Patent strategy firm Aurora Consulting in Traverse City recently awarded several startups in the Midwest with a RISE Award, which stands for Relief for Startup Endurance. The prize means that Ann Arbor-based realLingua software startup that teaches online language learning through immersive native language speaker programs can pursue a patent for its new AI-based natural language learning programs. Founder Keith Phillips, whom we interviewed at launch just over a year ago, says that the award will help the startup move forward in several ways. “We’ve got an idea for the backbone of our conversational AI and wanted to do a provisional patent for that,” Phillips says of the recent award.
The University of Michigan School of Information is seeking organizations to host student projects in the 2020-2021 school year. Organizations from all industries – corporate, non-profit, governmental, health, and research institutions – that seek impact and access to high-caliber students are invited to propose a project.
Universities everywhere are trying to trim budgets and plan for virtual instruction in case of a second wave in the Fall 2020 semester, but where does that slack come from? In the case of schools where staff is at essential levels already or there are unavoidable cutbacks or furloughs, can software help remaining faculty and staff do more with less?
Ann Arbor’s Voxel51, which offers advanced machine learning tools to analyze video, has just released a tool that looks at the social impact of physical distancing from the COVID-19 epidemic. They’re calling it PDI, or Physical Distancing Index. The data can be used in a number of ways to look at the results of social distancing orders and correlated with virus spread trends.
Sure, there are braille tablets these days that are pretty amazing. They translate several words or lines of text from websites into raised braille dots on a physical surface that scrolls through the web, opening up the world to those who can’t view the content of computers and the internet through traditional screens. But there are challenges. According to Alex Russomanno of new Ann Arbor startup NewHaptics, current braille tablets are limited to small quantities of text at a time, they’re incredibly expensive to manufacture, and they don’t have any way to translate images or graphs. This leaves the blind locked out of visual content, maps and graphs on computers.
It goes without saying that it has been a hard week globally and that includes in Michigan, for professionals and families scrambling to adjust to new circumstances hoping to curb the spread of COVID-19. With that in mind, we will be highlighting a number of online and remote options for connecting with tech communities around the Great Lakes as we continue our reporting on news and networking opportunities in Midwest tech.
It’s already that time again, our monthly Cronicle tech events post for Ann Arbor, Detroit, and several notable tech events going on around the rest of the state of Michigan including Grand Rapids and Traverse City. We can’t cover them all, so this month we’re highlighting a few we haven’t before, such as Nerd Nite–science + beer! Also, coding + beer. We’ll get through the winter with beer.
Happy New Year, everyone! We are excited to kick off this new year with expanding interviews and test drives with the coolest new tech coming out of Michigan, but we need your help. Cronicle Press Tech News is supported through sponsorships of various kinds, and now you can become an individual or corporate Patron as well to help fund the work we are doing to cover the historic growth of tech in the Great Lakes area.
It’s New Years Eve, so we’re looking back at the most popular posts on Cronicle Press Tech News out of Ann Arbor-Detroit about the growing Great Lakes tech scene in 2019. Turns out, it was a banner year for Ann Arbor tech and Detroit startups in particular, so we just scratched the surface of all the latest news. First up, the most popular post by far, professor Austin Yarger’s master list of game development studios of Michigan. Also included at the end are some followup interviews with a few of those gaming studios that are either growing in Michigan or started here.
Sam Pierce Lolla’s Shuffleboard Hacks Product Development Collaboration From Ann Arbor To Silicon Valley
Sam Lolla is one of the creators of MadeinA2.com and the founder and director of Directed Works, a company focused on product development and user experience design for startups. Lolla taught product design at the University of Michigan, and these days works independently with clients from Ann Arbor to the San Francisco Bay area to create products using a new app he put together to make collaborative design more efficient, called Shuffleboard. Recently, Lolla put together a video series on his journey designing and building a startup and documenting every step on Youtube.