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HAXLR8R unveils new group of hardware startups at Demo Day

HAXR8R founder Cyril Eberwiler delivering Demo Day keynote address.
Jim Sharkey

Hardware startup accelerator HAXLR8R held its fourth Demo Day on Monday evening, showcasing 10 new companies that have completed its 111- day program in Shenzen, China. AutoDesk Gallery in downtown San Francisco hosted the event which featured product demonstrations and funding pitches. Some of the companies have launched Kickstarter campaigns this week and the rest plan to in the near future. Tech news site Tech Crunch reports that HAXLR8R has so far raised over $3.5 million in crowdfunding pledges with many projects raising over $500,000.

“The HAXLR8R accelerator program serves as a window into key technologies and breakthroughs in hardware design and the fourth class of brilliant products is another powerful example of that,” said Cyril Ebersweiler, founder of HAXLR8R and venture partner at SOSventures. “The maturity of the products from this class is a testament to what is possible when you combine great ideas with an ideal process for bringing hardware products from concept to manufacturing to market.”

Two companies that attracted attention with sports-related devices were Syrmo and Shot Smarts. Syrmo's product is a wireless motion tracker for skateboards that tracks a skater's tricks and records videos in real-time that download to a mobile app. Shot Smarts produces the Challenger, a smart tennis racket dampener designed to improve a player's game through instant swing analysis metrics metrics, including racket head speed, ball spin, stroke count and ball impact.

Otto and Hoard also generated a lot of buzz. OTTO is a hackable Raspberry Pi-based camera that makes animated gifs. Hoard is a drop box for keys, using small smart locker systems at 24-hour retailers, Hoard will create a secure network of pick-up and drop-off points for those who share their homes and cars. Aimed at users of Airbnb and similar services the Berlin-based Hoard is currently Beta testing its product.

While most products were aimed at the consumer market, there were some intended for commercial or small business use. Kast unveiled a desktop printer capable of printing 12 times faster than conventional models. Avidbots makes autonomous commercial floor scrubbing and sweeping robots that use laser mapping technology to plan the most efficient cleaning route. Rational robotics is marketing a robot that uses scanning technology to paint aftermarket auto body parts that currently have to be painted by hand.

Another trend at the demo day was products aimed at health-conscious consumers. Niwa is a small simple and hands free hydroponic greenhouse that allows even beginners to grow fresh vegetables inside their homes. Quibit is a smart lighter ans app designed to help users track and reduce their smoking habits. Darma is a "Smart Cushion" and iOS app designed to help improve the user's well-being by monitoring their vital signs, time spent siting and siting posture and giving advice through health notifications.

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