Friday, February 15, 2008

Display Demo Night at Cambridge Innovation Center

Two interesting news tidbits emerged at this past Wednesday's "Entrepreneurs on the Edge" demo night at Cambridge Innovation Center.

We brought together five representatives of companies working on new kinds of display technologies. I was least familiar with QD Vision, a Watertown company working on "quantum dot" based LED screens, so it was nice to hear more about their technology. (Their backers include Highland Capital and North Bridge.)

Dan Bricklin was there, and he recorded a podcast of the panel discussion part of the evening.

Two of the companies there shared some interesting news, both related to spin-outs.

Adam Bogue, formerly vp of bizdev at Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs, is spinning out a new company called Circle Twelve, Inc. Circle Twelve will commercialize the DiamondTouch table developed at MERL over the past seven years, which turns a tabletop into an interface, allowing four users to sit around and interact with data by touching it. Bogue says that Mitsubishi will have a stake in the new company, and earn royalty payments from every sale. He's looking to raise about $1 million to get the company off the ground.

The system sells for $10,000, which doesn't include the LCD projector it uses to project images onto the table, or the laptop or PC that serves as a CPU. (A Computerworld article mentioning DiamondTouch is here.) Bogue was getting a lot of questions last night about how the table is different from Microsoft's Surface technology, and also the Perceptive Pixel technology used on CNN during election nights. For one, DiamondTouch is available now...

Here's a video of Bogue's demo that I shot:

And David Rose, founder of Ambient Devices, said he's helping to launch a new company called Vitality, to bring to market smart pill bottle tops called GlowCaps. (Rose stepped away from day-to-day responsibilities at Ambient earlier this year.) GlowCaps will not only remind you when to take important medications (and perhaps e-mail your doctor to let her know you're sticking to the regime), but could send a reorder request to the pharmacy when your stock of pills dwindles. (More from Engadget. Rose said he has raised some seed funding already to do some consumer trials from a West Coast angel investor.

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