“Inventions We Love” returned to the stage at the GeekWire Summit on Thursday in Seattle, where entrepreneurs and innovators showcased devices and services in a variety of disciplines.
Leaders of four Seattle startups demonstrated impactful inventions in the retail and grocery space; parenting and children; health care; and the food and beverage industry.
Read on for summaries of each presentation:
Veeve co-founder and CEO Shariq Siddiqui said his startup is bringing the power of digitization to analog grocery stores. They’re doing it with smart shopping cart technology.
Veeve’s Full Cart, or an attachment you add to existing carts, detects and scans items as they’re added, keeping a continuous record on an integrated screen, with a checkout system that allows shoppers to avoid lines to pay, without using a separate account. app
The technology, which is available at several large retailers across the country, also helps shoppers navigate a store and makes recommendations as they shop.
“Retailers need to understand how customers interact, not just online,” Siddiqui said. “But we have absolutely no idea how customers interact, what items come out of the cart before the shopping trip is complete. With the power of this, retailers have so much more they can do with customers.”
Related: Smart shopping cart startup Veeve’s new device gives regular carts a high-tech upgrade
Littlebird is a wearable device and app aimed at young children, not to increase their screen time, but to give their parents peace of mind.
Founder and CEO Monica Plath showed off what looked like a pale blue Apple Watch that tracks a young child’s location, activity level, sleep, heart rate and temperature.
The accompanying app prompts caregivers to update a timeline with photos, quick status reports, and an assessment of the child’s mood, choosing from options preset in the app.
“We’re tracking our friends and our spouses and our dogs and our house,” Plath said. “Anything that can be connected will be connected. But somehow, the most important people in our lives, the ones who can’t tell us how they are, we have no way of validating their experience. But we can empower their caregivers.”
Related: Invented by a mom, this wearable tracker for toddlers is meant to put parents at ease.
If you have successfully tracked your child’s whereabouts, it may now be necessary to use technology to determine if that child has an ear infection. Wavely Diagnostics has developed a time-saving solution.
Wavely CEO Arna Ionescu Stoll came armed with a smartphone app and a small paper funnel that fits over the phone and into the ear.
“What we do is we bounce an acoustic sound wave off the eardrum, then we pick up the reflection of that ping,” Stoll said. “And then we use a machine learning classifier to determine if it’s indicative of fluid or not.”
The goal is to “shift pediatric care into the virtual space,” Stoll said, and save parents the time and hassle of juggling schedules and getting an appointment with the pediatrician to find out if a child really needs care for a possible infection.
Related: This Seattle startup just raised $2.2 million for an app that detects ear infections
In a coffee-mad city like Seattle, putting coffee brewing in the hands of a robot might be a good way to run out of town. But in front of a tech-focused crowd at the GeekWire Summit, Artly’s robotic barista was an intriguing invention.
Co-founder and CEO Meng Wang wants to bring the specialty coffee experience to everyone through cutting-edge artificial intelligence and computer vision algorithms to guide a robotic arm and monitor the quality of the drink. Technology makes scaling that experience easier.
Artly’s robot does it all, from grabbing the puppy to grinding the beans, steaming the milk and creating a piece of latte art on top, and he’s learned a lot from watching real baristas. He also talks, and in the future he will listen, kind of like Amazon’s Alexa.
“We use a combination of robotics and the skills of experienced baristas to brew a perfect cup of coffee every time,” Weng said.
Related: A robotic coffee barista led by a former AWS engineer raises $8.3 million to open more retail stores