Flash

Proxxi saves workers from getting electrocuted

Posted by | ABB, analyst, ceo, electricity, Flash, Gadgets, High Voltage, iPhone, manufacturing, oil and gas, see, Startups, TC, vancouver | No Comments

There are some gadgets that are nice to have – iPhones, sous vide wands – and some gadgets that you must have. Proxxi fits in the latter camp.

Proxxi is an always-on sensor that buzzes when it gets too close to high voltage electricity. It’s worn by mechanics and electricians and alerts them when they’re approaching something dangerous. The Vancouver-based company just sold out of its initial commercial evaluation units and they’re building a huge business supplying these clever little bracelets to GE, Con Edison, Exelon, Baker Hughes, Schneider Electric and ABB.

The bracelet connects to an app that lets workers silence warnings if they’re working on something that is energized and it also tracks the number of potentially harmful interactions wirelessly. This lets management know exactly where the trouble spots are before they happen. If, for example, it senses many close brushes with highly charged gear it lets management investigate and take care of the problem.

Founded by Richard Sim and Campbell Macdonald, the company has orders for thousands of units, a testament to the must-have nature of their product. They raised $700,000 in angel funding.

“All of this is critical to enterprises looking to mitigate risk from catastrophic injuries: operational disruption, PR nightmare, stock analyst markdowns and insurance premiums,” said Macdonald. “This represents a whole new class of hardware protection for industrial workers who are used to protection being process driven or protective gear like gloves and masks.”

The company began when British Columbia Hydro tasked Sim to research a product that would protect workers from electricity. Macdonald, whose background is in hardware and programming, instead built a prototype and showed it around.

“We initially found that all utilities and electricians wanted this,” he said. “The most exciting thing we have discovered in the last year is that the opportunity is much larger covering manufacturing, oil and gas, and construction.”

“It’s a $40 billion problem,” he said.

The goal is to create something that can be used all day. Unlike other sensors that are used only in dangerous situations, Proxxi is designed to be put on in the morning and taken off at night, after work.

“There are other induction sensors out there, but they are focused on high risk scenarios, ie, people use them when they think they are at risk. The trouble is you can’t tell when you are at risk. You can’t sense that you have made a mistake in the safety process,” said Macdonald. The goal, he said, is to prevent human error and, ultimately, death. Not bad for a wearable.

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Tokyoflash has created a radar watch that scans the skies (or your wrist)

Posted by | electronics, Flash, Gadgets, TC, TokyoFlash, watch | No Comments

Tokyoflash is one of my favorite watchmakers. Unabashedly analog, the watches pay homage to giant robots and old tech, looking like a cross between something that you could find in the hatch in Lost and a Shinjuku fever dream.

Now the company has launched the Radar LED watch, a clever piece that shows the time with sweeping beams of light that flash across the watch face. The watch features a USB-rechargeable movement and a mineral crystal with silk-screen cross-hairs and markers. Behind the glass are a set of LEDs that either blink when you raise the watch to look at the time or tap a side button.

No step counters or notifications mar the stark simplicity of this strange watch. The time flashes up on the face and disappears just as quickly.

Like most Tokyoflash watches, this thing is hard to read at first. I suspect it becomes an acquired skill. While you won’t be able to scan for bogeys for real on this decidedly unsmart watch, it makes for an interesting – if bold – conversation starter. It’s shipping now for $189.

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WeVideo revamps its online video editor for HTML5

Posted by | Flash, html5, Mobile, Startups, TC, Video Editing, wevideo | No Comments

wevideo WeVideo has rebuilt its browser-based video editor using HTML5 instead of Flash. For many of you, the whole debate about HTML5 versus Flash may seem like a weird flashback to 2010. But Flash is taking a while to die completely — Google Chrome, for example, continues to phase out Flash gradually. CEO Krishna Menon said that in the case of WeVideo’s new editor (which launched… Read More

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