Intel (News - Alert) is a multibillion-dollar global enterprise with access to the brightest minds on the planet. It has an annual R&D budget totaling 20 or more percent of its semiconductor sales. In 2013, the company’s R&D jumped to 22 percent, for a record high of $10.6 billion. Even though it spends billions of dollars annually to come up with the next great idea, it understands the value of innovation, no matter where it comes from. And more often than not, real innovations are introduced to the world from tinkerers in their garages - à la the founders of HP.
The Intel Make It Wearable Challenge was created to give these tinkerers a venue in which they could showcase their inventions and provide them with the capital and know how to launch their product in the wearable market place.
The $500K winner for this round was Nixie, a small wearable camera that straps on the wrist. When you snap your wrist, it unfolds a quadcopter that flies, takes photos or video, then comes back to you. The device was designed to allow individuals performing different activities alone to have the option of capturing the moment.
Nixie has different modes so it can capture images, which include the boomerang mode so it can return to the wrist, or follow me mode for a continual image capturing session. When it is finished, it returns back to the wrist and automatically syncs with a mobile device to upload its content.
The company was founded by Christoph Kohstall, PhD in experimental physics and postdoctoral research at Stanford. As a matter of fact the company’s team has an impressive list of individuals with PhDs in computer science, applied/science engineering, experimental physics, as well as other experts in software engineers, robotics, mechanical engineering and industrial design.
The second place winner, with a $200K prize was Open Bionics. The company is looking to revolutionize how prosthetic limbs are designed and manufactured by lowering the price point using 3-D scanning and 3-D printing.
The third place winner was awarded to ProGlove with $100K, a smart glove that monitors the movement of employees working on a production line to help improve overall quality. The glove triggers an alert when a mistake is made in real-time, which can prove to be very valuable for manufacturers fabricating thousands of products every day.
According to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, the company will be holding the competition again next year; here is to hoping it becomes an annual event.
Edited by Maurice Nagle
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