CES 2013 Preview: Vancouver Startup moj.io Is Doing Amazing Stuff With Cars

As we prepare to bring you continuous round the clock team coverage of CES 2013, we got a chance to do a pre-show interview with a Vancouver startup called moj.io that’s connecting cars diagnostic, internal computers with the cloud and an app store. They are taking the up to 25gb of data that can be generated by a car every hour, and connecting it wirelessly first to the cloud and then to your smartphone.

Combined with info from moj.io‘s GPS and accelerometer, moj.io provides a connected car experience that can be accessed via your smart phone from anywhere, anytime. With moj.io, you can now locate your car on a map, track its movements and speed, govern how far and fast it is being driven(by your teenage son or employee), lock/unlock your car doors just by the presence of your phone, intelligently stop incoming texts and calls when your car is in Drive, be notified instantly when your car is being tampered with or towed, and a whole lot more.

moj.io also offers access to diagnostic information as well. The company provides an SDK so developers can write apps that will give users/drivers the ultimate connected car experience. Cars will be able to tell their owner and even the local service center when they need to be serviced and what needs to be fixed, all the while keeping a log on your smartphone. With the SDK the sky is the limit when it comes to what can be created for the connected car experience.

REV Technologies, the company behind moj.io has been building electric vehicles for the U.S. army.

“At REV, we were building electric vehicles for the US Army, (decoding entire car computers) and making it possible for them to control the direction and flow of electricity of these electric vehicles to use them as generators for their army bases. We did this wirelessly using SIM card-enabled hot sticks and were always seeking the simplest way to do this with OEM-produced electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf. Eventually we realized that by going in through the OBD port, we were basically piping in the internet. It was a small step from there to imagining an entire ecosystem of apps, car-related companies and drivers of any kind of car interacting on an open platform.” Rev Technologies CEO Jay Giraud told nibletz in an interview.

Check out the rest of the interview below:

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Vancouver Startup: iWishfor Is Making Gift Giving Easier

iWishfor,Vancouver startup, Canadian startup, startup interviewWith the holidays behind us, gift giving isn’t on the minds of many. However when we go back to work next week there’s going to be some people undoubtedly worried whether they got someone the wrong gift. Typically you can read the fake smile but sometimes you can go all year, or at least until someone’s next birthday, to find out that they didn’t really like the last gift you got for them.

There are startups trying to solve this problem and Vancouver startup iWishfor is one of them.

The idea behind iWishfor is pretty easy. People can take their smartphone and scan the barcode of any item they may want to receive as a gift. From there they can sign up their friends and family members to see the list of the things they want. All of those people become the list follower.

As a follower you can see the list your friend created and you can cross the item off the list if you pick it up. You can also add your own suggestions to the list which the other followers can see but your gift recipient cannot. This way, not only are you getting a gift that your friend or relative really wants but your also getting a gift no one else is getting for that person.

Everyone has heard of a wedding registry or a baby registry, apps like iWishfor allow people to create virtual registries for any occassion.

We got a chance to talk with the team behind iWishfor. Check out the interview below.

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Vancouver Startup: Perch Turns iOS Devices Into Hands Free Cameras and More

Perch.co, Vancouver startup,Canadian startup,startup,startups,startup interviewBeing on the road as much as we are here at nibletz.com the voice of startups everywhere else, we’ve come to realize how useful the iPhone and iPad have become to stay intune with what’s going on at home.  For instance, FaceTime with my five year old daughter is something we do multiple times per day, every day. FaceTime is perhaps one of the easiest to use video chat apps ever created. A startup in Vancouver Canada, called Perch, has made it even easier.

Perch allows you to set up stationary iOS devices throughout your home or office. This unique app builds in video along with motion detection. Your iOS device becomes a Perch camera.  All you have to do is walk up to the stationary iOS device and start talking, Perch knows to start rolling audio and video. The Perch app then uploads the video to the cloud making it easy for the recipient to get it.

Perch cameras can be used for surveillance and security, or as a great interactive tool for the whole family. Perch calls this hands free video operation, “ambient video”. In addition to those features you can also text and video chat with anyone in your Perch family.

The app was born out of a previous startup called Redhand which turned iOS devices into sophisticated security cameras.

We got a chance to talk with the team behind Perch. Check out the interview below.

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Vancouver Startup Thinkingbox: touching consumers and corporations alike

via thinkingbox.ca

Everywhere Else: Thinkingbox is Vancouver based startup with offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Los Angeles.  They bring touch to the advertising space.  As they state in their about page,  “As a true interactive house, our focus is to provide a 2-way communication for all brands.

[DISCLAIMER] I HATE ADVERTISING, I felt it was necessary to mention that prior to going into this article.   I believe it is a necessary evil as it provides us with great and useful information for “free” (ala Google) or provides an income for sites like ours (however modest, in our case extremely modest).  I tend to have ad blocking on most of the computers I use and on all my Android devices.  The reason is simple – very often ads get in the way of the experience.  Either through pop ups that have impossibly small close buttons or by being rudely smartly placed by those who run sites like ours.



I have to admit that a company such as thinkingbox could be what changes my view on some advertising.  One thing that has always been missing in most ads, I believe, is the actual ability to truly communicate with the companies.  I don’t know if thinkingbox can change that just yet.  What they have managed to do is make advertising campaigns more personal by adding interactive elements to in-store displays, billboards, and building full featured digital campaigns.  They explain what their focus is, “Serving the advertising industry we focus on alternative media such as Touch Screen Billboards, 2-Way Interactive Campaigns, Touch and Motion Storefronts, Mobile and Tablet Applications and everything digital.”

I have wondered how long until all the different forms of advertising would converge into a unified experience.  Thinkingbox is pushing towards that idea.  Once they can provide websites like ours with advertising that can really pull our readers in we hope that the (extremely modest) ad income might be able to become something better – like decent.

We will be following up with them and hope to have an interview with the founder Amir Sahba and/or Director of Interactivity Natalie Elbracht within the next couple of weeks. I’ve included videos to some of their recent work.  You can find their portfolio here 

Starbucks – My Starbucks Rewards Interactive Display :

Starbucks “My Starbucks Rewards” Interactive Display from thinkingbox on Vimeo.

Approach: Thinkingbox implemented a fun, whimsical and engaging interactive application which was prominently featured as a touch-interactive display window. Animated falling stars beckoned passer-byes to engage, touch and explore. Players can make the stars follow their finger, collapse into a gravity well or explode off the screen. Delightful animated details such as motion blur and bouncy spring motion enhanced the whimsical nature of the piece. The application was deployed and ran on both Mac OS X and Windows operating systems.

Another example is from the Nike #KobeSystem brand.  In thinkingbox’s words,

Scope: This custom app was featured along side the Nike Kobe VII System basketball shoes at a downtown Toronto Nike retailer. Customers could try out Nike shoes and then watch funny commercials featuring Kobe Bryant himself, explaining the Kobe System to various celebrities. These videos were compressed and optimized into the app that would also capture metrics on how well the app was able to engage customers.

Approach: A rich multimedia experience was required to showcase the Kobe System brand. An iPad was chosen as the medium because of its portable multitouch capability, multimedia options and ease of development.

The Kobe video can be found below:



Nibletz: On The Road Again – We like Ramen but we love Dinner For Two