Category: Technology

Neofect Helps Stroke Victims Regain Control of Their Lives

With all that technology has accomplished and imagined, it’s no wonder that tech nerds and developers alike are joining forces to make the world a bit easier to go through for those who end up with the shorter stick. Technology has made phones smarter, money faster, and transportation as easy and leaning forward; one innovator, Ban Ho Young, founder of Neofect, has been working in conjunction with gaming designers and rehabilitation experts to create a product that could potentially change the daily lives of stroke victims.

A stroke happens when blood flow to a particular area of the brain is cut off and brain cells die due to the lack of oxygen. Some of the symptoms of a stroke include: numbness in the arms, legs, or face, especially on one side of the body, droopiness in the facial area including mouth or eyes (on one side as well), sudden confusion or difficulty speaking, vision problems in one or both eyes, and severe headache with no known cause. Each year about 800,000 people in the United States suffer a stroke, and rehabilitation for stroke victims or survivors varies with only about 10% of stroke victims recovering completely. Factor in another 10% needing long-term care, 25% recovering with only minor impairments, and another 40% requiring moderate or special assistance or care, and it becomes very easy to see why another form of rehabilitation may be necessary.

In South Korea, where Ban Ho Young hails, about 105,000 people suffer a stroke each year, which is small compared to the U.S.; what differs between the two is that Young has found a niche within this number of South Korean citizens who also like gaming. With advancements in gaming technology showing up almost every year it seems, it definitely makes sense that Young would reach out to some of the people behind this techno boom to help create a glove specifically designed to help stroke victims relearn essential motor skills, but in a way that’s a little more dignified and less overwhelming than traditional physical therapy.

In comes the Rapael Smart Glove, with a design reminiscent of the Nintendo Power Glove, but tailored to assist stroke patients in recovery through motion-based games. This allows the patient to not only improve their brain function (presumably through regaining their ability to use their motor skills), but regain the usage of their arms and hands as well. The patient can choose which games they’d like to play based on which area they’d like to rehab first, such as the hand. There’s even a game to help them face their palms downward and upward. There are sensors imbedded in the glove that monitor any motion from the extremities, and there’s an accompanying app (Rapael Smart Rehabilitation System) that can analyze data or keep track of the training progress.

So far, only about 20 units have been shipped out to some of the top medical facilities in South Korea. However, Young hopes that the Rapeal Smart Glove will be available to consumers some time next year. To rent the glove would be about $85.00 USD and considering how difficult healthcare can be, that’s a pretty big deal! It’s not yet available in the United States, but something tells me, we’re not too far off from receiving this life-changing technology sooner than we think. Check out the video below to see the Rapael in action!

 

 

 

Prince Set the Bar High for Music Subscription Services

Many things in life can leave you in a devastating daze, and you always feel as if there’s no way this could happen.

That’s exactly how it felt as news of the incomparable Prince’s passing rang truer by the hour, it felt like I got punched in the gut. Nobody I knew could really believe it, most refusing to do so. I remember telling my mother, “I forgot you can’t get his music electronically.” She’s an 80s baby, so she’s got everything already – lucky her!

However if you were a part of the NPG Music Club (named after Prince’s band, New Power Generation) between 2001 and 2006, you were among the 400,000 Prince devotees who were treated to new music and exclusives like soundcheck passes. Prince didn’t just want to share his music with his fans, he wanted to share in their lives and foster relationships where people could come together to enjoy his artistry.

During the beginning, fans could use choose between a basic monthly subscription option (like current poplar music streaming services like Apple Music) that cost $7.77 a month and an annual Premium option that cost $100 a year. With the Basic option, users had access to three songs new with music videos and free 1 hour radio show featuring Prince and his band. Premium subscribers were treated to features like access to concert seats and passes to afterparties. They even got a free copy of Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic album mailed to them. When his subscribers began voicing their opinions about the amount of traffic in the ticket portion of the service and not receiving the exclusive, membership was subsequently lowered to $2.50 a month or $25 for a lifetime subscription.

Unfortunately for all of us now, the site has since been closed down with Prince feeling that he took the service “as far as it can go” after five years of bringing artist and fan together like never before. It remains to be seen if current music streaming and subscription services will take a play out of Prince’s handbook and try to recreate the experienced he pioneered.

But then again, we’re talking about Prince here.; the man, the myth, the Purple Legend.

 

fitCapture Wants to Change How You Consume Fashion

Let’s be honest, we’ve all had our days where an outfit we had on was just too good – almost for no reason. And in the age of sharing (or oversharing, as some feel) and fashion-blogging, there’s never been a more perfect time for a social network dedicated to fashion.

Sure, sites like Chictopia and Lookbook exist and are incredibly popular but they don’t do quite what fitCapture, a fashion-based social network, does. Founded in March of 2015, fitCapture allows its users to track and view trending fashion around the globe. A feature like this is incredibly important in the ever-changing climate of the fashion industry and makes it possible to really stay on top of the latest trends, colors, and styles.

fit capture logo

fitCapture also allows users to connect with each other; models looking for work, photographers looking to expand their portfolio, designers looking to get their start in the industry all have a place here and can collaborate with one another. Earlier this year, in April, fitCapture hosted their very first event, A Night of Opulence, held in Greensboro, NC. The event provided an opportunity for designers and fashion lovers alike to come together and showcase their artistic talents. It also provided an opportunity for these people to network with one another after the show and highlighted the features of the fitCapture app.

screengrabFC

If you’re interested in a community where you can not only keep in touch with other up-and-comers like yourself or track fashion from around the world, then fitCapture is the app you need to download ASAP. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with the latest news and exclusives!

 

7 Most Creative New Ways of Making Money in 2015

Successful companies have more than a great concept; they also execute with style.

That’s the case for many businesses on this year’s Inc. 5000 list, which tallies America’s fastest-growing private companies between 2011 and 2014. However, seven of them, which range from programmatic advertising to retail, really stood out–in part for putting a creative spin on age-old business models. Collectively, the companies below rang in nearly $125 billion in revenue and grew by a whopping 68,665 percent since 2011.

Read on to see, in greater detail–and in no particular order–why these companies caught our eye.

Boyce Technologies employs a drove of talent, from designers to engineers to former doormen.

1. Boyce Technologies

Inc. 5000 rank: 172
2014 Revenue: $24.1 million
3-year growth rate: 2,442 percent

Charles Boyce deals in the grizzly details of mass transit: His eight-year-old company manufactures subway parts, including emergency response systems and communication technologies. Significantly, Boyce takes care of the manufacturing itself, and it puts teams from varied (and, often, creative) sectors to work.

“Normally, a system’s integration company would take on a manufacturing role and go to each manufacturer for materials,” Boyce tells Inc. New York City-based Boyce Technologies instead designs everything itself, sourcing its own materials (lenses, metals, circuit board, for example) rather than going to a third party. This allows the company to cut costs significantly. “We have good profit margins because we don’t have subcontractors,” he says.

That’s not all that Boyce Technologies does differently–it also makes a point of hiring workers from varied, sometimes completely unrelated backgrounds. Boyce’s own door porter, for instance, is now his “No. 1” (best) employee. Other key hires include software engineers, CNC programmers, field technicians, and designers. Boyce counted 60 total employees at the time of application.

Tatcha founder Vicky Tsai travels frequently to Japan to gather inspiration from the rituals of geisha.

2. Tatcha

Inc. 5000 rank: 21
2014 Revenue: $12 million
3-year growth rate: 10,996 percent

“We believe that old school is the new cool,” says Tatcha founder and CEO Vicky Tsai. The San Francisco-based beauty and cosmetics company says it doesn’t want to copy the Avons or the Macs of the world: For design inspiration, Tsai is looking further back, and much farther East.

“When I study companies that I want to emulate, they are often 200-year-old companies in Japan that have become best in class at what they do through relentless focus on perfecting their craft and continuing to surprise and delight their clients,” Tsai explains. To that end, she frequently travels to Japan, where she meets with geisha to learn their styles, and to apply those to her business. The core collection is a “modern reincarnation of the geisha’s ritual,” which means that Tatcha makes a point of avoiding stereotypical trends.

It’s worth noting that the company has an in-house R&D and teaching group, which regularly develops new formulas for products, as opposed to relying on stock recipes.

Social Print Studio lets you print out your Instagram photos from your smartphone.

3. Social Print Studio

Inc. 5000 rank: 66
2014 revenue:  $6.4 million
3-year growth rate: 4,181 percent

Social Print Studio (listed as Toad Murphy) co-founders George Sylvain and Benjamin Lotan are leveraging the power of social media for the tangible world.

The San Francisco-based company (formerly, Prinstagram) lets users print photos directly from their smartphones, through Instagram as well as saved iPhotos.

Although Sylvain explains that smartphone printing is where the majority of revenues come from, the two also launched an affiliated creative agency: They go to events and print photos for high-profile clients, such as Chevrolet and ESPN. Other services include “space selfies” (they mount a drone onto a camera which, coupled with satellite imagery, can show clients where on earth they’re located in real time.)

The team, which included 24 employees total at the time of application, recently built out their own brick-and-mortar studio in San Francisco’s trendy SoMa neighborhood.

Noonday Collection partners with 30 businesses and employs a network of 1,000 U.S. ambassadors to help create jobs for artisans in the developing world.

4. Noonday Collection

Inc. 5000 rank: 45
2014 revenue: $11.8 million
3-year growth rate: 5,512 percent

This is not your average fashion brand: Noonday Collection‘s business model is both socially conscious and lucrative. Unlike similar companies–such as Olivia Wilde’s Conscious Commerce, for instance, or Hugh Jackman’s Laughing Man Coffee & Tea–Noonday doesn’t tout a celebrity to help pull in funds.

To make money, Noonday partners with over 30 artisan businesses in 13 countries across the developing world (its primary supplier is India). What makes this unique? It pays its partner businesses half of the cost of labor up front. Then, once completed, wares are sold off in trunk shows via Noonday’s network of around 1,000 U.S. “ambassadors.” Ambassadors are mostly small-business owners, who earn a commission of around 20 to 30 percent per sale.

Jessica Honegger launched Noonday in 2010, when she met two jewelry designers in Uganda while completing the adoption of her son, Jack. Today, the Austin-based business is a member of the Fair Trade Federation, meaning that it sets prices so that the workers in developing countries will earn a standard, livable wage.

Krossover Technologies founder Vasu Kulkarni wasn’t destined to be a professional basketball player– so he launched a software company to edit game footage instead.

5. Krossover Technologies

Inc. 5000 rank: 158
2014 revenue: $4.2 million
3-year growth rate: 2,494 percent

The sports industry may be booming, but when it comes to editing video footage–for clients like athletes, coaches, and fawning parents–the market is relatively untapped.

Enter Krossover Technologies, a six-year-old, New York City-based software business that wants to help basketball players improve their game. Krossover’s business model works like this: Sports teams will send Krossover their game footage, which the company then evaluates across factors including possession time, game pace, and general player efficiency. It also recently developed an app, the sIQ, which can determine a given player’s “sports intelligence.”

Professional NBA teams, like the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Dolphins, are now also using Krossover’s analyses of high school players as they recruit for the coming seasons. Krossover typically charges anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000 dollars for its services, though founder Vasu Kulkarni notes that he charges the NBA teams a higher rate (he declined to discuss how much).

Kulkarni, who grew up in India, and had always dreamed of playing professional basketball in the U.S., says that Krossover has truly been a labor of love. Although not himself bound for the big leagues, “creating a career from something you love is the next best thing,”.

Drawbridge can determine how users interact with advertisements on mobile.

6. Drawbridge

Inc. 5000 rank: 6
2014 revenue: $33 million
3-year growth rate: 23,484 percent

Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan parlayed her Stanford University PhD in information theory into a mobile advertising technology business in 2010. Drawbridge, which is based in San Mateo, California, and backed by high-profile investors such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, can decrypt consumer purchasing behavior across various platforms (smartphones, tablets, desktops, etc.).

Here’s what’s unique about the business model: Unlike giants such as Google and Facebook, Drawbridge can track your consumer purchases without having a software presence on your device. In other words, it deploys its own algorithm to learn how and where you buy. The company makes money by selling its technology to marketing agencies, as well as by licensing its data to e-commerce retailers (think: Ralph Lauren, or Sunglass Hut, though Sivaramakrishnan declined to specify whether those are actual customers).

“This is a company that is foundationally tech,” Sivaramakrishnan tells Inc. “We are not a company that does consumer experience around fashion or shopping online; that’s not our DNA.”

Scopely is monetizing free-to-play games with a unique approach to advertising.

7. Scopely

Inc. 5000 rank: 10
2014 Revenue: $32 million
3-year growth rate: 19,556 percent

Culver City, California-based Scopely has a singular approach to advertising on mobile.

Scopely, which says it wants to be the “HBO of mobile games,” does marketing, analytics, and management for touchscreen game developers (whose products are otherwise free to the consumer). The company develops its own games, too. It sells that technology to its network of more than 40 million registered gamers. Scopely has developed six games, including Yahtzee With Buddies and The Walking Dead: Road to Survival, which are both among the top 25 grossing gaming apps, according to data from App Annie.

Unlike most free-to-play companies, Scopely has the ability to “leverage the creativity of independent teams all over the world, rather than relying on full-time employees,” says founder and CEO Walter Driver. Scopely sells to a network of roughly 40 million gamers, and then shares revenues with the developers themselves.

Source: Inc.com

Grasswire – Your Chance To Report News That Counts

A Year After Launch, Grasswire Is Making Changes for the Future

 

With the rise of social media, now more than ever anyone can be a reporter or a journalist. At the touch of a button we all have the power to post a video, photo, or status update detailing an event in real time. This is where Grasswire comes in.

 

Grasswire is the people’s newsroom. It is an open, crowd sourced, crowd edited news outlet. When a topic is up voted, it reaches the top of the website’s home page in the same way that Reddit works. If you see something you think is wrong, you can post a source URL for information that disproves it. Basically, it’s the solution for errors in news updates on other social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Technology is supposed to fix errors in things already made and push creativity and innovation in culture further than it’s gone thus far. Grasswire does just that.

 

A few months ago we chatted with Austen Allred, Grasswire’s Co-Founder/CEO. In our second interview with the Utah native, we talk about major changes to the site and the company’s plans for the future.

 

 

 

CJ (Cameron Jernigan): Tell me a little bit about yourself and how your life so far has led you to start Grasswire.

 

AA (Austen Allred): Yeah, so I grew up in Utah, had a pretty average childhood. I liked computers more than most people do [laughs] but nothing too crazy. Then, when I was 19, I served a Mormon mission in Eastern Ukraine for two years. I learned how to speak Russian and I rarely spoke English and I kind of just talked to people for two years. That was probably the biggest defining moment of my life, because I had never really been far away from home or learned a foreign language. Then I moved to China for a little bit, mostly because I was bored and didn’t really like college. When I was in China that was when the Arab Spring broke out.

 

I was watching that on social media since it obviously wasn’t covered very well because of Chinese media that the government controls; they didn’t want to say “Hey, look, people can overthrow their government.” It’s not the message that state run news organizations want to put across. So, as I watched it unfold on social media I saw groups formed to find verify information, it just became clear to me that was what the future of journalism is: a way for a lot of different people to gather and verify information. Hopefully producing something that is really interesting and newsworthy.

 

CJ: In your last interview with Infinite, Grasswire was about a month old at that time, how has it changed since then? Going from being a commodity for a month to almost a year, what are any major changes you’ve made to the site and the system?

AA: There are a couple of really big things we learned. So when we had the idea for Grasswire, we had this really big system, how everything would work, all these decisions would be made and all these algorithms; exciting stuff. Then we got the community to come on the site and use it. What we found was that the community was basically abusing the system to make the site look the way they wanted it to look.

 

CJ: I was going to ask about that. That could happen pretty easily, given the freedom and power users have.

 

AA: Exactly. Right now, everything, well what goes to the top, is decided by up votes and so the community would pretty quickly have a consensus on what the top story should be. We have a little Slack channel that everyone’s in, and they’d say “Hey, lets vote this one up cause it’s the best!” and now we’re realizing, that thing that we thought would be cool is actually turning into a big hindrance. The next version that will be rolling out deviates from that. We trust the community to do what’s right and we’re giving them the tools to do so. Everything will be simple, and everyone will have control over what happens. I’m sure there will be battles or disagreements, but by and large were trusting the community to do what’s right.

 

CJ: When I first tried out the site, I realized that it was a very realistic possibility for people’s biases to turn the up vote system into a negative thing.

 

AA: Basically when we came up with the idea, we saw a steakhouse. Everyone is sitting down at the table eating their steak. Everyone has a knife, so they can kill people. We obviously don’t want people to kill anyone [laughs], so it’s sort of like chaining the knife to the table is what we’ re trying to do. They’re awful to use, but at the end of the day you just have to trust people to not kill each other.

 

CJ: Has there ever been a big story to break and someone on the site got it completely wrong? Does that happen often?

 

AA: Almost everyday, there’s some misinformation. That’s not always the reporter’s fault, its just sometimes there’s no one to report on it. Like this morning, someone said that the Turkish Army crossed into Syria to fight ISIS. Turkey denies it, Syria says it’s happening. We haven’t had any really good photo or video so, who do you trust? Nobody. So the report states what everyone says and we’ll let you know what happens when we have more information. A lot of news organizations make the mistake of saying things about countries or people discrediting them. That’s a dangerous game to be playing.

 

CJ: You stated in the last interview that the goal of Grasswire is to “democratize news.” Has that goal changed?

 

AA: I think the goal remains the same. There’s one other change we’ve made to help get there. It seems antithetical to that goal but its not. That is that we’ve hired a couple of professional reporters. We didn’t do that because we don’t trust the community or we’re giving up on our vision. Now there are professionals who can help our users’ visions and know what best practices of journalism are.

 

CJ: New staff hires?

 

AA: When I talked to you guys last, we had 3 people. Now there’s a team of 7 and a couple freelancers on top of that. 3 programmers, a designer, and a couple of reporters.

 

CJ: Any competition?

 

AA: Every other news site ever, but the closest thing is probably Infobitt. They’re vaguely similar, crowd sourced news. Storyful, who just got bought by NewsCorp is similar also. They use crowd-sourced news, but not really competition.

 

 

Grasswire is your chance to put the power of news reporting in your own hands. Take a second and download Grasswire onto your mobile advice now. It’s your opportunity to spread the news that account.

Apple Seeks to Change Streaming Music, Rivaling Spotify

Apple users, rejoice! Today is the day the tech company launched a keynote to discuss and unveil its latest endeavor, Apple Music. Designed to rival current popular music subscription & streaming applications like Spotify and Tidal, Apple Music will be available to users June 30th, 2015, allowing them to sign up for a free trial period of three months, before the subscription charge of $9.99 a month for an individual plan or $14.99 for a family plan (for up to 6 people) kicks in. Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 5.46.48 PM

Amongst some of the most important aspects and features of Apple Music is Connect, a way to discover music, snippets, behind-the-scenes action, candid photos, and much more from your favorite artists, from major labels to unsigned hype. Hip-hop and R&B giant, Drake, was at today’s WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) keynote to discuss Connect and what it means for Apple. In a surprise twist of fate, the crooner announced that his next album will be released via Apple Music and its Connect feature. Users can even comment on posts and artists can respond directly, so no more waiting by your phone hoping you’ll get a Twitter notification that Juicy J saw and actually responded to your tweet. The video below is Drake’s portion of the keynote.

In addition to being able to see rare info and footage from all the artists you know and love, Apple Music becomes one with iTunes. That means, everything you’ve already got saved to your iTunes library on your phone will still be available with the added bonus of being able to discover music new and old right within the same app. With its enhanced search engine, Apple Music will be able to remember things like local or Apple Music library searches, and improved integration with Siri means you’ll be able to ask her just about anything, from playing a specific song to playing all the top songs from 2001 (or whichever decade you choose). Users will also be able to listen, download, and stream music from other company playlists like Shazam, Pitchfork, and Rolling Stone Magazine. Apple Radio also gets a makeover with Beats 1, a live  24/7 broadcast from cities around the globe, you’ll be able to hear the same amazing music listeners in London are currently enjoying.

With the membership, you get the added benefit of skipping as many tracks as you’d like, much like competitors such as Pandora or Spotify. You’ll be able to save music and playlists for offline enjoyment, save content from Connect, and even add more Apple Music content to your current library. The Discover feature allows you to find music just about anywhere in any genre for any reason. And just like everything else Apple, you’ll be able to listen to and enjoy Apple Music on all of your iOS devices. Even Android users will be able to love Apple Music, though the features for them will be limited to paying members only. The Android version is expected to be released in the fall. Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 5.46.24 PM

This could be a huge step for Apple,  and I’m personally excited, mainly  because this will alleviate the need for  me to have multiple music  applications on my phone. I currently  have 805 songs stored in my library,  Spinrilla, Youtube, and Spotify; for  me, Apple Music is going to be a great  way to free up some space on my  phone and not have to switch between different applications because I may have one song or album on one and a whole other set of songs or albums on another. And instead of paying subscription fees to multiple services (which – face it – can add up every month), I can pay one fee for one service and get all the music and content my little eyes and ears can handle.

Only 22 more days until Apple Music is released, and I’m already making a list of albums, songs, and artists I need to follow ASAP! Check out highlights from today’s keynote here or watch the film or the TV ad and see what all the hype is about!

 

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25 Years of Photoshop

To celebrate the tool that has helped shape creativity, artists from all over the world contributed their most amazing dreams—and their working files with layers.

These PSDs were then animated layer by layer to create a film made in Photoshop. Courtesy of Adobe.

 

 

[schema type=”product” url=”www.adobe.com” name=”Adobe Photoshop” brand=”Adobe” manfu=”Adobe” ]

 

Find Your Creative Space With Breather

We all need a comfortable space to create and improve. With so many of us opting for bigger metropolitan areas to find opportunity, it’s hard to find a space to be with our own thoughts sometimes. Beyond that, many of us are freelancers and entrepreneurs who need places to focus. Those co-working spaces usually have a monthly fee we don’t have the extra cash for. With the Breather app, finding a relaxing workspace is easier than ever before.

 

Breather is an app that follows and easy 3-step method to putting you in a creative working environment for as long as you need it. The first step is to reserve a space by booking it for 30 minutes or even for an entire day. The second step is to check in with an easy tap on your phone. You’ll get a PIN code for your reservation and charged for the length of your booking, starting as low as $15 per hour.

 

The last step is to make yourself at home by entering the space for as long as you need it to brainstorm, collaborate with colleagues, or simply to get away for the day. You also have the option to extend your stay if necessary. The app itself is completely free in the App Store and the Google Play Store. Spaces are available in Montreal, San Francisco, Ottawa, New York, and Boston. Visit breather.com to browse some of the spaces and get more information.