Startup Weekend Madison is fast approaching: from April 5-7, come join other Madison hackers and entrepreneurs for a weekend of startup creation!
The three-day event is centered around one simple process: pitch ideas, form teams, and build new companies. Everyone has the opportunity to pitch their ideas, and teams are formed around the top ideas after a vote. After ideas have been selected and teams created, participants have 54 hours to create business models, code and design.
Once the hard work is done, teams have the opportunity to present in front of Madison’s entrepreneurial leaders and receive feedback on their ideas.
Register now to come and join the SnowShoe team for a weekend of what we do best: hackathons, after all, are kind of our thing.
A big shout-out to our friends Justin Beck and Forrest Woolworth of PerBlue, who were just named to the University of Wisconsin Alumni Association’s list of ”Forward Under 40″! Forward Under 40 honors young UW alumni who embody the Wisconsin Idea and make an impact in their post-college work.
As PerBlue’s CEO and COO, respectively, Justin and Forrest have played a role in putting the Madison tech scene on the map! Forrest also was co-founded Capital Entrepreneurs.
We’ve built a feature that lets you turn a rather ordinary piece of plastic into a dial for securely choosing settings on touch screen devices.
We think it is cool, but we’re having trouble thinking of use cases and/or markets for the feature. So we’re asking you to help us out – who do you think might be interested in something like this, and how might they use it?
One of the most common questions we get when we demo the SnowShoe Stamp is whether the orientation of the stamp matters. People want to know that they don’t have to worry if the stamp isn’t 100% perpendicular to the screen. We know this would be an issue from the very beginning, and thus, our current stamp detection algorithm can detect the specific stamp in use regardless of rotation.
A lightbulb moment
As we were writing the math to account for rotated touches, however, we realized that the orientation of the stamp could be used to communicate additional information in a really intuitive way. Essentially, the rotation of the stamp is another independent variable that, if we can communicate its function effectively, can be used to add more verified or authenticated data into a stamp transaction.
Instead of just stamping a mobile device to prove its user is in a specific place and/or interacting with a person or embedded system, we think people can stamp a device with the stamp in a specific orientation (or even stamp the device and then rotate the stamp while it is still in contact with the screen), and the orientation (or even active rotation) of the stamp would be used to communicate additional data to the app running the stamp SDK.
Essentially, our stamps can act as authenticated dials for multitouch devices.
This is great! But who is going to use it (and for what purpose?)?
We have a couple of ideas that we think would be cool:
A screen lock for touchscreen devices that is a skeuomorphic take on your classic combination vault lock. You touch a stamp to the screen of your device, then rotate it to three numbers to communicate the pass code. Of course, the stamp itself then becomes an additional security factor in such a system.
A mode selector for public displays. Want to change that 82″ touch panel in your lobby from feed 1 to feed 2? Just touch a stamp to the screen and rotate to the correct input. Only people with a secure stamp can make the modification, but doing so doesn’t require awkward passwords or unsightly menus.
Open for input
We have a few other ideas that aren’t listed above. That said, one thing we have learned time and time again with the SnowShoe Stamp is that people will come up with use cases for our technology that we simply can’t anticipate. So instead of trying to guess how you all will use this new stamp feature, we thought we might as well just go ahead and ask you.
$100 says you got this
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with an idea of how you would use the stamp picker feature. We’ll post our five favorite submissions (each of whom will earn one of our “Friends don’t let friends use QR Codes” T-Shirts), and we’ll give our favorite submission $100!
Today, we’re launching Stamp Rocket. Our answer to NFC technology, Stamp Rocket is a new product that’s about to make iOS device use simpler and more customizable. Stamp Rocket lets any iPhone, iPad or iTouch owner launch specific tasks by touching a plastic stamp to the screen of their device.
The idea behind all this is simple: automating everyday tasks to make your smartphone do the work for you. We’ve designed Stamp Rocket to help take the planning out of the necessary tasks that make your life run. It sends text messages and emails, places phone calls, and queues up iTunes playlists. It also posts to your Twitter and Facebook accounts, lets your friends know where you are via Foursquare Check-ins, and opens specific URLs in Safari.
The system is built around the Stamp Rocket app and small plastic stamps that interact with your iOS device’s touch screen. Using the Stamp Rocket iOS app, users associate a specific stamp with a certain tedious task that they want to automate. Thereafter, the user can simply open the app, touch the StampRocket to their phone screen, and
the app will execute the specific task in question.
Want to get in on the action? Stamp Rocket starter packs can be preordered at a discount price at www.stamprocket.com. $5 buys five stamps, which are guaranteed to ship by March 31st. After that date, the price will rise to $25. The StampRocket App is free and available on the iTunes app store.