Business, New Gadgets, Startup Highlights, Technology

Startup Highlights – You Can Now Talk To Your Dog For $65

The latest bizarre crowdfunding tech story is the dog-to-English translator device from No More Woof. The device looks like a small, telephone headset worn on a dog’s head that functions by picking up brainwave patterns associated with common dog responses and translating them into English phrases such as “I’m tired” or “I’m hungry”.

The website offers a range in products and price placement, ranging from a $65 “Micro” model capable of vocalizing “2-3 thought patterns” to a $1200 “Superior” model that learns algorithmically and may give your dog the ability to put multiple, pre-recorded statements together, aka speak sentences.

The developers stress that the project is still in its early stages and that the offered products are research support rather than end designed projects, and list a number of future research goals such as artificial limb control for disabled pets or training enhancements. However the “Holy Grail” of the project is two-way communication translating human language into “dog”, or potentially any animal.

You can look over the project website yourself here.

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Business, Communications Tech, Social Media, Startup Highlights

Startup Highlights: Seth Bannon And Amicus

Tech startups that intend to streamline business activities tend to hog the spotlight, but ultimately use of technology is about closing the distance between a consumer and a provider and that’s the mission of Seth Bannon and his company Amicus. Amicus has the ambitious goal of overhauling the way non-profit organizations connect with their donors and supporters, making it easier for all parties involved.

Amicus’s most recent funding run was completed in 2012, but Inc.com recently released an article on Amicus detailing Bannon’s rise from rags to (relative) riches. A dramatic conclusion to the funding round in October 2012 came in the middle of Hurricane Sandy, when the storm knocked out the power in Brad Gillespie’s neighborhood. Gillespie was a partner at IA Ventures poised to sign $3.2 million in Bannon’s direction but delayed by the storm. Luckily, technology was able to save the day. “I downloaded the papers Seth sent and used DocuSign to sign it while on the bridge,” Gillespie says, “surrounded by all these people hanging out and drinking.”

Amicus offers non-profits looking to raise funds and awareness a modern alternative to cold-calling and passing out flyers. Harnessing the reach of social media, Amicus operates on the knowledge that requests for money or favors are going to hit a lot harder coming from friends and family than a stranger. Amicus social network connections are cross referenced with target outreach populations, then those connections are tasked with contacting any of their friends that might be interested in the outreach. Successful contact rewards the caller with points and prizes. It is a surprisingly old school outreach strategy given the tech nature of the company.

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