Five Companies That Blew Us Away at TechCrunch Disrupt NY

Last week, Time Machine Tours had the privilege to share our Time Machine with the folks at the TechCrunch’s Disrupt NY 2016 conference. TechCrunch Disrupt is the world’s leading authority in debuting revolutionary startups, introducing game-changing technologies, and discussing what’s top of mind for the tech industry’s key innovators.

Being at TechCrunch Disrupt is like getting a glimpse into the future and the future is certainly bright. The whole experience was amazing and we got to meet so many fantastic people and learn about some pretty innovative companies like Artveoli, Whill, SAASPASS, BeeBoard, and Bark.

 

Artveoli

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While Artveoli was not the flashiest of the companies at Disrupt NY 2016, it certainly had the biggest impact on me. You may have seen them presenting at the Startup Battlefield.  Artveoli uses algae and art to improve indoor air quality to produce a healthier environment. Each incredible panel of art contains a bio-chip made up of algae that filter the air and creates oxygen through photosynthesis.  

I spoke with Artveoli’s Founder and CTO, Anastasia Neddersen, about why this is important. We spend 90 percent of our time indoors, and all of that CO2 buildup has some serious adverse health effects – drowsiness, lightheadedness, difficulty breathing, dizziness, fatigue, and reduced cognitive performance.

She mentioned that on average outside carbon dioxide was around 400 ppm (parts per million), and at around 600 ppm you start to feel drunk. They said scientists expect it to be 600 ppm outside in twenty years. I looked at their meter on the table inside the giant convention center, and it said 900 ppm and I totally felt woozy.

Artveoli’s incredible products are wall-mounted, completely customizable, and stunning pieces of art. They just released a prototype and are taking pre-orders for their products.

 

Whill

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I got to try the prototype from Whill, who are revolutionizing wheelchair technology. Easily controlled by remote via a smartphone app, Whill gives a caregiver a freedom to be across the room and still know that they can help from afar.

Did I mention it’s fast? I got to sit in the chair as Jeff Yoshioka drove me around with his phone. It was crazy. But then he came over and adjusted the speed and let me control. It went so fast, it felt like MarioKart, zipping around the room!

This is Wheelchair 2.0, Whill developers have taken their knowledge of the automotive industry and applied it to the mobility industry. Whill’s all directional wheel technology and large front wheels allow it’s users to tackle any terrain  – steep hills, grass, dirt, gravel, or snow – with ease.

Not to mention, it is easy to transport, ergonomically fitted for maximum comfort, and easily adaptable with users with various disabilities. I can already see what kind of independence something like this would give folks who rely on wheelchairs.

 

SAASPASS

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So I randomly sat down across from Fatih Karatash from SAASPASS to eat a sandwich and was completely amazed by what he showed me after lunch.

Using complex technology, SAASPASS can essentially create a remote locking system for your devices using your smartphone. Did you leave you super important laptop with all the company secrets in the cab? With just a few taps on your phone, you can shut the whole thing down.

I will admit this kind of security is aimed at a very specific consumer, one with highly sensitive data to protect, so you may think it doesn’t affect you. However, with more of our personal information going digital and the rise of stolen identities and credit cards, it’s now more important than ever to protect your digital self.

SAASPASS is simplifying strong security and making passwords a thing of the past. With an increase of hackers, online pirates, and thieves, it is nice to know that there are “White Hats” out there coming up with technology to help keep data safe.

 

BeeBoard

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Do you have an old iPad lying around your house? General Enchantment’s BeeBoard can give it new life as part of a modern interactive space in your home. The Beeboard Granville is made up of three parts to keep yourself organized –  a naturally harvested corkboard for hanging notes, invitations, or photos; a writing surface (either slate, whiteboard, or blackboard); and a section to securely hold a tablet.

I got to speak with Robert Frigault, General Enchantment’s CEO, at length and he laid out the many uses of a BeeBoard.  Like him, if you’re an Airbnb host, it can help show useful information about the local area. You can send messages to your kids when you are away that you KNOW they will see. One company at TechCrunch Disrupt was so impressed that they bought their floor model and used it as part of their display!

The possibilities are endless and as their platform grows, whatever you need will have an app for that. BeeBoard sounds awesome, so where can you get one of their American-made products? Well, they are doing a Kickstarter right now! Bee one of the first to have one of these and make your home or office smarter!

 

bark

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Last but not least, I want to tell you about bark, smart security for your family on the internet. You may have seen them presenting at the battlefield as well. Both of our companies came out of the same developer community, and it was super awesome to see them up on the big stage as a finalist!

The internet and social media are a big part of children’s lives these days, and we have all heard the horror stories of cyberbullying. Your kids create so much content that it would be a full-time job to go through it all. bark scans social media and looks for red flags in both inward and outward communications to help keep children safe online. Brandon Hilkert, CTO of bark notes that this isn’t a stealth tool to track your kids. bark begins a conversation about safety and etiquette and creates a dialogue between parents and kids. bark is available now and you can try it out for a month to see if it is for you!

 

There were plenty more, but this is all I could fit in this article. The whole trip was really amazing and it was an absolute honor to have been a part of such an amazing experience!