There’s a lot to love about technology in 2017, including one of our favorite segments of the GeekWire Summit: Inventions We Love.
This year we split the crop of contending products into two presentations and baked a live vote into the Summit app so that our attendees can quickly select the geeky gadget or piece of hardware they love best.
Today’s makers pitched a smart pill bottle that helps people better track medication; a thermoelectric generator that converts excess heat from campfires or stoves into electricity; and medically-designed headphones that clean out your ears in less than a minute.
Rob Frederick of Seattle-based Sirqul introduced the three presenters, who each had two minutes to pitch their product.
“This is about entrepreneurs changing the world with the solutions they’re providing,” Frederick said.
Not taking medication properly — either missing doses or taking double doses — is a huge problem in healthcare, whether you’re taking your allergy medication or relying on a potentially life-saving prescription.
The first product from Seattle-based Arthur Health is called Pillsy, and it’s a smart pill bottle that tracks when a user takes a dose of medication or a supplement. That information is then stored on a secure cloud, accessible to users through a mobile app.
Chuks Onwuneme, co-founder of Pillsy, said two thirds of Americans have to take a daily prescription, and over half that number forget to take a prescribed medication.
All good ideas start with a Spark.
Seattle startip JikoPower’s signature product is a thermoelectric generator that captures and converts excess heat from campfires or stoves into electricity. The hand-held Spark charges USB devices like cell phones, batteries and LED lights.
While the Spark is great for camping trips when you may need to bring power back to a dying cell phone, the company stresses that disaster situations are a more pressing situation in which the device may be vital. Users would be able to charge USB-enabled devices so they could stay informed and communicate with family, friends and rescue workers, as well as power LED lights, in the event of an emergency.
Marene Wiley, co-founder of JikoPower, described how people in Kenya and elsewhere will travel miles to charge a cell phone and how huge the electrification industry is in the developing world.
“We power devices, but we empower people,” Wiley said.”
Listen up. The founders of Seattle startup SafKan have created medically-designed headphones that clean out your ears in less than a minute.
The headphones, which look like something you’d hook to your home stereo, actually rely on a nozzle that sprays a mix of warm water and hydrogen peroxide into a patient’s ear canal, loosening earwax and flushing it out. The nozzle also suctions the water and earwax back into the device to avoid messy spills.
Sahil Diwan, CEO of SafKan, remembered having to go to the physician regularly to have the ears of his little brother cleaned.
“The ancient Egyptians did it better than we do today, so we’re out to change that,” Diwan said, advising audience members to avoid self-cleaning with cotton swabs. “We want to do for your ears what Sonicare has done for your teeth.”
Via the poll in our Summit app, attendees heavily favored JikoPower’s Spark, followed by SafKan and Pillsy.
Check out the pitches from three more inventors on day two of the Summit.