Hey, everybody, welcome to “The Engadget Show” brought to you by Chevy. Episode 2 for Expand New York. We’re really excited about this. This was actually my favorite part of Expand back in March– the Insert Coin competition. One of the many reasons why it was my favorite part is because it means I get to hang out with Mark. Why did you fly all the way across the country to help co-host this with me? I love coming here because just the quality of the projects that these people are entering is like mind-blowing. There’s some real game-changers that can really change the way that things are being manufactured. People are making things for makers, and it’s like we’re seeing this leapfrogging thing. It’s really cool. Yeah. So, stay tuned for the future, right here on “The Engadget Show.” -Mr. Postman. -BITalino. -HeadsUP!
-BlinkScan. -DIWire Bender. -Smart Power Strip. -MyBell. -NutriSurface.
-iOximeter. -GrowCubes. Insert Coin is a competition designed to highlight the very, very best of new hardware projects in a pre-crowdfunding stage. So before they actually start a campaign, they enter our Insert Coin contest. It’s the era of crowdfunding. I mean, why go the investor and angel route when you can have real people fund your product? …that I basically command with my muscle. So whenever I contract my muscle, the car starts going. (high-pitched sounds) You can take whatever sound you want and project it from your handlebars at high volume. (zany sounds) The grow recipes just let you start growing right away. We were really excited to be here just looking at all the cool, new stuff. So, to have an endorsement here is huge, given that this is the geekiest, nerdiest thing. So, yeah, we’re really pretty happy about it. I think there’s a lot of great competitors. I think it’s very interesting to see all the different things that people have done. I think one thing that’s especially interesting is that everybody is in a completely different space, so it’s apples to oranges to say that we’re any better than anybody else or vice versa. So, uh, you know, we’re just glad to… to be here, and I hope we win. It was tough, ’cause there were a lot of… I mean,
all the projects were great. And I think just to get to this stage
was a big deal. ‘Cause we did have a lot of submissions, you know, to the Insert Coin competition. If I had to pick one, I’d say DIWire, um, ’cause I am one of those individuals at a hacker space who immediately thought, “Oh, my God, there are like 12 projects I’d want to use this for immediately.” I really like DIWire, as well. But also I was a big proponent for the Blink Scan. I used to be a graphic artist and I still do a lot of things in Photoshop. And I know how long it can take to crap out photos and you know make a nice, clear background. So I saw that, I’m like, “Wow, this would be,
you know, a miracle for anyone that has to take a lot of product photographs,” and it worked great. They zoomed in the image for me and I could see the edges, and it looked… it looked better than what you could do by hand in Photoshop, so… That was my pick– great product. So, Ryan, I assume pricing factored into these decisions for you. You know what, these guys can price everything however they want it. The market will decide.
Just tell us what it is. That’s all I ask. Can I get a drumroll?
I’m told that, uh… -(drumroll)
-There we go. So, the five finalists for Insert Coin are… MyBell… DIWire… GrowCubes…
Smart Power Strip and Blink Technologies. So, congratulations, everybody. Whoo! So, this is it, this is… this is the exciting part. This is where it gets super dramatic. We’ve got five contenders left. And it’s very diverse. Growing food, bending wire,
a new way of doing scanning. It’s lke every aspect of our lives is being touched by these technologies. I am so glad that we are just the hosts, that we don’t actually have to do -the picking this time out.
-Oh, definitely, yeah. They’ve got a tough job ahead of them. They do, but it’ll be exciting to see what they… what they pick. I’m Marco Perry. I’m a founder of Pensa.
And this is the DIWire, which is the first desktop CNC wire bender. So we’re bending eighth-inch steel which, when we built this truss, is enough to hold, you know, a couple hundred pounds. And we just soldered it together with electrical solder or plumbing solder. You simply draw a curve and drag it into our software, press “BEND,” and out it’ll come in wire. If you use this in conjunction with 3D printers or laser cutters, you can really build a lot of things really quickly and fast, and strong. We really want to learn a lot of feedback as to what people think about it, what their uses would be and certainly, you know,
great exposure. So if we win the Insert Coin, we would use that to augment any money we get on a Kickstarter campaign, and we will use that to finalize the R&D and the development for production. I’m Don Skaggs, Founder and CEO of Blink Technologies, creator of the BlinkScan. The BlinkScan is the world’s first instant, intelligent and high-resolution way to scan. The instructions are extraordinarily simple. You press the button. Now what happens, we’re taking three monochrome images in red, blue and green and then we’re recombining that image in the software. So, every pixel is gonna see every color and you’re gonna get a full-color image. This would take literally hours with Photoshop, trying to cut out all these individual tines. We did it in an instant at the press of a button. Completely simple, copmpletely easy. What you’re looking at today is our two prototypes. They work very, very well; they do a lot
of really cool stuff. But we need the capability to expand that. And of course that also is always gonna take cash, so… My name is Chris, and I’m with GrowCubes.
I’m the Founder of GrowCubes. It’s a stackable, modular, aeroponic growth system. We’ve been around for a little while, but we’re still really a very early-stage start-up, so for us it’s a way to kind of, you know literally “kickstart ” our whole offering. It starts with a pressurized cube, so there are no bugs coming in, no pathogens. We use aeroponic mist to deliver the nutrients and the water at the same time, right to the roots. So it’s kind of an accelerated growth that the plants actually go through. There’s a very elaborate sensor network all through this to monitor and kind of just keep an eye on what’s going on. And we pull all that data into a set of web services that basically monitor what’s going on, um, and we call that
a “grow recipe.” Now, what that lets you do is create
your own grow recipe to sort of hack your food
to the taste that you want. Um, but if you’re not into that, that’s totally okay. You can just use our grow recipes to grow anything from our catalog and then you don’t really have to suffer through the… sort of the pain points of learning how to grow stuff. You know, that’s… when I first started, you know, you came to my house, and… all my houseplants were dead, so… It can really help you, you know, in ways you never… never imagined possible. My name is Roger. So, I’m the inventor of the Smart Power Strip. The Smart Power Strip has the WiFi and two-point-four gigahertz home automation mesh network built in. So, we also come with a Smartphone app. Pull out the app, connect it and start pressing and you can start controlling it. I see that in home automation products–
there’s something missing. This is a new kind of home automation product that can give you an affordable solution. You can have, like… instead of three we have a Kickstarter campaign going on next week. And that will be having a four-outlet and yeah, the pricing and all that. My name’s Peter Pottier, and our product is MyBell– the world’s first customizable bicycle bell. Think ringtones for your bike. We’re from New York originally. We’re based in Brooklyn right now, and that’s where we’re working. If we win Insert Coin, that’s really great because it’ll give us some room where we can maybe increase our minimum order on the production run and by using economies of scale, we can maybe bring down the cost. We want to build something larger, perfect our product features and have future product roll-outs, as well. So, we also have customizable LEDs, so you can decide how you want to look in the dark, as well. So we think that’s important because people want things that are customized. And we think riders should get that as well. And… (electronic melody beeping) (laughs) She really hits those high notes, yeah. We definitely smoothed out the process quite a bit the second time around. We made the voting process a lot cleaner. We have actually two prizes that can be won. There’s a Judges’ Choice– so the judges’ combined vote will select that winner, who will receive $10,000. And we also have online voting where the Readers’ Choice winner is actually gonna receive $15,000 to take their project to the next level. You gonna start with the… the Judges’ Choice? Yeah, yeah, I’ve got the Judges’ Choice here, so, uh… I’m about to read it.
Could I have a drumroll? -(drumroll)
-There we go! All right… And the winner is…
all right it is, DIWire. We’re super excited. I mean,
we couldn’t be more thrilled. We had a lot of great people that submitted.
We’re really excited for us and our team. All the hard work we’ve put in to get here. It’s really great to get some recognition for… for the work that we’ve done, and it really gives us some validity and have other people judge it and feel that they are really confident. Plus the money really helps us start our launch of the product and really bring it to market and bring it to people from education to small businesses to individuals, enthusiasts. (drumroll) And the winner is GrowCubes.
Congratulations, guys. So, we just won the People’s Choice Award.
That was amazing. This really, to us, is the more important one, because that’s the biggest endorsement that we could hope for is that people like it. So what’s next for GrowCubes is we are gonna do our Kickstarter/IndieGoGo campaigns um, next spring, spring of 2014. And in the meantime, we’re gonna start ramping up an initiative that we want to do right when we actually have the first 100. It’s to start an educational vertical farm using 100 GrowCubes in schools in New York City. Um, yeah, so that’s where this will go to. Yeah, I’ve been nervous for the last three days. I mean, like continuously, so… (chuckles) This feels really good, yeah.