Feedair is a new startup which aims to take the notification market by storm with a new device, but more importantly, with a new cloud-based service. The idea is to deliver short and very readable notifications that are contextually relevant, in an easy and cost-effective way. The Feedair hardware is the first product born from this initiative, and it has been designed to be friendly, visible, but not intrusive at the same time. The Feedair device requires a WiFi network and a smartphone to set it up (iOS or Android). It draws power from a 500mA USB-compatible source, which means that it works virtually everywhere in the world.Notifications can consist of pretty much anything that developers can come up with, you name it, and Feedair will probably feature it in the near future, but classic examples are news, Facebook notifications, weather etc… It is possible to aggregate the notifications to update only every hour, and of course define some that are high-priority. It is possible to email the device as well and have a notification pop up instantly. The possibilities are endless.
While the device is very cute, I think that the cloud service has much more potential than that: Feedair is a notification platform that provides access to other services, like Facebook, and it allows developers to plug into a host of services without having to do all the grunt work of connecting with various APIs. In fact, it’s so simple for developers that the Feedair team doesn’t even call it an SDK (software development kit). Feedair is also location aware, thanks to a proprietary (and patented) technology, which means that retail services can use Feedair to locate and display service messages to their customers (it’s all opt-in of course).
This is very promising, but the notification market is always a tough one to crack, just ask Microsoft about its SPOT notification service. The Feedair team is undoubtedly aware of this and they are trying to make something that goes beyond a “gadget”, and turning notifications into a real added value for businesses (including payment services) is a great way to go. Now, Feedair needs to reach a critical mass of users to get out of the chicken and egg paradigm. The Feedair hardware could be as cheap as $50 (even without volume production). Now the service needs to have compelling use cases to entice the first wave of users.
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