Flixel, which brings static images to life, launched at Sprouter last week. It has since surpassed 15,000 downloads in just 10 days.
It was one of six startups that presented to a panel of venture capitalists at the MaRS Centre for MobileMonday Toronto. The event even had Golden Venture Partners’ Matt Golden saying that perhaps Toronto’s tech ecosystem has finally evolved, as the quality of ideas are much better than prior years. I’ll go over three of the startups that I’ve deemed “ink worthy.”
AppInformant addresses smartphone security, which Knowlton Thomas reported recently is a major problem. Security firm ESET said that just 24% of Canadians keep their smartphone safe and secure.
The mobile app’s website says, “There are various permissions granted to service providers, hardware manufacturers, and app developers which put you at risk of letting your sensitive data get into the wrong hands.” Further, in a press release, they say, “AppInformant for smartphones, the first privacy informant of its kind, helps consumers understand the privacy risks of applications they have downloaded to their mobile devices.”
The security app which scans the granted permissions on a smartphone has a privacy dashboard that allows you an inside look at all the apps on your phone. One will also be able to protect apps by drawing a security pattern, and be informed every time a hardware feature such as Wi-Fi is enabled. A risk dashboard will come with the next release, and users will be able to determine their privacy scores as well.
The Toronto-based parent company Appexiom says they have adopted “Privacy By Design” protocols to ensure that privacy is incorporated in all aspects of technology. The company has six number one apps in the app store.
Touchwriter has created natural input technology that enables users to “gesture” commands such as text, cursor movements, manipulate highlight areas, cut, copy, and paste. It’s in association with Octave Ventures. You can view Touchwriter in action in this video.
Founder James Schauer says that a similar company called Swype was acquired for $100,000 in New York, so this startup could have exit potential.
Lastly, SimpleTouch is an operating system for seniors that runs on Android phones because smartphones are too complicated to operate for the average senior. The company says the digital divide is massive for seniors (those aged 65 and above) compared to the rest of the population, with 82% without not just a smartphone, but no mobile phone even.
Simplicity is the key in getting millions of seniors to use smartphones.
The company says the operating system at the very basic level has a big button dialer with an SOS family emergency contact button and GPS. There are upgrade options for games, photos, texting, and email.
I can’t find a website or anything on Google Play for you—but I can tell you that there are myriad things called SimpleTouch, so if this browser moves forward, it will probably have to be called something else.
I think it’s a great concept, though, to get more seniors on mobile devices. The latter are certainly some of the more original ideas I’ve seen in the Toronto mobile startup world recently.