The New East is bursting with fresh tech talent, with companies across the region leading the globe in everything from healthcare to robotics.
These creative innovators feature on this year’s EU Top 50: a competition challenging start-ups and entrepreneurs to take on some of Europe’s greatest challenges. They’ll be showcasing their work to the European Parliament on 28 November as part of the annual European Innovation Summit in Brussels.
The Calvert Journal took a closer look at some of the best New East start-ups to make the cut.
Speech Blubs is an app helping thousands of children with speech and language problems. Using games, videos, stickers and filters, the app encourages toddlers and young children to copy and create sounds and words. With more than 2000 paid subscribers, as well as 3000 therapists using the app in schools and clinics, it’s no surprise that Blub Blub has already hit the top spot for educational apps in the Slovenian app store.
Forget smart homes: Croatian hardware company Include is already striving to create smart cities. Founded by 22-year-old Ivan Mrvoš, the company provides the know-how behind the solar-powered Steora smart bench: public seating which tracks environmental data, charges phones and tablets, and provides a free Wi-Fi hotspot. More than 450 of the benches can already be found in 125 towns and cities across the globe.
The wearable tech trend may have already fizzled out, but innovators are already taking the same technology far beyond the FitBit. EVA is a mobile, voice-controlled AI assistant for the visually impaired, combined with a pair of sleek smart glasses. The glasses recognise objects and signs in order to analyse the wearer's local surroundings, helping to guide them through the street or back home. The EVA team in Hungary are already building a functional, wearable prototype, and are getting ready for trials in cities across Europe.
Polish start-up Remmed VR is embracing virtual reality as an efficent and cost-effective way to treat childhood sight problems. The company delivers therapy sessions designed to combat a range of conditions: including programs for children with lazy eyes, crossed eyes, or a lack of stereoscopic vision. A VR headset records the data, allowing doctors to monitor their patients remotely while children do their therapy sessions at home. And while the VR option may seem costly compared to traditional eye patches, it slashes the costs of in-clinic treatment.
Slovakian innovators Photoneo wants to help robots see like humans. The answer: high-speed, high-tech 3D cameras which can deliver up to 60 frames per second. The tech is vital to help robots recognise their surroundings, pick up objects, and move easily in 3D spaces. From there, the possibilities are endless.