The culturally rich island of yummy street food, bubble tea and mega Chinese pop stars is also brimming with innovative tech ideas
The island of Taiwan is renowned for many things: bubble tea stores in every corner, cheap mouth-watering street food, warm and friendly folks, and a rich hive of cultural arts and music.
Its tech scene, however, is far less prominent, with smartphone brand HTC — which has been embattled with problems recently — its most recognisable feature. The startup scene is trying to finding its legs, and angel investors are still wary of it.
This does not necessarily spell doom and gloom for the aspiring tech innovators of Taiwan. Some have taken to online platforms such as Indiegogo to crowdfund their projects.
Here are four who could use your spare change:
Tech-enabled lavatories aka bidet toilets are not exactly new. They have, in fact, been commonplace in Japanese households and toilets. You can push a button to warm your seat, or another button for a low pressure jet of water to clean your behind.
Meitangua wants to take this technology to the next level by integrating your smartphone with your bidet toilet. Sync your smartphone with the toilet through its app and you can control functions such as the flush or water rinsing mode using personalised voice commands. Currently its voice recognition system is available for only the English and Chinese languages.
You can also use the app to set the seat warming time and water temperature. It has even a specific female cleaning mode, although the details on it are vague (a lady would probably know better).
Besides its techie aspects, Meitangua is able to customise the toilet seats for each customer to make sure they are the right ergonomic fit for them.
For many people who take their smartphones into the toilet to catch up on social media or to read, this product would be a great addition to your household; just don’t drop your phone into the product.
This campaign raised US$30,739 about six days ago, exceeding its funding goal by two per cent.
Many of us tune into music while we exercise. There are a plethora of earphones designed specifically for sports, some are even suited for diving, so what’s the big deal about Beker?
Well, for a start, Beker is not an earpiece. It is in fact, a band that fits around your head. Using its bone conduction system, sounds are transmitted via the skull and not through ear buds. It can also withstand up to three metres of water.
While the jury is still out on the sound quality, this headband mini-boombox is tackling a few annoyances earphone users face.
Firstly, earbuds can get real dirty easily, especially when you are exercising. Now you don’t want to be sticking in the same pair of earphones deep into your ears after it has accumulated enough sweat to fill a bathtub, would you? Secondly, if you are jogging or cycling, you might not want to completely block out the surrounding noise because of the potential dangers around you. You could be cruising down on your mountain bike, banging your head to Pearl Jam, and be blissfully unaware of the out-of-control 18 wheeler hurling towards you because your earbuds are preventing you from hearing it.
You don’t have to worry about Beker making your head heavy either. It is fairly lightweight at 34 grams. In addition, it can store up to 1,000 mp3s and has a battery life of eight hours.
The campaign has raised US$15,485 so far, hitting 44 per cent of goal with 18 days left on the calendar.
The iTOMO-cup is a barebones smart cup that has two simple objectives — to remind you to stay hydrated and to help you keep track of the temperature of your beverage.
It sends out hourly reminders with a beep sound and has an electronic sensor with temperature readings on the side (although it could have definitely added a more specific range of numbers).
The iTOMO-cup is powered by three AAA batteries and it can last for up to three months. This, however, does raise the question on whether it’s safe to drink from the cup in first place and whether degradation will cause it to be toxic.
iTOMO claims that unlike many other smart cups which use plastic, its high quality porcelain material ensures its cups are toxin-free and eco-friendly.
At US$29, this device would be a great Christmas gift. After all, one can never have too many cups in the kitchen.
The campaign has not been funded yet, but with any luck, it should be able to hit its relatively low US$2,000 goal with ease with 19 days left on the calendar.
Go fund it now! Time for some last minute Christmas shopping!
According to GlucoGenius, there are two things diabetics could do a lot less without — getting their blood drawn and buying consumables to test their blood sugar level.
But how do you test blood without actually analysing uh…blood?
First, a user has to input personal data such as age, gender and weight. GlucoGenius then uses a series of algorithm and leverages on Big data, pulling in analyses from various sources — “environmental temperature and humidity/body surface temperature and humidity/oxygen saturation/hemoglobin/blood flow velocity/pulse”. The information is then displayed on a smartphone app.
It takes only a minute for this device to measure your blood level and no blood pinching involved.
Buyers beware though, GlucoGenius touts itself as a “health and wellness product, used for self-management”. God forbid you ditch your doctor’s regular checkup over this US$650 device.
The campaign has raised only US$650, far below its goal of US$650,000, with 24 days left on the calendar.
Also Read: 5 high-profile crowdfunding failures of 2015
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