St John’s Innovation Centre had a unique opportunity to attend CW (Cambridge Wireless) invitation-only event – CW Unplugged “Sketch-To-Scale” – at Cambridge Junction. The third event in the CW Unplugged series, an initiative aimed at young entrepreneurs, addressed creative design in the context of innovative technologies and how initially random sketches could become the catalyst for the next big idea.
This exciting evening event served as a platform for start-ups and businesses from the creative, virtual and augmented reality sector to present their sketches and prototypes and discuss consumer adoption and the channels to market.
“It’s really fantastic to meet up these innovative start-ups and see what they are already doing in the space of technology, fashion, wearables, IoT,” said Sylvia Lu, Senior Algorithm & Standards Engineer at u-blox UK and CW’s Future Technology SIG Champion. “We want to be a part of it and see what’s out there, what’s in store.”
The talks were heard from David Braben of Frontier Developments, Piers Jackson of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Lindsay O’Regan of Flex, who is leading the partnership activities between Flex and CW helping start-ups to scale up in alignment with a ‘Sketch to Scale’ design and manufacturing philosophy.
The audience was invited to take an immersive leap into virtual reality with a live demo from Dr Simon Taylor, Co-Founder & Research Director at Zappar, a company creating Augmented Reality content for brands. They have just launched a Kickstarter campaign for their new product, ZapBox, an affordable cardboard headset enabling users to experience Mixed Reality (MR) and Room-Scale Virtual Reality using the power of a smartphone.
We also heard from Kerem Atastoy, Marketing Director of Vinaya, a Shoreditch-based wearable tech company, who have just launched a new product – Altrius, a piece of smart, connected bracelet designed to help people find the digital balance in their lives.
“CW has been working for the past fifteen years servicing the engineering community within Cambridge and beyond, and it has grown to become an international network,” said Robert Driver, CEO of CW (Cambridge Wireless), the leading technology community and membership organisation. “A lot of our events are quite deep and technologically challenging often suitable for senior engineers, and we wanted to also reach out to a different demographic, to have a more informal approach where we have beer and pizza, and discuss issues that relate to younger engineers, start-ups, and people working in smaller companies. So we came up with the CW-Unplugged series of events, and it’s worked fantastically well.”