When Jason Hope says what the next big thing is, people listen

The Internet of Things promises to be one of the greatest developments in technology that has been seen this century. Even more than this, some of the technologies encompassed in the Internet of Things promise to transform so radically the lives of everyday people that it may ultimately prove to be as transformative as the Industrial Revolution itself.Jason Hope is one of the most prominent internet entrepreneurs in the United States today. After having a string of great successes, starting his own companies from the ground up and building them into an empire of high-tech gold mines, Hope has a cachet that is unmatched by other voices within the internet entrepreneurial space. Recently, Hope has begun touting the huge possibilities that will accompany the coming advent of the Internet of Things.

And Hope is one to be taken seriously. After having graduated from Arizona State University in the mid-’90s, Hope founded his first startup, Jawa, an internet streaming provider for mobile devices. This company was revolutionary at the time. It was the first company in the United States to have the idea to stream premium mobile content to the users of various devices. This was at a time when most Americans did not yet even own their own cell phone. In an era where most communications took place over the land lines, Hope showed the acumen of a talented visionary, seeing a market years before anyone else even knew that it existed.

Jawa went on to become a highly successful mobile streaming giant. This all occurred before the year 2000. This was a full decade before Steve Jobs had the idea to create the iStore, a service that provided many of the same products that Jawa had 10 years prior. This is just one example of many companies that Hope created, demonstrating an almost uncanny capacity for entrepreneurial virtuosity.For this reason when Hope speaks, the internet listens. Now, Hope believes that the Internet of Things will be the greatest opportunity to present itself to entrepreneurs in the last 200 years.Jason Hope believes that those young entrepreneurs who have the drive and determination to create value using the new technologies will be able to see success, the likes of which have not been seen in all of American history.

 

ClassDojo Secures Funding, Continues Roll Out

ClassDojo, an app which facilitates interaction between parents and teachers, has secured $21 million in series B funding. This represents a major infusion of working capital and will allow the startup to proceed on pace with its strategic roll out.

The app was originally conceived in 2011 as a way to eliminate the need for parent teacher conferences. The idea was to create an interactive environment whereby parents could actively participate in their child’s educational experience, not just on a bi-yearly or monthly basis, but every day of the school year. By keeping parents abreast of their child’s daily assignments, participation and school work, ClassDojo allows parents to proactively take part in their child’s education.

The latest funding round was closed by co-founders Sam Chaudhary and Liam Don in late 2015. It will be used to continue strategic development. Many new features have been implemented and continued research into new features, driven by user feedback, will be ongoing.

Some of the app’s present capabilities include the instant update and dissemination of class schedules and activities to parents. In addition, teachers can send parents high definition pictures of students’ class work as well as students’ highlights from the school day.

ClassDojo is an increasingly feature-rich, cross-platform app that solves many problems faced by today’s public educators. The app has a built-in translation feature which will automatically convert all teacher communications to the user’s preferred language. It can also be used on practically any device. It automatically sends notifications to parents such as homework assignments, days off, field trips and even videos of a child’s participation in class that day. All this helps encourage students through positive feedback and the setting of clear goals.

ClassDojo is built around a philosophy the founders refer to as “the growth mindset”. This espouses that all children have the capacity to learn, no matter who they are or what their life’s circumstances. This idea is the guiding vision of an app which seeks to instill the love of learning through positive feedback and constructive reinforcement.

The latest series B funding brings the total capital raised to $31 million to date. The founders have settled on taking the app’s future development in the direction of community formation, much in the vein of social networking. Thus far ClassDojo has remained free to all users. In the future, management will look to monetize the app’s user base through offering premium, value added features. Such features may include transaction fees or even directly selling school supplies to parents.

Future Tech: Better Search Results Using Image Recognition

Someday soon you’ll be able to log onto the Internet and search for images just by typing a description. Hold on you say, can’t we already do that. Well, yes, but the way the search engines algorithms work is by searching for the text that the image is tagged with. So for example, say you’re looking for an image of a man wearing with glasses wearing a white shirt and a hat. If you type that into Google the results you get will show what you’re looking for, but will also show you images that aren’t necessarily what you want. Someone could upload an image of a puppy and as long as they tagged it as a man with glasses, white shirt and a hat, you’ll see the puppy image included in your search results. But that is about to change thanks to image recognition.

Image recognition is the term used to refer to computers analyzing an image and determining what is in the image. So using our example above, when you search for the bespectacled man with the white shirt and hat the computer will search for images matching that description instead of the text tagged onto the image.

Searching for video will also become more accurate using this method. This works because a video is essentially many slightly different still images played at a high enough speed to give the impression of movement.

Of the many applications of image recognition, one of the most exciting may be product recognition. Imagine seeing an article of clothing or other physical product that you like. Now imagine taking a picture of that item with your phone and using an app to search for information on the product. This is what the Slyce visual search engine does. Using the app you can take a photo or use an existing product image to search for more information about the item.

We live in a time inundated with media and as time progresses we will be even more so. Image recognition will be the technology to help us sort through our digital lives.