Innovation radar


Amazon Go … the simplest grocery store ever

A grocery store without lines or checkout counters. Amazon Go is a 1800-square-foot retail concept store in the company’s hometown of Seattle. It redefines the notion of a convenience store – faster, simpler, easier than ever. The embedding of one-click style technologies within a physical store, enables shopper to grab the items they want and leave; the order gets charged to their Amazon account afterwards.

Boom Technology … creating the new Concorde

Boom Technology is a startup company aiming to create a 45-passenger civilian supersonic transport aircraft to fly up to Mach 2.2. Conceptually it could fly New York City to London in 3 hours and 24 minutes at a proposed round trip cost of $5,000.

Buzzfeed … making news more interesting

Founder Jonah Peretti describes Buzzed as a “social news and entertainment company … redefining online advertising with its social, content-driven publishing technology … with the most shareable breaking news, and original reporting.” It was recently named by Fast Company as the world’s most innovative company … more

Zee.Aero … Google’s flying cars.

Building a small, all-electric plane that can take off and land vertically. Unaffiliated with Google (but based right near the GooglePlex), the flying car project announced it had been personally financed by Larry Page since 2010, and currently employs nearly 150 people.

Magic Leap … bringing virtual reality to life.

Wired Magazine describes it as the world’s hottest (and most secretive) startup. Magic Leap’s mind-bending “mixed reality” technology uses photonic wafer chips to manipulate light. It superimposes 3D generated images over real world objects, by projecting a digital light field into the user’s eye. Founder Rony Abovitz says “the best way to describe it, is like dreaming”, has attracted $1.4bn funding from Alibaba and Google, and is currently signed up contracts with leading movie studios and game makers.

Glamsquad … bringing beauty to you

Glamsquad is an app-based on-demand beauty service delivering professional and affordable beauty services to the home or office – blowouts, manicures and makeup when you need it. Founder Alexandra Wilkis Wilson explains more.

Kérastase Hair Coach … smart brush

The smart brush features Withings’ advanced sensors and seamless product design plus L’Oréal’s signal analysis algorithms to score the quality of hair and monitor the effects of different routines.

Treat well … hair on demand

Founder Lopo Champalimaud, previously of travel innovator Lastminute, talks about his new brand, for finding and securing the right hair stylist for you, whenever you need it.

Lego Boost … coding for kids

We all know the Danish toymaker. The Billund-based company has just launched a new platform called Lego Boost, a hybrid building and coding set that the company says combines the play experience of a traditional Lego set with an app-based coding play experience. Lego Boost, developed for children aged 7 or older. It comes with building instructions and coding commands to create five possible Lego creations, including a robot and a cat. The app also includes more than 60 activities related to building and coding. The bricks also come with built-in sensors that can detect color.

Momondo … be part of the connected world

Momondo was founded in Denmark in 2006 and is headquartered in Copenhagen. It is a metasearch engine for global travel – flights, hotels, cars – and distinctively provides inspirational blogs, stories and tip for its travellers. But its marketing looks beyond the logistics of just getting there. It focuses on why. “Let’s Open Our World” is an invitation to travel across boundaries, embrace our differences and open our world. In 2016 Momondo asked 67 people from all over the world to take a DNA test, and it turns out they have much more in common with other nationalities than they would ever have thought.

Nauto … capturing driving data 

Real-world data is essential to creating robust autonomous driving systems. Computer vision dash-cam Nauto collects anonymized safety data from its connected camera network. Its partnerships with big-name auto and insurance companies suggest a wide impact both in vehicle systems and liability reduction.

Dispatch … making delivery smart

Dispatch is creating a platform for local delivery powered by a fleet of wagon- sized autonomous robotic vehicles. Dispatch’s robots are designed for sidewalks and pedestrian spaces, taking on terrestrial drones space in last-mile delivery.

Twist Bioscience … Synthesized DNA 

Twist could help pioneer DNA computing, which writes data into synthetic nucleotides. DNA can last 2000+ years without deterioration, and a single gram can store almost 1T gigabytes of data. Twist is partnered with Microsoft to develop this technology.

Cambridge Quantum Computing … superfast computing 

Building a quantum operating system and developing quantum algorithms, with specific focus on quantum cryptography for its secure currency platform. Quantum encryption techniques will be necessary as current encryption will be rendered useless (quantum computers will be powerful enough to brute-force break classical encryption methods).

Knu-Edge … brain chips

Founder Dan Goldin surprised the world by announcing $100M in angel funding for his 10-year-old stealth chip company. Knu-Edge plans to make chips inspired by human neural networks to power artificial intelligence.

Affectiva … reading emotions

The MIT Media Lab spinout focuses on emotion recognition, using deep learning to identify emotions in facial expressions.

Filament … blockchain payments

Filament is developing decentralized machine-to-machine (M2M) mesh networking technology. The blockchain- based system could advance M2M payments, allowing machines to pay one another for data usage via bitcoin, as well as tackling connectivity in industrial IoT.

Veniam … turning vehicles into wifi hotspots

Develops vehicular mesh networks, turning buses and moving objects into Wi-Fi hot spots. The technology allows for wireless coverage in ports, airports, construction sites, and mines, but could eventually be a cost-effective alternative to cellular networks.

Kernal … superhuman intelligence

Braintree founder Bryan Johnson announced a $100M investment into his startup Kernel, which will focus on hardware and software to augment human intelligence. Kernel is first planning a device for alleviating Alzheimer’s and dementia. But future iterations will focus on a neuroprosthesis for using AI to augment human brainpower.

Enlitic … machine-learning doctors

Enlitic uses machine learning to provide the tools that allow physicians to fully utilize the vast stores of siloed medical data collected today, regardless of what form they are in — such as medical images, doctors’ notes, and structured lab tests.

Kindred … robotic exoskeletons

Founded by former co-founders and researchers of the quantum startup D- Wave, Kindred Systems is an AI-driven company working in human exoskeleton robotics. Kindred’s exo-suits supposedly allow one human worker to do the work of four.

Understory … changing the weather forecast

Understory is a weather data and analytics company providing real time, surface- level data generated by dense grids of weather stations. Understory provides real-time datasets and views of the movement and intensity of weather events.

Droneport … getting medical supplies to remote places

British architect Norman Foster is creating a network of droneports to deliver medical supplies and other necessities to areas of Africa that are difficult to access due to a lack of roads or other infrastructure and the ambition is that every small town in Africa and in other emerging economies will have its own droneport by 2030. The pilot project launched in 2016 is based in Rwanda, and will enable the network to send supplies to 44 per cent of the country, with 40 drone ports planned across the nation in phase 2.

UN Iris Scan … high tech refugee support

The World Food Program has introduced iris scan payment technology in a supermarket at Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp, allowing Syrian refugees to buy goods using their eyes instead of cash. The WFP is  operating this new iris-scanning technology to allow Syrian refugees to purchase food without coupons, cards, paperwork or cash. Iris scanners began operating here at the beginning of this month, but WFP plans to expand their use to the 85 supermarkets contracted with WFP across Jordan.

Many more …

Innovation Radar gives you regular updates of the latest “Gamechangers” who are shaking up markets, reinventing business models, and innovating every aspect of business and customers’ experiences. Keynotes and workshops to explore what it means for your business are also available.

Ring … press to enter the smart home

Ring is the new Nest. Whilst the smart home device, a mobile phone controlled thermostat developed by Tony Fadell and colleagues sold to Google for $3.2bn, Ring’s innovation could have a much great impact. James Siminoff and team developed their video doorbell with built-in 180-degree camera, infrared options, video and audio, and wifi connectivity. Check out who is at the door before you answer, before they even knock, when you’re not even at home.

Aspiration … Investing with a conscience

Aspiration is an online investment firm built for people who want both do well and do good. It is focused on the middle class not millionaires, designed around a revolutionary approach to fees that that trusts customers to pay what they think is fair, brings the Toms/Warby Parker approach to the world of finance, and offers a humanised approach to financial education that combines storytelling with the more traditional statistics.

Brewdog … beer for punks

A craft beer maker from the north of Scotland, Brewdog is bold, irreverent and uncompromising (their words!). They believe in better beer, and in sharing in its success. Their equity sharing program allows beer fans to be part of their success, whilst their recent giveaway of all 216 recipes demonstrated their confidence they they are more than their ingredients.

Hyperloop … ready to launch in 2021

One year ago Elon Musk shared a dream of 10 minute shuttle rides (in a tube at 700 mph between San Francisco and LA). Hyperloop CEO Rob Lloyd gives an update on his 88 person team, $37m funding, and plan to launch in 5 years in this video, whilst elsewhere Musk talks about the importance of big ideas … more

Uber … now delivering pizza too

The on-demand taxi service is challenging and transforming urban travel across the world, with its mobile-based access to cars near you, network of freelance drivers and dynamic pricing model, that is typically half the price of a conventional taxi. But you can “uberfy” anything … In October UberEats was launched, and is already the world’s largest home delivery company … more

Periscope … sold for £100bn before launched

The live-streaming app has burst too the social media scene, inspired by the uprisings in Istanbul’s Gezi Park, it was snapped up for $100m by Twitter before it was even launched. Like many seeking to change the game, it is not without controversy … more

Lululemon … Curiosity Lager

Yoga beer might sound crazy, but that’s exactly what Canadian sportswear brand Lululemon recently launched, in particularly targeting women in the after-workout recovery … more

Lucky Iron Fish … the best ideas can be very simple

This was the winner of the 2015 Cannes Health Festival of Creativity, and was the result of a charities efforts in Asia to reduce anaemia. The iron fish is thrown into the family cooking pot, partly as a lucky charm:

Haier … home of the future

the Chinese electronics business, is now the world’s largest producer of white goods. With an innovative business model that creates thousands of micro businesses, sharing profits with employees, Haier is driving a new generation of home appliances from robotics to wearables … more

Bolthouse Farms … making carrots cool

Bolthouse is not your average farm producer, and has embraced direct marketing initiatives, in particular seeking to engage audiences in the value of fresh vegetables – like cool carrots machines in schools for kids snacks … more

Editas … gene editing will transform pharma

Editas’ mission is to translate its genome editing technology into a novel class of human therapeutics that enable precise and corrective molecular modification to treat the underlying cause of a range of diseases at the genetic level … more

Planetary Resources … Asteroid mining becomes a reality

Why prospecting and staking claim on asteroids drives economic growth in the new space gold rush. Its partly about finding new resources to make life better on Earth, and also to fuel exploration in space … more

Mellowcabs … high tech rickshaws in South Africa

Mellow cabs, made of light and renewable materials, solar powered and fully digitally enabled, launched in late 2015 and are already taking South African cities by storm … more

Rekordling Cider … quirky Swedish skaters

The ‘Silver Skaters’ Rekorderlig Cider film is based on the insight that 18 to 34 year olds typically spend 2 hours 26 mins on social media every day. It has 19 different edits, and features talented, quirky ice skaters and their evangelical coach, Jarmo … more

One Medical … reinventing the doctor’s surgery with Google Ventures

One Medical Group CEO Tom Lee, MD and others talk about how One Medical is reinventing the doctor’s office experience (as part of Umpqua Bank’s Catalyst Series) … more

Nike … home of the waffle iron

Nike is known for its innovation in sportswear, but have you been to its Innovation Kitchen? Here we take a look at the creative process which drives everything from the Nike Free to new digital trackers … more

Moven … the traffic lights to manage your life

Brett King wrote the definitive book on the future of banking, and then set about making it happen. Actually Moven is not a bank, its on your side. Helping you to make sense of all your money, how to save better, and spend smarter … more

The Hiut Denim Company … premium Welsh jeans

Cardigan is a small town of 4,000 good people. 400 of them used to make jeans. They made 35,000 pairs a week. For three decades. Then one day the factory closed. But all that skill and know-how remained. Without any way of showing the world what they could do. That’s why ex-ad man David Hieatt started making jeans … more

GE FirstBuild … the maker revolution

GE FirstBuild is a maker incubator, a subsidiary of GE, harnessing the trend for digitally-enabled production. Full of the latest 3D printers, as well as more traditional lathes, saws and computer-aided design, FirstBuild also gives GE insight into new ideas and techniques for making them happen … more

Aussie Farmers Direct … launches AisleOne, the world’s most innovative retail app

Aussie Farmers were not prepared to let supermarkets take the majority of profits, and commoditise their foods. Instead they set up a national distribution network, delivering the fastest and freshest food, direct from farmyard to your door. With Aussie attitude and a smile … more

Number 26 … Germany’s mobile-centric bank

Number26’s goal is to reimagine banking from the bottom up: easy, fast, and appropriate for the digital age. The account goes along with the user, without any paper forms or processing fees. Intelligent algorithms automatically categorize all expenditures and neatly display them in an overview within the app.

Loewe … luxury Spanish clothing and accessories, party of LMVH

Moritz Factory … gourmet tapas and beer at affordable prices

See the full list of Gamechanger Brands … and then explore by sector and by in-depth case study

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