From VR that leverages 5G, to autonomous ships, and assistance for the blind – here are eight exciting new startups to keep on your radar as 5G connectivity rolls out.

  • 5G connectivity is already here and spreading. And a vibrant startup ecosystem has already sprouted up around the technology. Novel startups with innovative approaches to VR, AI, robotics, data analytics, and more are expecting 5G to push their technologies even further, making their innovative uses cases easier and more accessible for users.

    Here are eight startups who could become leaders in their space as 5G continues to roll out.

    (Image source: mohamed Hassan from Pixabay  )

  • BadVR

    Despite their name, California-based BadVR is actually leveraging VR for something very good in the enterprise space. The company is Bringing All your Data (BAD) into VR with its analytics platform that leverages machine learning to provide real-time data visualizations in virtual reality. BadVR’s solution is hardware agnostic and can be used with a variety of VR and AR headsets – including the Magic Leap headset. In the near future the company is looking to use 5G connectivity to provide real-time data to first responders, security professionals, and other smart city-related applications.

    (Image source: BadVR)

  • BroadBit

    Finland-based BroadBit is aiming to change the battery landscape. BroadBit is making batteries using novel, sodium-based chemistries that it says makes for greener and more efficient batteries. The main active ingredient in the company’s batteries is everyday table salt. BroadBit is currently working to commercialize its battery technology, which is says can enable increased range and use time, longer life, reduced cost, and improved environmental friendliness for IoT, mobile, and other devices, and even electric cars.

    (Image source: Broadbit)

  • Carfit

    Ever been concerned about a funny noise your car was making? Carfit is applying predictive maintenance to cars using a novel machine learning approach that monitors vibration and movement. The company says its noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) monitoring technology goes beyond existing sensors and diagnostic codes and can capture insights into mechanical issues that can be tracked over time to give automotive OEMs, sellers, and consumers better insight into how vehicles as a whole and individual parts are performing.

    (Image source: Carfit)

  • NaviLens

    Spanish startup NaviLens is using computer vision technology combined with specialized QR codes to make public spaces more accessible and easy to navigate for the visually impaired. Using a smartphone app users can scan NaviLens’ colorful QR codes to receive auditory information about their location as well as audio cues to guide them through a space. NaviLens says its computer vision technology allows for its QR codes to be read over long distances without sharp focus. The app can also recognize multiple QR codes at once.

    (Image source: NaviLens)

  • Nido Robotics

    We often think of drones as occupying land or air, but Murica, Spain-based Nido Robotics is developing drones for the sea. The company currently manufacturers two drone products. The Sibiu Nano comes ready-made or as a maker kit and can dive up to 100 meters deep. The Sibiu Pro (shown) is a heavier-duty model that can dive up to 300 meters. Both drones feature a 1080P camera and an array of sensors including humidity, temperature, and pressure. The company targets its products for underwater research and exploration as well as various aquatic maintenance and inspection applications.

    (Image source: Nido Robotics)

  • Seadronix

    South Korean startup Seadronix, is focusing on turning ships into autonomous vehicles. The company has developed an AI-based navigation solution that it says can be introduced into any vessel (from shipping and exploration, to luxury cruises) to enable unmanned operation. The company uses cameras for sensing velocity, sensors to provide a “smart around-view” of the ship, and its proprietary AI to allow ships to navigate routes and avoid obstacles.

    (Image source: Seadronix)

  • WasteHero

    Danish company WasteHero is applying IoT solutions to city waste management. The company has developed an all-in-one solution that includes sensor hardware and an app-based platform designed to optimize waste collection in cities. WasteHero says its sensor can be mounted to any trashcan, bin, or dumpster and uses optical and ultrasound sensing to monitor fill levels. WasteHero’s platform then collects the sensor data and can be used to monitor areas of high waste traffic and to create more efficient routes for garbage collectors. The company says its solution can prevent a number of issues – including overflowing dumpsters like the one seen above.

    (Image source: NeONBRAND on Unsplash )

  • Wificoin

    San Francisco-based Wificoin is betting that you’d be willing to share your WiFi connection in exchange for cryptocurrency. The company is developing an app that, once installed on a router, allows outside users to buy time on your router using Ethereum, Bitcoin, or the company’s own cryptocurrency (Wificoin). Those who allow their routers to be used for hotspots earn cryptocurrency that can then use to buy time on other routers. The goal is make WiFi access more readily available (and profitable) for the masses).

    (Image source: Wificoin)

Chris Wiltz is a Senior Editor at   Design News  covering emerging technologies including AI, VR/AR, blockchain, and robotics.