Tide Tips: Technology, Innovation, Patents and Startups C2: Volume 14


Tide TIPS: Volume 13

You are reading Tide TIPS, a weekly round-up of all things Technology, Innovation, Patent, and Startup related.


Thinking Outside the (Birch)box

Birchbox CEO Katia Beauchamp found herself looking to sell the company when subscription-box models started to get a little tired and commonplace. She had expanded her company from beauty samples to men’s products to pop-up stores, but still her customers wanted more. So, she had to come up with something new. Birchbox wanted to appeal to the everyday consumer that wasn’t a makeup expert, and where else does the everyday consumer shop than Walgreens? From there, an unlikely partnership was born and Birchbox announced its plan to open Birchbox boutiques inside select Walgreens stores throughout 2019. (Entrepreneur)

Apple’s Next Takeover: Mixed Reality

Apple has been working for the past few years on mixed reality and how to make it more streamlined and less clunky. Their new patent will allow you to control an augmented reality game with your fingers using a system of sensor-laden pieces that fit around the finger just above your fingernail. The current ARKit apps require the use of an iPhone or iPad and will need a clunky headset, so Apple is working on the user being able to control the game with their fingers and a small wearable piece not any larger than a pair of eyeglasses. Their patent, called “Finger-mounted Device with Sensors and Haptics” will change the mixed reality game. (Fast Company)

Beep Beep! Watch Out For…Self-driving Scooters?

You would think that Uber had learned from their self-driving car disaster, but no… Uber just recently unveiled a micromobility robotics division at a Bay Area robotics meetup last weekend and are now looking to add self-driving scooters to their lineup of autonomous transportation. This will be used so that scooters can take themselves to charging stations, as well as go to customers, eliminating the majority of human labor. There will be some challenges, as these 2-wheeled vehicles are generally balanced by the weight of a rider. There is also the challenge of the fact that the scooters will be sharing not only the roads, but the sidewalks, meaning they will have to deal with more human traffic. It will definitely be interesting to see how this new venture plays out… (Wired)

The Future of Floating Farms

Imagine a world where we have huge tubes floating in the ocean that could sustain year-round crops… well, that dream could be a reality thanks to researchers at Nottingham University. As sea levels are rising, their Deep Farm concept could increase crop production with large sealed domes submerged near coastal areas, using either hydroponics or aeroponics to support plant growth. The use of LED lights and solar panels would produce fresh water for the plants and the controlled environment could more easily combat pests and disease while allowing the plants to grow year round. (Idea Connection)

Never miss a tip!

Subscribe to our list to get Tide TIPS straight to your inbox!

Have a tip? Let us know by sending the link to Ben, at bhbickerstaff@ua.edu