Apple co-founder backs Bangalore start-up’s product

Apple co-founder SteveBANGALORE: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has backed a product called Gecko developed by a Bangalore start-up, Connovate Technology.

In a tweet on Thursday, Wozniak said, “I contributed to this – useful as well as prankful” and then provided a link to Gecko’s site on the crowd-funding platform Indiegogo.

Gecko, a tiny, low-powered bluetooth device that can connect to your phone and can potentially have numerous applications, is seeking to raise $50,000 through Indiegogo, which allows individuals to contribute as little as even $20.

At the time of writing this, the company had raised $2,645 (the campaign started on September 11).

Wozniak put in $100 on Wednesday, and since his tweet on Thursday, the number of funders has spurted. At the time of writing, there were 67 funders.

Startup platform NextBigWhat said Gecko is only the second technology project that Wozniak has backed on Indiegogo. The other was Scanadu a Silicon Valley-based startup building a suite of smartphone-connected medical diagnostic tools for home use, which had a wildly successful crowd funding campaign.

Connovate Technology was founded in January this year by four professionals, Bahubali Shete, Kiran Kumar, Rajeev M and S Varadarajan. Shete, the technical brain behind the venture and who previously worked in Tata Elxsi, started working on Gecko even before the company was formed. “Gecko is already available and people are using it. But we are now making it even smaller and going into mass production, for which we need money,” said Kumar, who studied with Shete in BVB Engineering College in Hubli.

The new Gecko will be just a little bigger than a Re 1 coin, and is currently priced at about $20. It adds gesture control to your smartphone. So you can shake it once or twice or turn it to the left or right to make your phone perform the action you set those gestures for.

You can attach it to a key, and if you can’t find the key you can use your phone to make Gecko sound a beep. If you can’t find your phone, you can get Gecko to make the phone start ringing. When Gecko moves out of a certain range set, both the phone and Gecko will alert the user. It can detect intrusion.

If you want to ensure your mother is taking her pills regularly, you just have to attach Gecko to the pillbox and it will send alerts to your phone every time she opens the pillbox, and alerts if she does not open the pillbox at the time she is scheduled to open it and take a pill.

“There are others around the world who are working on such a product, but we are perhaps the first to commercialize it,” Kumar said.

The company has signed a contract with a Chinese manufacturer and mass-produced Geckos are expected to be available from the December holiday season.

source : Time of India