use of a robust motor to present you tactile sensations about the place you might be and what route to stroll in.

WearWorks has been working with a variety of visually impaired people to check the Wayband, together with an extremely marathon runner who will probably be competing on this yr’s NYC marathon.

If the marathon take a look at proves profitable, WearWorks will start seeding more gadgets to early adopters earlier than transferring ahead with a public launch.

Modernizing the face masks

Modern facewear company O2O2 is capitalizing on what they’re calling a “multi-billion greenback business”. They’re focusing first on cities like Beijing, the place air pollution and air high quality is amongst the worst of the world’s main cities.

Oddly, O2O2 didn’t enable attendees to strive on the masks (claiming that it was solely formulated for the creators’ facial constructions for now). Nonetheless, O2O2 is promising 4 completely different facial molds at launch with customizeable modules (the unit you see above is an engineering prototype) that embrace the sensors, filters and batteries.

The best feature about the masks is that it’s doable to watch your vitals (I’m assuming that is your VO2 respiratory stats), in addition to monitoring the air high quality knowledge with a companion smartphone app.

The ensuing knowledge collected by O2O2 masks wearers can then be used to deal with the air pollution downside in a given space, together with figuring out which elements of city have the most air pollution from daily.

Simplifying city supply automobiles

The very first thing Upcycles stated on-stage is that they’re human centric and anti-robot. This piqued the curiosity of the crowd, however what really made folks curious was the Yax, a new type of urban delivery vehicle.

Designed to hold as much as 500 kilos of kit up and down tight metropolis streets, the Yax is a bizarre wanting tricycle with a flatbed. A supply particular person driving the Yax has full visibility above and round their seating place, with the capability to safe the Yax such as you would another bike.

The age of the..digital garbage can?

Maybe the most area of interest of displays got here from Sencity, with the TetraBIN. Some of Sencity’s design work has been used at embassies and malls in Australia – at heart, they are a design firm. Now they’re looking to tackle cleanliness in city streets by making trash cans interactive and visually appealing.

The TetraBIN does this with sensors, a speaker, microphone and a full LED screen wraparound, so it’s maybe the most high-tech garbage can you’ll ever see. A passerby cannot solely throw trash and get a enjoyable visible to have a look at, however ask for instructions to get a cup of espresso, or be visually guided on which of the bins to throw in recyclables and common trash.

How helpful this will probably be in a metropolis like NYC, time will inform.  My important concern with such a product is that it may get…trashed.



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