Friday, July 10, 2015

MIN to the max at #MIN76

MITRE hosted MIN (how alliterative) for the first time on Wednesday 7/8. The space was beautiful and spacious, even including an indoor rock garden. It's a good thing the space was big, because the crowd was big. MITRE was a great host, providing not only a good space but also delicious food, including edamame dumplings. Who can resist edamame dumplings? Thank you, MITRE.

Spacious Space
It's always amazing to me how diverse the products are at MIN, even when there's a theme, or in this case two themes: HealthIT and Cybersecurity.  It was mainly the health products that made an impression on me.

MyMedicalShopper attracted a lot of attention with a health care transparency platform. Think of being able to make your health care choices based on price, quality, and convenience data! MyMedicalShopper makes comparison easy, so your choices are clearer. Needless to say, they got loads of votes and won the grand prize, a flight on Tailwind.

My Medical Shopper
My personal favorite was Sunu a wearable "flashlight" for the blind and visually impaired. It's a wristband that uses ultrasound technology to scan your path and give feedback using vibration. This allows a person with low vision to move safely and smoothly. A branch hanging over the sidewalk? Furniture in your path? Sunu lets you know. 

Sunu Demo Table
Fernando Albertorio gave a great presentation. I chatted with him afterwards about my partner's needs in detecting and responding to uneven surfaces (remind me to blog about the obstacle course that the East Side of Providence has become with the endless water pipe project). Sunu won't really help with detecting when the sidewalk changes from pavement to gravel and slopes up and down quickly, but the potential is there for that. Sunu won a MITRE swag bag in the fan voting.
Fernando Wearing Sunu
Revvo is a smart exercise bike - wicked smaht as we might say in Boston - that not only tracks how much exercise you do, but also measures your aerobic capacity and helps you cycle at just the right intensity to get maximum fitness improvement. They offered free fitness tests at their demo table and generated lots of enthusiasm for their presentation. And yes, they were one of the fan voting winners.

Revvo Presentation
MIN regular (since practically the beginning), Mory Bahar, presented his Choose This Not That series of apps from Personal Remedies  that guide you through nutritional solutions to common health conditions and issues like gout, high triglycerides, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, Vitamin D deficiency, and even some types of cancer. You name it and there's an app to help you decide what to eat/not eat based on whatever your issue is. I noticed a lot of people downloading the apps while Mory was presenting. Another well-deserved fan favorite winner of a MITRE swag bag.

Mory Bahar

The READcase attracted my attention because it provides a stable platform for image capture, which is very useful to blind and low vision folks who use mobile apps that do text to speech based on image scanning. It's handy for lots of other scanning applications too. It's certainly less bulky than the huge scanning device my partner has for reading her mail. The READcase works with existing technology for text recognition, so it doesn't solve many of the problems people experience with the big expensive standalone solutions either, like reading glossy postcards or other glossy material or reading watermarks and the gray background text (how do you tell if that's a bill from Blue Cross or it's telling you that you paid -- the key info is in the gray watermark.) Anyway, beyond uses for low vision apps, this could be really useful for scanning business cards and other items.

DARTDrones Flight School had a table full of drones to attract the crowd. I mean, who can resist drones? Not sure whether drones are cybersecurity or health care, but they're cool (despite their use as wildlife harassment devices -- please don't fly your drone on National Wildlife Refuges, it's illegal and not a good idea).
DARTDrones Flight School
Admetsys tackles the problem of measuring and managing insulin and glucose in surgical and hospital care of diabetic patients. This is an innovation that doesn't necessarily wow the crowds because it's not a consumer product, but it is brilliant and deserves attention. It's basically an artificial pancreas. Do check it out.

Have you ever wanted to throw the microphone to that person in the back row who has a question? I have. So have MIN presenters. That's why Catchbox was a big hit. Yes, BobbieC threw the Catchbox to an audience member and audience members threw it to other audience members. It sure beats running around trying to hand off the microphone. I hereby award Catchbox "Best Prop of MIN76"! Yes, they beat out the drones :-) Maybe I should give it "Best Costume" too, because it's so cleverly disguised that it doesn't even look like a microphone.
Best Prop of MIN76 - Catchbox
For our Experts Looking Expert photo we have two of MITRE's cadre of experts, who provided loads of info about MITRE and technology transfer, and were just all around fun to talk with.

Experts Looking Expert

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