3 Ingenious Mobile Phone Tech Ideas Featured in Shark Tank
Shark Tank is one of the most innovative reality shows to ever hit prime time. It offers start-up, thriving and desperate companies an entrepreneurial boost to see a brighter day for their business. Since its first airing in 2009, the show has featured hundreds of business ideas, and has created a bunch of millionaire entrepreneurs.
The most dynamic pitches to make their way on the “Shark Tank Rug” are the technologically creative business presentations. The show’s panel of investors have received and heard great innovations from great minds for the past 7 seasons. They have also been the audience to pitches that would not have been worth their time. In any case, the tank has been a source of inspiration to the growing technological trends of the 21st century.
With the growing demand to improve the life of the mobile and digital world, applications and hardware accessories to mobile devices have been constantly changing to meet the demands for a better solution. When solution meets the problem head on, a business is born. It is just like having a vending machine available for rental to those who want to provide people a quick snack at the next bus stop. The business potential is overflowing.
Shark Tank has a fair share of optimal solutions to various needs in the modern man’s mobile gadgets. Here are 3 of the most promising mobile tech ideas that will make you dive into the tank of the new era.
Cycloramic Will Give You a Whole New Perspective
Photography has been part of the technological bandwagon ever since the first photo was taken. Polaroid, SLRs, digital cameras and Instagram are part of the photography culture that has made people crave more advancement in the world of lights and images. It is just but fitting to create a whole new perspective to how people see the world and how they can capture its beauty.
Then comes the tank showcasing Cycloramic.
What is the Cycloramic?
Cycloramic is a mobile phone application that creates panoramic photos by “stitching” multiple images taken by the phone. Invented by Bruno Francois, the application has a unique feature that taps into the mobile phones vibration system to independently take timed photos for the final output. Currently sold in iTunes for $1.99, this fun and amazing app has reached more than 8 million downloads since it was featured in the show.
During the show, the mobile app sold for $0.99. At an impressive 600,000 initial downloads, the application was already snowballing even before it appeared in the program. Francois sees the mobile app as a fun photo application but banks on its future application as perfect gaming add-on. He also sees the eventual need for a hardware that could replicate the “spinning process” of an Apple phone for other models.
What Happened in Shark Tank?
Francois walked onto the rug with a simple set-up to present his sales pitch to the 5 Sharks. With a medium-size screen and poster, he introduced his Cycloramic and demonstrated the app itself. In seconds, he took a panoramic image of the investors, amazing them and brewing their interest. Lori Greiner, one of the lady Sharks, inquired about the “base” for the phone to work. The inventor exclaimed that the phone was the one spinning…on its own!
With the Sharks clearing the air with all their inquiries on how the application works, the feeding frenzy began. Offers range from $200,000 for 10% of the equity to a fixed 15% royalty on the product. With Francois’ initial valuation at $90,000 for 5%, he swam with the Sharks, and eventually scored a deal from Tech Mogul Mark Cuban and Greiner for $500,000 at 15% equity of the company.
Where is the Cycloramic Now?
The success of the application has brought about other innovations in the line of Cycloramic. One of Francois‘ latest offerings is a new app called Selfie 360. By the name itself, the app creates panoramic selfies! The app downloads are currently piling up together with the growing demand from the social media community for a more unique selfie experience.
Aside from still imaging technologies, the inventor has his eye on a floating iPhone pod for an innovative chatting experience on Facetime. According to Francois, the gadget has the ability to “rotate and follow you.” This gives a more surreal interaction as the person on the other end (of the internet conversation) has the ability to control what they see. Though it’s still in the process of perfecting its technology, the company has a lot of other concepts underway for the selfie world to enjoy.
Breathometer – The App That Will Take Your Breath Away
“There is no replacement for good judgement.” A fitting statement to increase the awareness against DUI, and help prevent the world’s drunk driving-related accidents in the process.
Safety is one of the keys to improving the life of a modern day man. With the consistent increase of DUI cases and related incidents, there is a huge need to increase the awareness and improve the eradication counts of different countries. The world’s actions towards this issue can mean saving the life of another who is innocent.
This is the perfect picture Charles Michael Yim, CEO of Breathometer, wants to paint one breath at a time.
What is the Product?
Breathometer is a complete digital breathalyzer system that can help an individual gauge his or her alcohol levels at any given time using their mobile phone. The system includes an app that can read the alcohol level in the air blown into the breathalyzer device plugged into the mobile phone. Its compact design gives a hassle-free experience to keep this safety tool handy.
This mobile-app based breathalyzer has been sold for $49.99 since 2013, where 4,000 units were mobilized since its inception until it was featured in Shark Tank. Today, Yim manufactures and sells 4,000+ units per week to meet the rapidly increasing demands in the market.
What Happened in Shark Tank?
Yim started his presentation by offering the Sharks champagne to wish his pitch good luck. With everyone all fizzled up, Yim introduced Breathometer – the world’s first smartphone breathalyzer.
He demonstrated how the device works with Greiner as the “breath model.” With the easy-to-use device, they were able to read Greiner’s alcohol level within seconds.
Seeing the huge opportunity in the product, Cuban jumped into action with a $500,000 offer for 20% stake in Yim’s company. This riled up everyone as all Sharks were all giddy to join in the frenzy. Collaboration after collaboration, all 5 Sharks joined forces to give the Silicon Valley veteran the whole $1Million he needs to fund the innovative product. This marks the Shark Tank’s first $1Million deal in exchange for a 30% equity trade off with Breathometer.
Where is it Now?
Breathometer has evolved since it aired in 2013. Just like any other companies who walked on the Shark Tank Rug, the company’s sales performance gets a dramatic increase on top of an out-of-this-world boost in the campaign funds. Considering the growth path of a smartphone breathalyzer, Breathometer eventually holds the technological momentum and goes for the health application of the product.
Mint, the branch of Breathalyzer that focuses on the medical opportunities of the technology, has also been gaining popularity. It monitors an individual’s oral health, and helps detect any health problems associated with the results from “breath reading.” Mint is the realization of a plan that was shared by Yim during his pitch in the show when Shark Robert Herjavec jokingly inquired about bad breath.
Phonesoap Will Make a Cleaner You
Cleanliness is seated beside godliness. An old saying that has been given a new twist by Shark Tank.
Since the new age is all about keeping technology on the go, mobile devices have been in the limelight in various innovations and advancements. One of the unique perspectives that modern day inventors are putting their mind into is its cleanliness and its correlation to human health. Based on studies, mobile devices may be one of the dirtiest things a person can touch…on a day to day basis!
Wesley LaPorte and Daniel Barnes light the path towards the latest way in keeping mobile gadgets as sanitary as they should be. Welcome Phonesoap.
What is Phonesoap?
Phonesoap is sanitizing device that keeps every mobile device healthy clean and free from harmful bacteria it will most definitely hold. Also designed as an enclosed charger, Phonesoap uses UV light to kill 99.99% of the bacteria that it will gather from its daily use. According to the innovators’ research, 1 in every 6 mobile phones have fecal matter on them. Disgusting but surprisingly accurate.
Since the launch of the product, the owners have already generated more than half a million dollars in sales. The numbers are indeed impressive, even shocking Sharks during the tandem innovator’s sales pitch. Undeniably marketable, Phonesoap has proven that the market sees it as more than just a niche product.
What Happened in Shark Tank?
Cousins and business partners, LaPorte and Barnes walked up in front of the Sharks with a sense of quirkiness and determination. They gave undeniable statistics on the cleanliness of mobile devices. This stirred the curiosity of most of the show’s investors. They eventually presented Phonesoap as a solution to the growing sanitation concern of a modern day techie. Almost at the verge of being unceremoniously rejected, they provided their sales numbers, putting a different twist in the game.
Herjavec, Kevin O’Leary, and Barbara Corcoran failed to see the need for the product and its potential in the market. They tapped out from the feeding frenzy, leaving Cuban and Greiner to fight for the right on equity. After a fierce competition over sales strategies and sales force strength, the queen of QVC ultimately won the right for the sanitation device, getting 10% of the company at $300,000.
Where is Phonesoap Now?
Phonesoap has been in different marketing and sales outlets since its commercialization in Shark Tank. On their own, they are able to set a hefty deal in 400 Staples stores to commission a sizable number of units sold. To date, they have their own online store, promote a wholesale distribution plan, and are a mainstay in QVC as a means to reach millions of potential buyers.
LaPorte and Barnes are also expanding their product line by creating more flexible and diverse products. Their market is growing, especially in the commercial field. Just like Cuban’s idea of tapping hospitals as huge clients, the Phonesoap owners are making their steps in branching out to medical facilities and educational institutions.
Shark Tank packs a lot of punch in the field of technology and business. There is no doubt that modern man will see more future innovators as long as the world creates a platform for them to be heard.
Let the desire to provide better solutions to man’s needs be the driving force of the next innovator.
Imagine this. You wake up one day, and your life is the best video game of the 21st century. You find out that your character is a “Novice Entrepreneur.” You begin to explore. You start to get the hang of the system. With confidence, you say to yourself, “I’m gonna be the very best like no one ever was.” You immediately realize that to move forward in the game, you need to talk to NPCs (Non-Player Characters). However, every person you can talk to is another player playing their own RPG (Role-Playing Game). Then it hits you.
This is no ordinary game. It is a game where you only have one life. No restarts. No saved points. It is a continuously evolving world.
It’s called life.
Entrepreneurs have to be the most creative, courageous , and challenge-ready people on the planet. At any given moment, they are ready to move forward, make the best in every situation, and be the social animals that they are.
Their continuously evolving skill set makes them the perfect survivor of the ever-changing world. In this day and age of technology, a hefty dose of those entrepreneurial skills may have come from the virtual world of NPCs, quests, level-ups and rewards. Video games bring a lot of lessons to the thriving entrepreneur. These lessons may have come from a make-shift world, but it definitely is a source of many of the new-aged business skills that works in real life.
Log-on and start the quest to find the entrepreneurial skills that could give you the experience boost on your next level-up in your business..
Will You Conquer This Quest?
The majority of (if not all) video games offer a good dose of side quests to keep everyone all riled up on the virtual experience. Whether a game offers a dramatic role play with a storyline, endless rallies of challenges or non-stop PvP interaction, side quests are always present to keep the players’ energy up.
This staple feature gives an opportunity to learn the value of multi-tasking. With everyday life rolling endlessly, “side quests” come up and give energy boosts to those in need of excitement. In real life, it could be starting a new relationship (Reward: 200exp + a new girlfriend), getting a new car (Reward: 500exp + a new 2016 Audi R8 V10 plus) or building a new business (Reward: 700exp + a home-style gluten-free cookie retail business).
An entrepreneur definitely needs the power of multi-tasking in his day-to-day business operations. Knowing how to handle multiple tasks requires a lot of energy and a huge amount of creativity. Managing the people in a store (Reward: Productivity Boost +10), appeasing a frantic customer (Reward: Repeat Order +25) and bookkeeping the monthly sales (Reward: 250exp + MYOB Accounting Software Assist) will give anyone a headache without the proper training.
An entrepreneur-gamer can definitely see this as an exciting challenge.
The quest to gain ultimate riches and rare items in a game gives an immeasurable adrenaline to a gamer. This drive to pursue multiple tasks taps the psychological effect of a rewards system, which in turn triggers the goal-setting mindset of an individual. Add in patience and determination and this training gives enough experience to level-up a novice to a “Thriving Entrepreneur.”
Balance is the Name of the Game.
It takes a great deal of courage to take on the daily life of an entrepreneur. The unpredictable twists and turns can turn any inexperienced individual into a complete mess of an I-want-my-mommy-because-I-want-to-quit, cry baby. Thus, it is imperative to prepare physically, mentally and emotionally. Without any holistic preparation, one huge swing from the Evil Big-Boss of the business challenge can turn any gamer-businessman into a level 1 bankrupt owner.
Almost every game offers an opportunity to customize various features, attributes, and elements of a character. More often than not, the avatar becomes more impervious to any damage from the environment with proper equipment and preparation. In other situations, focusing on a specific attribute can make the difference between life and death. It is all about balancing and prioritizing.
Sound familiar? Apparently, this game feature is a perfect reflection of real life drama.
Just like life, business is an evolving science. It greatly considers various factors in its evolution – the industry it is in, the manager it has, the condition of the economy when it began, and how other businesses interact with it. The balancing act is done by the entrepreneur to make sure his business remains afloat.
Does the business require more products or additional service (Reward: Income+30)? Is the current manager enough to handle the operations or are more supervisors required (Reward: Production Rate Speed +20)? Are the numbers adding up to give the business a level up (Reward: Expansion +30?
One of the marks of an effective entrepreneur is his ability to react to situations and balance his business’ strengths and opportunity to improve. This makes him an “Engaged Entrepreneur.”
What Doesn’t Kill you Makes you Stronger
Every challenge requires a certain level of capability, flexibility and knowledge. No one comes to the battle unarmed. Even with just a wooden buckler and a dagger, a person can still face challenges. It is just a matter of finding out what needs to be done, what is required to achieve that goal, and how much preparation is needed for the upcoming challenge ahead.
The problem-solving skill of a gamer begins to manifest when a clue is left for him to ponder. The next best step to take would then be to find out which NPC holds the next clue. When the one clue is deciphered after another, it is just a matter of following the bread crumbs to the next big thing. At the end of the trail, the reward can be as sweet as the final potion in the final bout.
Then comes the Ultimate Boss Dark Lord who is 10x bigger than the hero and can only be killed with a +9 Blessed Joyeuse.
Interconnected scenarios make up for a good game also, and the same holds true in real life. Interconnected situations come up which eventually puts you face-to-face with a roadblock. The problems that arise in these situation can only be resolved by finding the right dots, determining which dots connect to another, and ultimately connecting them to create the bigger picture.
This skill of connecting the dots has a gigantic impact on businesses. According to Steve Jobs, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” Finding the ultimate dot can grant the success an entrepreneur needs to beat the final game.
It may just be another game for others, but it can be an ultimate learning opportunity for most of the gaming entrepreneurs. An in-game character level-up maybe an exciting milestone, but learning to effectively multi-task, balance and prioritize, and create ways to overcome a challenge is the best, real-life milestone anyone can get from video games. Plus, an actual income increase and improved productivity rate are always great life bonuses for a real-world business engagement.
After everything’s been said and done, a new game begins, and a whole new set of learning unravels.