Re­gional Hard­ware In­no­va­tion

A List of In­no­va­tive Hard­ware De­vices Com­ing from the MENA

Arabnet - The Quarterly - - Content -

We list 5 hard­ware in­no­va­tions in the re­gion that you should know


Coun­try of Ori­gin: Le­banon Re­lease Date: June 2014 Avail­able in: USA Shipped to: Ev­ery­where Price: $79 Roadie is an au­to­matic tuner for any stringed in­stru­ment, such as a gui­tar. It uses the iphone and a mo­tor­ized ac­ces­sory to tune the in­stru­ment. Roadie con­nects to the Roadie Ap­pli­ca­tion on the iphone via low en­ergy Blue­tooth. The app re­ceives the sound, pro­cesses it, and sends the right com­mands back to Roadie. Cre­ated by two Arab in­no­va­tors, Roadie Tuner was in­cu­bated at Haxl­r8r and will be ready to ship soon. It suc­cess­fully raised $180,000 on Kick­starter, al­most triple its goal, and won first place at the Techcrunch Beirut Meetup last March, and the Au­di­ence Choice Award at the Techcrunch Dis­rupt NY.


Coun­try of Ori­gin: Egypt Re­lease Date: May 2014 Avail­able in: USA Shipped to: Al­most ev­ery­where Price: $50 1Sheeld from In­te­greight is a new eas­ily con­fig­ured shield for Ar­duino that lets you re­place all other shields with your smart­phone. Ar­duino is a popular open-source elec­tronic board that can con­trol just about any Do-it-your­self hard­ware project. The shield acts as a wire­less mid­dle-man, pip­ing data be­tween Ar­duino and any An­droid smart­phone via Blue­tooth, thus al­low­ing the us­age of all An­droid smart­phone’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties such as LCD screen, ac­celerom­e­ter, GSM, Wi-fi, GPS, etc. into your Ar­duino sketch. The 8-team be­hind 1Sheeld won the Au­di­ence Choice at Dis­rupt Europe. The project also went up on Kick­starter and raised $85,000, more than eight times its fundrais­ing goal.


Coun­try of Ori­gin: Dubai Re­lease Date: TBA Avail­able in: USA Shipped to: Ev­ery­where Price: $50 - $140 The Pocket TV by In­fin­tec is a thumb­sized mi­cro-com­puter that con­nects to the HDMI port of any TV and con­verts it into an An­droid Smart TV. You can down­load apps from the Google Play Store to stream videos, play games, do Skype video-calls, or sim­ply surf the web. It can also be used for do­ing pre­sen­ta­tions. Just plug it into a pro­jec­tor and see your pre­sen­ta­tion be played from the cloud or lo­cally from the SD card. If you want a more tra­di­tional TV ex­pe­ri­ence, you can buy an Air­re­mote which com­bines mo­tion, click, and key­board func­tions. The project raised $501,321 on Kick­starter, five times more than its goal.


Coun­try of Ori­gin: Le­banon Re­lease Date: Q2 2014 Price: $150 Instabeat is a head-up dis­play unit that seam­lessly mon­i­tors swim­mer’s heart rate, calo­ries, and num­ber of laps. It mounts on the straps of any type of swim­ming gog­gles and uses LED lights to in­form swim­mers whether they are per­form­ing in fat burning, mid-range, or max­i­mum zones. It also up­loads stored data on a wa­ter­proof USB. Instabeat, pre­vi­ously known as But­ter­fl­eye, won first in the MIT Arab Busi­ness Plan Com­pe­ti­tion, and third place in the Stars of Science Com­pe­ti­tion. It raised $56,374 on In­dei­gogo, and se­cured a Se­ries A round of in­vest­ment from Wamda Cap­i­tal and Jab­bar In­ter­net Group.


Coun­try of Ori­gin: Egypt Re­lease Date: TBA Price: NA Mubser is a wear­able belt and head­set that helps vis­ually im­paired in­di­vid­u­als avoid ob­sta­cles. The sys­tem re­lies on RGB imag­ing and infrared depth data cap­tured by a Mi­crosoft Kinect to rec­og­nize ob­jects in its way, which, when de­tected, prompts the belt to vi­brate, thus alert­ing the wear­ing of an ob­sta­cle ahead. The sys­tem also rec­og­nizes some ob­jects and names them to the wearer through the Blue­tooth con­nected head­set. Mubser is be­ing in­cu­bated by AUC’S Ven­ture Lab, and has won sev­eral awards so far, in­clud­ing first place at the In­tel Busi­ness Chal­lenge Egypt, first place for ICT Track at the I2P Brazil, among oth­ers. It is also a fi­nal­ist at the MIT En­ter­prise Fo­rum Pan Arab Re­gion.

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