February 17, 2012

Going Rogue: Innovators to Follow – Day 5; Mobile

It seems the connection we have to our devices is not just deep.  At some times, it feels nearly irrational.  It’s a testament to how many needs those smartphones or tablets actually fulfill for us.  So desperate is our need for continual access that we now have a sizable problem with texting and driving.  And using them as a phone is only a small part of what they do.  We game on them, we read on them, we watch videos on them.  They augment our reality, they link/tweet/friend/pin and share us, they connect all the dots in our lives.

As a response to this connection, mobile marches forward in driving progress across the marketplace.  Biometrics/Health/Fitness – check.  Banking/Payments/Invoicing – check.  Shopping/Price Surfing/Comparison – check.  It’s the tip of mobility iceberg.  Technologies and social sharing abilities are constantly evolving, and having the ability to partake in them without being strapped to a conventional computer has had an amazing impact on our lives.  You might have seen Best Buy’s innovation commercial (aired during the Super Bowl):


Without further ado, here are 5 mobile innovators to follow:


The chalkboard has almost been completely replaced by whiteboards in the American classroom.  But it seems that a replacement is soon to follow again, the virtual whiteboard.  Educreations allows you to create and share great video lessons.  Available in the app store, Educreations harnesses your ability to draw, write, and educate all at once.  Make sure you check out their showcase – it is filled with fun lessons.  The great thing about this is that these lessons can be shared online, much like Khan Academy, but you can be the teacher!

Twitter:  @Educreations



Allevate is a leader in mobile identification software, and more specifically, biometric technology.  Biometric technology in a mobile application?  Yes, and it’s awesome.  Think of all the personal information you have in your phone.  Banking, contacts, social accounts, emails.  How can you ensure that those are all protected?  Allevate provides facial recognition software and finger scanning solutions that are more secure and less of a hassle than that of a personal code or password.

Twitter: @Allevate



This year, 1 out of every 110 children will be born with autism.  Sadly, most of them will need assistance to communicate effectively.  Traditionally, children with autism have used AAC systems (Augmentive and Alternative Communication).  While these systems are very high tech, they are generally bulky and extremely expensive.  Proloquo2Go is a mobile app that can replace this system.  And while it is one of the more expensive apps out there, it is still much less expensive than the AAC systems that can cost thousands of dollars.

Twitter:  @Proloquo2Go


Ozcan Research Group:

Led by Aydugan Ozcan at UCLA, the Ozcan Research Group has made a huge breakthrough in mobile healthcare.  They have created a microscope cellphone attachment.  That is, they have the ability to take a sample (blood, sweat, etc.) store it, and analyze it in the cell phone.  Now I know what you’re thinking.  How much does this mobile unit cost?  10 bucks.  Think of the amazing applications that units like this will have overseas and in 3rd world countries.  No longer will we have to bring testing stations and bring the patients to them.  We can now send resources overseas with this technology and go to the patients.

Twitter:  @InnovateUCLA



CEVA is one of the world’s leaders in digital signal processing (DSP).  Digital signal processors are high-speed microprocessors that have existed in our computers for quite some time.  However, they have not existed in our mobile devices due to their large battery usage requirements.  CEVA has begun to design these microprocessors in a way that will require them to use less power.  This will likely lead to us having much more powerful mobile devices in the near future.  And we all have the need…the need for speed.


Mobile devices have come a long way since the “brick.”  I’m so excited to see what advances are made in the future.  Make sure you look at the horizon of these industries; it’s easy to get lost in the technology we have.  It is equally important to look for what’s coming.

In ending this series, I wanted to give a special thanks to two people who were critical in helping me write and frame these posts:  Cristene Gonzalez-Wertz and Debbie Rosenfeld, two of the most intelligent and innovative individuals that I have had the opportunity to work with.  Give them a follow; they will point you to more innovative content than I could ever in 5 simple posts.

Cristene: @Hermione1

Debbie: @Zebbierebs


Let me know your thoughts around mobile innovation @Cunningham_Kev