Seed Money

This High-Tech Aeroponic Gardening System Lets You Water Your Plants From Afar

"Sprout to table" (via SproutsIO)

The days of getting down and dirty in the garden are over.

A new indoor food growing system allows users to Face Time with their fruits and veggies and even water them from afar with one click on the app.

The SproutsIO system was developed by students at the MIT Media Lab so even those who live in cramped Willamsburg apartments can have fresh, homegrown produce year round. Read More

Hey Big Spender

New Frontiers for Government Waste: The $200K. Mobile App

The OSHA Heat Safety App

The infamous $640 toilet seat which the Pentagon purchased back in the 1980’s now has a crappy, excuse the pun, modern day equivalent: a government-made mobile app with a price tag of $200,000.

Rich Jones of Gun.io, a job board for hackers, downloaded and installed the Heat Safety app from OSHA. It’s a straightforward service that finds your current location, measures the heat and humidity and serves up a warning with notes if the temperature is dangerous.

One might call it the kind of app that could have been created for less money by simply telling people to stick their head out the window before work. But this level of precaution is OSHA’s mandate and it’s good, in theory, to see government trying to leverage new technology.

Mr. Jones, an Android developer himself, took a much darker view. “Pardon my French, but I really cannot stress how bad this application is. Firstly, it isn’t actually capable of the function it is supposed to do. When I first tried the application, it told me that it was currently 140F in Boston. It is also extremely slow, it looks like butt, and it crashes all the time. It is completely horrible in every way. If I had to reproduce it, I’d say that it would take be about 6 hours at the maximum. At my hourly rate of $100, that’s $600.” Read More

Location Based

IAC’s Crowded Room: An App For Places You Might Check In

Who knows what fun we'll have!

The marketplace for mobile apps that let you log-in your location and broadcast this information to friends is getting pretty crowded. There is our local favorite, foursquare, which pioneered the act of “checking in”. And then there are giants like Facebook and Twitter, which let you record your location when you send a status update or tweet.

The folks at IAC have come up with a fairly brilliant end-run around all this. Their new app, Crowded Room, let’s people log a “might go”, the tantalizing precursor to the check-in. Not only do you not have to be at the actual location, but you “might go” to dozens of spots in one night without ever leaving your couch! Read More

Ad-Tech

KBS+P Adds New Hire and New Investment

taylor davidson

Taylor Davidson was working on a mobile wallet ten years ago, building a system to put PayPal onto people’s PalmPilots. “I was trying to do intelligent apps for smart phones before the technology totally existed,” he told Betabeat by phone. “Now you can see the explosion of this stuff because the technology has caught up with the ideas.” Read More