Ubergizmo was one of the official Media Partners of MIK 2017, aka Made in Korea 2017, which was held in Seoul. The event is organized by Aving News, a Korean media company with a branch in the USA. The goal is to help Korean startups and SMBs to think of and present their product and services to an international audience.

To help motivate startups, a panel of international media from several continents  are invited to listen to the pitches and select three companies they think are relevant in general, but also potentially to the media’s home market. Ubergizmo is based in San Francisco, and we were sitting next to media outlets from Japan, Vietnam, Russia, and China, just to name a few.

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More Things’ Standing Desk Mat

Given how popular standing desks are, we thought that this product could potentially help many people. First, one needs to realize that while standing desks have many documented benefits, standing correctly is the foundation to getting those benefits. It’s true that standing is not hard, but just like having a bad posture while sitting, it is also easy to stand in a manner that may stress the body, and that’s not desirable. Harvard.edu has published an article about this and here are some tips.

The Standing Desk Mat has a sensor that relies on the pressure from your feet to detect if you are standing correctly. Obvious situations are easily detected, such as when you lean mostly on one leg. However, its creators believe that even more subtle situations can be detected and the user taught to stand in the best possible way.

You will need a smartphone (Android or iOS) since the Mat’s sensor will be connected via Bluetooth. We’ve been told that the mat’s data is sampled every seconds or so, and it’s often enough to offer real-time feedback, but not too much to drain the battery in a noticeable way. The mat can be as big as 2×1 yard.

We asked if there were medical certifications or clinical studies, but there are none at this point. However, the Injea University of Busan Paik Hospital has received 10 mats and is currently evaluating them. The idea and technology seem sound, but we feel like third party data and certifications would go a long way in helping More Things to market this Standing Desk Mat. No price has been determined yet, but something along ~$150 should be possible.

Origin Pics: vouching for citizen journalists’ photos

Origin Pics is working on an exciting project for citizen journalists also professional journalists who may capture live images with their smartphones. They are trying to invent a way to instantly verify the authenticity of images that will be sent to a cloud service. With authenticity verified, media companies could purchase the images for commercial use, and the original author gets 45% of the sales proceeds.

How could Origin Pics certify that photos have been taken at the place and time the author claims, and have not been doctored? They use a patent-pending method which will primarily make sure that the chain of custody between the smartphone that takes the photo to the cloud service is as secure as possible.

The photos need a number of data points associated with them, such as proper time, time zone , GPS coordinates (with direction/heading), temperature, humidity and even a few seconds of audio recording – along with the Origin Pic user ID of the uploader.

All these data points should make every photo unique and should make it very difficult to hack something, especially immediately after an event has occurred. Naturally, everything can be hacked with enough time and resources, but the goal is to make the barrier as high and robust as possible. At the same time, many phones can provide this type of capabilities. Origin Pic can also use new smartphone security features initially build for payment apps, such as security islands and secure data encryption.

In this era of “fake news,” this could become handy if Origin Pics can make it happen. There is a great deal of interest for this type of capabilities, especially if it ends up being available to the masses.

MJ Korea: Photo Booth

“Fun” Photo booths are something that we see a lot in Asia, while the western public is more used to Photo ID booths if even that. It’s true that fun photos are mostly taken using apps and smartphones these days, but there is an audience that may enjoy this kind of (family) activity, and do not have smartphones: young kids.

This photo booth is meant to be deployed in malls and theme parks where they can be customized to unique themes (think: Jurassic Park or Star Wars). The idea is simple: the booth will show some background animation with sound and will insert 3D characters inside the scene, a bit like an augmented reality (AR) app.

People can have fun, laugh, make faces, while the photo booth automatically takes pictures using a machine-learning system (aka “AI”) to determine when to snap photos. When the time is over, photos are presented to the user who can select several to have them printed.

A work in progress, the ultimate version of the photo booth will use a Microsoft Kinect camera to track up to six people at a time. You have guessed, the system is powered by Windows and should easily be powerful enough to provide a fast user experience. Overall, the experience was fun and MJ Korea (owned by Pohas) did a good job. At ~$7000, this is a product that only companies will buy and deploy. What kind of themes would you like to see?

Conclusion

There were many more companies working on projects with potential, but we had to make a choice and it wasn’t always easy. If you want to get a glimpse of what the show looked like, check this video:

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