One human trait that many would like to have, but few actually ever master, is to “think opportunity” at every turn. One person who can claim that he has done this all of his life is the founding director of the ZKM, Heinrich Klotz. It was in 1989 that he gave the ZKM the opportunity to think as big, active, and – perhaps most importantly – innovative as it is today. In the same year, he also set up the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG) in a former munitions factory in Karlsruhe.
© ZKM | Karlsruhe, Foto: Uli Deck
And why Karlsruhe? Because Karlsruhe is where technology is at home in Germany. It was here that Professor Werner Zorn, at that time head of the Computer Science Department at the University of Karlsruhe, and his assistant Michael Rotert received the first email through a German server in 1984 and it is here that the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is based, which is known across the world for its technical degree programs. This vibrant, young city of pioneers had no concept of such an institution in the 1980s, especially one of such magnitude, but its affinity for all things technological made it the ideal location for setting up an arts and media center. At the time, the ZKM also presented the people living in and around Karlsruhe with a major opportunity. They could now flourish – as art and science open up – on a completely new level. The ZKM also attracts a great deal of attention from the socio-political and philosophical communities and it has an important role to play in a technology region that’s active in research and development, frequently providing reminders of society’s ethical, moral, and democratic responsibilities. More…
Kinemic develops software to control and interact with digital devices – from smart watches, to smartphones, AR glasses, and PCs. All it takes is a few hand and arm motions. The CODE_n CONTEST finalist is currently developing its first finished products with major German enterprises. Later, the plan is to license the patented technology to OEMs and other software developers. Chosen for the Connected Mobility cluster and based in Karlsruhe, Founder Tomt Lenz and his team can call the new.New Fesitval they’re home game. Read all about the young company here:
What is Kinemic all about? How did you come up with the idea?
Tomt: Our main goal is to enable truly handsfree interaction with digital devices. Our gesture and hand-writing recognition technology is based on years of research at the university and we all saw the tremendous potential in the technology. There was also huge public, media and industry interest so it didn’t take that much brainstorming 😉
“Digital Disruption“ – that’s the motto of this year’s CODE_n CONTEST. What makes your solution innovative, what makes it disruptive?
Tomt: Concerning the innovation part: One of our founders, Dr. Christoph Amma, invented AirWriting, a -so far- unique capability to enter text just by writing in the air. As to the disruption part: Currently there’s no way to easily integrate this input method or gesture control into any application and we’re planning to enable this.
You’re one of the 13 finalists in the Connected Mobility contest cluster. Which challenges do you think young companies have to face in this sector? How do you handle these challenges?
Our CODE_n CONTEST Finalist Amparo focuses on simple but effective solutions for prosthetics in developing nations. Amparo‘s prosthetic socket will allow governmental and non-governmental organizations worldwide to provide services to more amputees and to extend their services with mobile outreach programs. We’ve talked to Co-Founder and Production Engineer Felix Dietrich about his young companies fascinating vision.
What is Amparo all about? How did you come up with the idea?
Felix: AMPARO is about empowering amputees. Amputation is an extremely impactful event in a person’s life, which involves not only overcoming physical challenges but psychological as well. Apart from readapting to a whole different lifestyle, amputees face the social stigma that confront people with handicap in our society, considering them as physically deficient/limited, incapable of performing certain tasks and economically unproductive. We have seen that prosthetic care is key to overcoming these challenges.
Throughout our field research, we realized that high quality products and services are constantly entering the market, however, 80% of the amputees around the world still do not have access to modern prosthetic products and services. In many instances, becoming an amputee can mean entering a poverty cycle.
AMPARO will change this! We aim to empower amputees all over the world to live their lives without limitations. Using human-centered design we are developing an alternative to traditional sockets that is a simpler, faster, more economic. This high-quality technology will help amputees across the world to walk again.
LightFab produces prototypes and series of complex 3D glass parts from customer CAD data. Moreover, the German CODE_n CONTEST finalist (Photonics 4.0 cluster) sells machines to rapidly produce 3D glass parts using selective laser-induced etching (SLE). The LightFab 3D printer is also used for precision ablation, waveguide writing, internal glass welding, and two-photon polymerization. LightFab enables the mass production of 3D glass parts by scaling the SLE process with special high-speed modules. Jens Gottmann, one of the three LightFab Founders took the time to tell us more!
What is LightFab all about? How did you come up with the idea?
Jens: LightFab uses the photons from the fs-laser and the bits in a CAD-file to produce 3D glass things with revolutionary design freedom with the large precision and speed of the LightFab 3D Printer.
Starting about 2005 during our research time at RWTH Aachen University we experienced how the fs-lasers got rapidly faster (MHz) and more powerful (>100W) and it became clear to us, that we need faster digital beam moving systems to get the lasers’ power on the road. Thus, we developed a combination of 3D beam scanning system with micro focus including various modules for extreme high speed deflection. We demonstrated the scaling of the 3D glass printing process using our new high speed microscanner: With a tailored mass production machine we can produce 3D glass parts at costs only known from molded plastic parts. That was the time to bring this technology into the real world and to start LightFab.
The 3 founders and CEO of LightFab from left to right: Jens Gottmann (machines), Jürgen Ortmann (software & machine integration into production environment), and Martin Hermans (production of 3D precision parts)
The augmented reality manuals, developed by the photonics startup ioxp, are step-by-step instructions from the point of view of the worker. Content is created by filming a correct procedure during actual work processes. The system of our CODE_n finalist extracts all explanatory information and allows adjustments to be made in post-production. The result is a multimedia instruction and assistance system. The system also uses hand tracking to recognize if something is executed incorrectly and subsequently issues alerts. We’ve talked to Co-Founder Alexander Lemken about the details of his solution:
What is ioxp all about? How did you come up with the idea?
Alex: The ioxp system enables industrial workers to teach, learn and assist with the help of Augmented Reality. Using latest machine learning techniques and computer vision technology, our system understands new working procedure from video observation. A worker can use the system to get assistance or training for the procedure in the form of step-by-step instructions, for example shown as Augmented Reality an data glasses.
The idea was born at the DFKI (German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence). The basic impulse behind the idea is the desire to bring newest technologies to areas where they most benefit. Our technology allows Augmented Reality to play an important role in industrial work processes and actively makes work easier for industrial workers. Our systems take Augmented Reality out of the show rooms and marketing sector and give it into the hands of industrial workers. More…
dynacrowd developed YOU OS to provide a core technology for location-based services needed in app development and the internet. It’s about matching users to micropages based on location, interests, time, gender, and age. Micropages provide multiple functions such as identifying people, groups, events, chats, votes, etc. It’s open to 3rd-party process integration. Revenues are generated through SaaS and PaaS, with options to enter into SDK licensing and micropayment integration for content and services. Want to find out more about the CODE_n CONTEST finalist? Read out interview with founder Christoph Dümmen:
What is dynacrowd all about? How did you come up with the idea?
Christoph: Communication is eating the world. It’s about getting in touch with things that matter. That’s why we founded dynacrowd to build a platform solution for hyperlocal instant connectivity, communication and interaction. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a human, device, service or a beacon no matter whether you want to chat or shop. That’s our vision. And we built the technology to do exactly that.
dynacrowd founder Christoph Dümmen
We saw, that there is no working solution for instant local communication. I’m convinced that just placing pointers on maps isn’t going to be it. Just the question “Which pin is relevant for me on this map?” highlights the limitations of that concept. We knew that we had to come up with a totally different approach to enable people to connect and communicate within their environment. That’s also why we developed the Wasabi Local Messenger Ecosystem as a scalable platform where people, communities and businesses can establish their communication, interaction and businesses’ needs. What is unique about our platform is that each piece of content is rated in realtime for each individual user based on multiple dimensions (e. g. distance, time, age, gender, interests, etc), and in doing that, we provide relevant data to the people instead of thousands of pins around. That makes discovery easy, relevant and fun. Which is really cool, new and contains a lot of business models. More…
CODE_n CONTEST finalist Hindsait has built an AI platform, which can extract clinical information from patient charts, enables machine learning from established guidelines and rules, and facilitates predictive scoring to enable consistent clinical decision-making. Hindsait has revolutionized the Prior Authorization process. We’ve talked to CEO Pinaki Dasgupta, who has told us more about the uniqueness of his innovation, the HealthTech sector and the vision for his startup.
What is Hindsait all about? How did you come up with the idea?
Pinaki: Hindsait is a leading Artificial Intelligence platform for better healthcare. Hindsait’s SaaS platform applies artificial intelligence to large healthcare datasets, helping payors and providers improve patient health at a much lower cost.
The word Hindsait was coined as a portmanteau of Hindsight and AI. As the name suggests, the simple idea behind Hindsait is to garner machine-enabled insights from historical clinical records that drives consistent decision-making eliminating human errors and biases.
“Digital Disruption“ – that’s the motto of this year’s CODE_n CONTEST. What makes your solution innovative, what makes it disruptive?
Pinaki: Unlike traditional business intelligence or predictive analytics companies, Hindsait’s uniqueness lies in its ability to string together an array of cognitive computing/AI technologies that has proven to prevent unnecessary health services, while demonstrating 5X+ Return on Investment (ROI).
Hindsait’s award winning AI SaaS platform’s Natural Language Processing (NLP) extracts context-sensitive clinical concepts from EMR, clinician’s notes- those are unstructured free texts. Its Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics technology enables learning from established guidelines, clinical necessity criteria, protocols and business rules that enables clinicians to make error-free, consistent clinical decisions. The SaaS platform is hosted on a secured HIPAA complaint Google Cloud Platform.
The Hindsait Team
Digitization has arrived! Digital solutions have become integral parts of daily life in education, mobility, and other fields. Where is this evolution headed? How will we learn and travel in the future?
Learning with digital media revolutionizes the culture of learning
LEARNTEC is the number one in digital learning – for school, university and corporate settings.
The implementation of digital media has evolved into a fixed feature of integrated educational concepts in schools, universities, working life, and leisure time. Now and in the future, practical lifelong learning is unthinkable without the use of digital media. Mobile education, i.e. learning and teaching via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, has been an observable trend for several years already. Thanks to Big Data and Learning Analytics, each learner receives an offer that’s individually tailored to suit that person’s specific needs. Learning based on the “watering-can principle” is obsolete. As increasingly many people make their know-how available, existing knowledge becomes more open and more freely accessible. Another important trend is game-based learning: the objective here is to playfully achieve one’s learning goals. This also involves developments in the field of 3D learning worlds and virtual reality. More…