IoT startups bring Asian trends to Tokyo

Orange Fab Spring 2017 Tokyo Demo Day showcased a new batch of startups with promising IoT projects. Here are the hardware ones to keep on mind! If you're building a new project, better add it to your benchmark list.

As I arrived at Shinjuku Keio building, Orange Fab Asia HQ in Japan, it was clear that I’d meet some of the key startup supporters also excited to hear more about the latest batch from Taiwan, Korean and Japan.

Orange Fab Asia Demo Days have introduced trends to our Asian community since 2014, showing unique solutions for most of our daily life common issues.

Last year, after the Winter Demo Day, I came back to Kyoto happy to see new faces and minds working towards unique IoT projects. Moreover, the global vision and consumer focus is also growing over the time, together with an improvement of their English skills.

Entrepreneurship in the area that used to be called “Far East” (I personally find it a horrible label) is happening in its own way, and with the support of a mature and best-in-class industry who can provide the best-in-class when it comes to IoT technologies.

What brought me to work with hardware startups was the chance to join entrepreneur’s dreams, dive into a new world and help makers finding ways to bring customers insights and survive in such a long journey. Demo Days prove all efforts are worth it, as we give startup teams some time on the stage to pitch and speak up!

Considering the challenges to become a hardware startup and launch a project in such a hard-core tech country like Japan (the land of monozukuri), we must congratule all startups for the courage to present their projects in front of the audience (full of experts).

There is still a long way to go — and programs like Orange Fab Asia play a key role to help startups — but it seems like the quality of Asian startups is getting better and better. With the right support, they can

Here’s the list of IoT hardware startups (in alphabetical order)

  1. analogue plus (Seul Season 6)
analogue plus was supported by Samsung before joining Orange Fab Asia.

Smart solution for helmets: bicycle and moto users take hight risks when using digital devices for communication and/or other audio services. Earphones and bluetooth headsets can be cumbersome and noise blocking solutions present dangers due to restricting the user’s ability to hear what’s going on around them. Ahead, a wearable device that can be attached to any helmet, provides seamless and safe communication and enjoyment of audio by helmet users. Back now on Kickstarter!

2. Brain Rhythm (Taipei Season 6)

Wearable headband for pain relief: EAURA is a personalised biofeedback system for Migraine prediction and pain relief that measures brain waves with a deep learning system, forecasting the best time for your brain best performance, with a wearable headband that also provide stimulation to prevent headaches. The model has been tested by 300 patients in Taiwan with 815. Data monetisation provides additional information to healthcare professionals in order to control patient’s headaches without painkillers.

3. BD Mobile (Taipei Season 6)

Wireless non-invasive sensing device and health-care platform: R&F wave through wearable product into human’s hand’s skin, it can reflect signals to get the correct ECG index.

4. Chikaku (Tokyo Season 7)

Chikaku | Mago-chan: shortlisted Forbes Japan “Next rising start 2017' & Good Design Award 2016

The easiest way for grandparents to follow their grandkids’ daily life: a truly SENIOR FIRST company. While aged people are eager to know their family’s life who live far away, they can't keep smartphone or social media, The TV can help solving this problem, with aset-top-box, regardless of their IT literacy, ANYONE can receive and enjoy not only photos but also movies which are sent by kids’ parents. Bulit-in 3G module and SIM requires them no internet setup at all, and they can use their own TV remote controller to browse any contents just like watching TV.

5. Double me(Seul Season 6)

Holographic Mixed Reality solution: Volumetric video capture solution for making 4D holographic copies of real people. Focusing on a social content sharing to become “Youtube for Mixed Reality.” Currently, operating studios in London, Seoul &Tokyo (opened in July), and working with JCDecaux and Pearson for new holographic MR applications/services

6. Future Standard (Tokyo Season 7)

IoT platform for image sensor: SCORER recognises images with a low cost, and offers connectivity to multiple kinds of cameras. It provides more quality for image recognition technology. Back-end-as-a-Service for image sensors, it enable any developers to create a service with computer vision technologies. It provides cloud based computer vision technologies and middleware for Linux (e.g. AWS) and Windows (e.g. Azure).

7. Hatapro (Tokyo Season 7)

ZUKKU, a mobile AI robot with signage, recognizes people based on age, sex, expression, and gaze thanks to its embedded camera. It also displays movies or images based on the information it gathers. ZUKKU is powered by battery and uses a SIM card for data connection, to be used anywhere. The robot can be used for surveillance, as well as for interactive ads solutions.

8. MOFILY (Taipei Season 6)

Yocam aims to be the Smartest, Lightest Waterproof Camera.

360 degree camera with features in support variable applications: With only 2oz, YoCam is built as an ultimate portable camera without sacrificing functionalities - housing free for up to 30 feet underwater and it is dust-tight guaranteed. We hosted MOFILY team in Kyoto in 2016 during Asian Innovation Tour, and it's exacting to realise they're moving on with their project!

9. primesap(Tokyo Season 7)

IoT medical healthcare solution: Our solution helps people to optimize their health and fitness in terms of physical abilities, so that we utilize advanced technologies, such as AI, Big Data, Robotics and IoT, with advanced sports medical and orthopedics. In the long term, people want to be healthy and energetic at the age of like seventy, eighty. In the short term, athletes want to win the game like three months, six months later. Our solution helps people to achieve their desired goal in their life in terms of physical conditioning. Since 2015, under the partnership with Intel Corporation, we started to deliver high-speed and high accuracy motion analysis solution, based with Intel’s IoT devices such as Edison, Curie and further IoT products. For AI part, we will have support from IBM Watson by the end of this year. For kinetical motion analysis, we involve Graduate School of Medicine on orthopedics at Showa University.

10. Singularity Infinity (Taipei Season 6)

Manage queuing time well: NoQ forecasts waiting times of every ride at anytime in everyday as well as advising visitors a most efficient tour plan by A.I. strategy planning engine. In a country like Japan, where Tokyo Disneyland queues tend do take a long time, users will be able to enjoy holidays and events considering the best time to head to specific venues.

11. Virspoce (Taipei Season 6)

VR content generation turnkey solution: When VR hardware and sensors has been evolving quickly in the last decade, the coming growth hack for the VR industry is CONTENT. More real life objects shall be virtualized instantly and be accessible anywhere anytime. This involves 3 steps: 1)3D object scan; 2)modeling and animating;3)Output. Virscope of the first of its kind offering a completely turnkey cloud VR solution.

Orange Fab is currently selecting new startups for the next Fall Season Batch. Apply now!

World-citizen. Currently in Europe. Bachelor International Relations, Corporate Development Manager @Monozukuri Ventures. Passionate about cultures & people.