Tech + Gadgets
Entrepreneurs often focus on the “pain points” faced by consumers and what they can do to address them.
The pain point Michelle Lam and Aarthi Ramamurthy want to address is the difficulty faced by women when buying intimate apparel, starting with bras.
When it launched with its first iPhone app last December, Soma-based Postmates represented what its founder, Bastian Lehmann, called “a FedEx for local deliveries” here in the city.
Its goal was to get every store in San Francisco to start using couriers to make home deliveries– something few merchants have done traditionally.
“But we met some resistance from the stores; they had lots of questions,” says Lehmann. “I realized we weren’t going to achieve our goal anytime soon.”
Meanwhile, while merchants may have been hesitant, consumers were not.
San Francisco-based startup GoPago is a company on a mission: to bring an end to waiting in line. The company’s free mobile app–which just launched in S.F. in partnership with Chase—lets you order and pay for everything from coffee to burgers straight from your smartphone. You get to skip lines at local spots like Freshii and Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, because your order is ready and waiting when you arrive.
“Imagine a virtual wall,” Veysel Berk suggested in a coffee shop the other day. “It’s like a physical wall that you can write on or post a picture to if you are at that location. Others can see it in real time and as long as they are nearby, they can post to the wall too.”
Berk is the founder and CEO of Wallit, a geo-social app that connects people to places through multi-media messages on these augmented reality (AR) walls.
When you think about it, the experience of making a phone call hasn’t changed very much over the years, even as the devices we use to make those calls have undergone a revolution.
“It’s crazy,” says Rob Williams, CEO of Sidecar. “But the calling experience really hasn’t changed much since the days when phones were still plugged into the wall.
"At Sidecar, we are reimagining the phone call for the age of smartphones, because you should be able to take advantage of all of the features of your smartphone when talking on it.”
From their offices in Paris and San Francisco, Fotopedia’s 16-person team produces what is often referred to as a photo encyclopedia.
But it’s really more than that -- a mobile platform for immersive visual story telling on iOS apps built around themes, especially places.
Its eleventh and latest app, featuring thousands of photographs of Morocco, has just been released.
“Our mission is to help people discover beauty in the world,” says CMO Christophe Daligault. “The first word I usually hear when I load the app and show somebody is ‘Wow!’"
Over the past two years, one of the many programs Google has been testing and developing is called Business Photos. It grew out of the “street view” aspect of Google Maps, which provides a 360-degree panoramic view of the area around a street address.
Business Photos now extends that same technology inside certain local business establishments that want to give it a try. Among the first piloting the technology are the Soma restaurant Ironside, nearby wine bar District, Public Bikes, and the Brick Monkey, in Redwood City.
Like an unknown couple’s initials carved into a picnic table or a letter in a bottle that’s washed up on shore, there are messages to be found in every destination and hidden corner around the world. Now, Flickr cofounder Caterina Fake aims to capture and share them globally on Pinwheel, her new Hayes Valley startup.