Beta Testing
Good morning, stranger! Wakie app is a human alarm clock
"Are you in bed?” It was a stranger on the phone, someone called Gaurav in Dubai. At 7:31 this morning, Gaurav was calling me at home to get me up. I was experimenting with an app called Wakie, launched by two Armenian brothers who wanted to give the world a more effective and personalized alternative to an alarm clock. Their solution? Invite a stranger from the other side of the world to make a wake-up call. Read More
In pinch, use Cinch
The Cinch Polls app, a spinout of Nifti, is the easy way to get instant advice and feedback
When Nathan Sharp launched the shopping app Nifti a few years ago, he set out to solve a problem: The online shopping experience was ineffective, and it was rather impossible to monitor the random nature of prices on the Web. The company set up a way for shoppers to track the prices of individual products and get notified when they drop beneath a consumer-selected threshold. Basically, the application allows shoppers to automate deal-finding and helps makes the decision of when to buy a product for you. Now, with spinoff Cinch Polls, Sharp is not just trying to take the agony out of having to decide when to buy something, but instead, is trying to take the pain out of decision-making in general. Cinch is, in a nutshell, crowdsourced advice. Read More
Farewell for highly regarded animation firm
Boston-based animation studio Soup2Nuts is shutting down
WordGirl is a an original animated series created by SouptoNuts in and effort to reach a new audience. Image via Scholastic.
A local animation studio known as an innovator in the industry announced on Wednesday that it is shutting down after more than 20 years in operation. Soup2Nuts Animation Studio, which will officially shut down at the end of the month, is best known for its pioneering work on "Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist" and the use of its patented "Squigglevision" computer animation process. Although the company was relatively small, Soup2Nuts had a large impact on many individuals and companies that make up the Boston creative community. Read More
Heart Beats
Music as medicine? The Sync Project will use big data to study the healing power of melody
Does your heart rate kick up with Taylor Swift comes on? A new app will measure the effect music has on health. Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File
You may keep your Taylor Swift obsession hidden from your co-workers, but not from science. A new research initiative called the Sync Project aims to track how the brain and body respond to music through an app that collects biological data while your favorite jams stream on loop. So when a person plugs in their headphones and heads to work, their activity tracker on their wrist will be able to see how their heart rate changes when Swift’s "Shake It Off" transitions to One Directions’ "Steal My Girl." Read More
Early Developer Development
Flatiron School bringing its high school coding program to Boston
Adam Enbar, one of the cofounders of New York City coding program Flatiron School, is no stranger to Boston. The Harvard Business School graduate did stints at HubSpot and CRV (when it was still known as Charles River Ventures) before heading to New York to start, with Avi Flombaum, what has become one of the model programming schools in the country. Read More
Power of suggestion
Soon-to-launch Chef Nightly app wants to streamline ordering dinner
"Hal, order sushi for two tonight." A Westford startup called Every Labs is working on the artificially intelligent food-ordering app of the future. While the company's Chef Nightly app isn't yet publicly available, a handful of Bostonians have been testing it in recent weeks. And the company has already raised early funding from the startup incubator Blade and Boston Syndicates, a group that includes individual investors and the Cambridge venture capital firm Atlas Venture. Read More