Five innovative wireless companies snapped up awards after displaying to panel of judges the worth of their wireless-based products. Discovering Start-Ups 2010, run by Cambridge Wireless and supported by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) attempted to find the five most original uses of wireless technology.
Augmentra, Cambridge Temperature Concepts, MagicSolver.com, OXEMS (Oxford Electromagnetic Solutions) and PneumaCare won through after a shortlist of 25 companies won through to the final.
The companies had to give Dragon's Den-style presentations in order to reap the benefits of £2,000 in prize money, although the opportunity for emerging companies to shine in the public eye would have been a reward in itself.
The finalists are a mixed bunch. Augmentra has developed a navigation tool for smartphones, particularly focusing on location-based services for rural users, such as hikers and mountaineers. The prize-winning entry from Cambridge Temperature Concepts was a wireless-based fertility monitor for women,that picks up physiological data 20,000 times a day, coupled with a handheld reader to calculate results and PC software that enables experts to examine the data.
There was another medical finalist, Pneumacare, that also provides clinicians with monitoring of vital signs via wireless links. The company's PneumaScan technology observes chest wall movements and calculates volume changes over time based on Structured Light Plethysmography (SLP) technology, which works by projecting a grid pattern onto a patient's chest area.
The other finalists were MagicSolver, a developer of apps for smartphones, Oxford Electromagnetic Solutions which locates buried company assets by using RF technology.
"Discovering Start-Ups has been a great success and were delighted to support the initiative to encourage, inspire and recognise the next generation of technology entrepreneurs who will play a vital role in helping to drive the economy out of recession," said Dr Paul May, executive director of EEDA. "We are already looking ahead to Discovering Start-ups 2011."