What is the name of the company and/or product? Where is it found online?
The company is called Playtabase. We make wearable bands that allow you to remotely operate electronics using gestures. If you go to www.playtabase.com, you’ll see a video of our simplest use case, activating a lamp and controlling its brightness with gesture.
What problem does this solve?
We solve the same problem as clap-activated on/off switches but with more possible commands.
Imagine, after a car accident or a stroke, you return home from the hospital with limited mobility; you’ll face a problem. Hospitals are setup to cater to the disabled; homes usually aren’t. With our device, those who are older or have limited mobility can use gesture to easily and intuitively operate appliances without having to get up. Since it’s wearable, you won’t easily lose, drop, or crack it.
It’s also fun for the lazy or people wanting to command electronics like their favorite witch or wizard.
What is the full launch/release date planned?
We’d like to see people using these in mid-to-late 2013.
Who is on the team?
What is the specific technology or combination of technologies, framework, languages, etc. that makes this thing run? Is there any IP?
We tested several ideas and did our homework. As soon as we felt we had developed something useful and cool, we sought legal advice and filed provisional patent applications.
Our device uses a combination of sensors and wireless signals. We also use a lot of C/++.
Is there a revenue model? How big is the market?
Licensing or direct sales are our two main interests.
In the US, roughly half of the 78 million strong baby boomers have both purchasing power and trends of declining health and mobility. Additionally more than 25 million Americans have some kind of ambulatory disability. We anticipate that the available American market of people likely to look at our device as a useful tool when navigating the home is between 40 & 100 million Americans.
What is your greatest strength?
Our greatest strength is our focus on developing fun and useful technology. The name ‘Playtabase’ is a combination of the words ‘play’ and ‘database’. While it represents several things to us, the name should be a sign to others and a reminder to ourselves, that we are serious about ensuring fun, enjoyable experiences for our customers, partners, and teammates no matter the activity.
What is your biggest weakness?
We’re college students, and that does take time and money, the most valuable things we can give to the company. Fortunately, this kind of crunch has made us be resourceful, focused, and reasonably swift. We’re also graduating soon, so we’re looking forward to putting even more time into the company.
What is one resource you could use that would take this to the next level?
We know this will take thrice the money and thrice the time we want it to take. An experienced partner/advisor with the connections to help us move faster to licensing and/or distribution would be huge. More money would definitely help us move forward faster too.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
We’re the representative team for the University of Minnesota in a national student entrepreneurship competition, Ufunded’s Fall Classic 2012. It’s a lot like Kickstarter but targeted toward university communities. We’re competing against other student ventures from schools like OSU and Michigan State. Please support, donate, like, and follow us, so we can bring Minnesota the win!
Our campaign is here: www.ufunded.com/campaigns/playtabase