YCombinator Hardware Startups, Summer 2013


YCombinator Summer 2013 Demo Day is taking place this very moment and this batch, once again, has a number of really clever hardware startups that will change the world, big or small. Take a look at the list and check out the products that you find the most interesting. In no particular order, here are the hardware startups from this batch:

1 – Amulyte

A tracker and emergency response button for active seniors. We just wrote about it a few days ago, so take a look at the full description here.

2 – ixi-play

It’s a piece of hardware. It’s a piece of software! It’s a robotic pet. It is also a toy that keeps kids engaged, while keeping them away from the computer screens. This toy reminded me of a blend between Tamagochi and Furby , but the one that connects to your smartphone and has brains. Hard to judge early on, but I bet this could either flop or get really-really popular.

3 – True Link

“The True Link Prepaid Visa® Card helps you safeguard your loved one from scams and unwanted charges, without taking away their financial independence.” This is a credit card for seniors with cognitive disabilities that detects and prevents fraud, without requiring the user to think about it. Imagine, if scammers could no longer get money from people who mean to do good, say by sending money to charities, but who don’t realize that scammers could take advantage of their generosity? Although for seniors today, the technology could sure be applied to the rest of us in the future.

4 – SoundFocus

Hearing aid of the future. Ever since launching their hearing app in the iPhone App Store, the team had seen an overwhelming response. Hearing-impaired people can now once again hear the sounds of music that were long gone with the traditional ways of listening to music. But the team is not stopping at enhancing music and they are already working on wireless earbuds which will perform the same select-frequency amplification within your ear. This app+device will significantly reduce the cost of having a hear aid and will help hundreds of thousands of people. How amazing!


5 – Estimote

Retail store sensors that can track people precise location and then trigger conventional actions. This is the only company in the world that is already shipping this type of product.

6 – Meta

Amazing space glasses that create virtual reality right in front of your eyes. Two of the three world experts on augmented reality are part of the Meta team, and so are 20+ more talented designers, engineers and scientist. We also wrote about this product a few days ago, check out the full overview.

7 – Senic

Precision measurement tool for iPhone that will blow your mind. No more trips to Home Depot for expensive tools that only accomplish one function. Get this precision laser, plug it into an iPhone and you’re ready to measure anything! You get to save and log your data, share it, assign data to real world locations and photos, and the best part, you can even develop on top of their API.


8 – Graft Concept

Who would have thought that making iPhone cases could be a billion-dollar business, but apparently, it is. The team at Graft Concept is changing the game on iPhone case manufacturing, putting a bran on everyone’s dinner table. What you can do now is buy just one case, and then purchase a variety of back-plates for it. You could even print your own graphics for the back of your phone. Whether it’s photos of your family, or LOL cats, put it all up on the iPhone and show the world your style.

9 – Butter Systems

Imagine, never having to hold a physical restaurant menu again. Imagine, that next time when you want a drink, you just tap a button and you get what you want. Wouldn’t that be nice?

These guys are taking restaurant menus and moving them onto an iPad. Sure, you say, this is not a hardware business, but it is. Just because they are writing software for iPads and not building the tools, this company is a great illustration of how you could couple hardware + software and deliver a great new hardware-based user experience.

10 – Asseta

eBay for Hardware, Asseta is in the business of reselling expensive hardware. You know that pricey 3D printer you bought? Well, what if you did not want it anymore? Sell it on Asseta. Have an MRI machine that’s run its course, but could still be used by someone else? Sell it on Asseta… You get it, just sell expensive hardware here, it’s a multi-billion dollar market!

p.s Do you like what you see? Also check out:
5 New YC Companies Every App Developer Should Know
10 Most Beautiful Website Designs for YCS13

marc_barrosAbout the Author: Kirill Zubovsky is the founder of Scoutzie.com, a marketplace for great mobile and web design. He is an engineer, designer and also an alumni of YCombinator. 
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