- We have created a new framework that is truly revolutionary, says Daniel Carlman, CEO of KTH-based company Manomotion, which may be on the verge of becoming Sweden’s next tech export. The software is based on six years of research and makes it possible to control computers and mobile devices with hand gestures. Manomotion is now heading towards the global market after being admitted to the prestigious program, Founder.org, in Silicon Valley.
Every year, the organization Founder.org admits forty companies to its Accelerator program in San Francisco, an entrepreneurial program that nourishes the next billion-dollar companies in tech. With more than 1600 applicants, the program is one of the most sought after of its kind. In 2014, they admitted three Swedish companies: Volumental, Tinitell and Shortcut Labs.
Last year, Manomotion, along with live video solution Peercast, were the only Swedish companies to meet the tough admissions requirements. We spoke with CEO Daniel Carlman, who told us about the technology behind, and the future of, one of the country’s most exciting tech companies.
What’s the story behind the success of Manomotion?
– We are an innovation company from KTH (the Royal Institute of Technology) in Stockholm with a unique technology based on six years of research and a patent pending since last year. We have created a new system that is revolutionary, because it can read and translate complex hand movements in a more effective way than ever before.
– We focus on enabling communication with technology through gestures. What is unique is that we manage so-called micro motions with great precision, which is different from other previous techniques that might only catch larger movements.
What are the main areas of usage?
– A major use for this technology is in virtual reality. Our technology enables users to view and use their hands, which most people testing VR today feel is missing. With our solution, you can do this with a standard 2D camera, while other solutions on the market require 3D cameras that are heavy in terms of CPU and how much battery power they use.
– We will be releasing an SDK for Android and iOS developers to use in any AR or VR application. We believe in augmented reality, and in AR you must be able to interact with the real world in a natural way – that’s the whole point. To scratch your head on a touchpad, as you would do with today’s solutions, is not intuitive or natural. We want to create a natural connection that works without a learning curve.
– The Internet of Things is also a huge market for us. Being able to turn on or off the TV, turn up the volume on the car stereo, control drones, unlock the computer or whatever using hand movements is quite possible with our technology.
You have been admitted to the Founder.org program. In what way will that help you?
– This is a highly competitive program; last year alone, there were over 1600 applications, and they admitted only 40 companies from the world’s top universities such as MIT, Harvard and the like. All the companies in the program have elaborate ideas about how they want to change the world. It’s a very exciting concept, and the network we have access to within the program is amazing. It also gives us an entry into Silicon Valley, which we had not been able to get from Sweden on our own.
What would you say is the biggest challenge for Manomotion in 2016?
– First and foremost, to launch the first version of the SDK and refine, improve and launch it on multiple platforms. We’re currently in discussions with several major players, so a lot is set to happen in the coming year. But we also want to continue building our team. Right now we’re seven employees, but we’d like to grow the team to perhaps fifteen employees during the year so that we can speed up development.
Most of your competitors have been acquired by Google, Apple or the other major tech giants out there. Do you expect to be bought out, or would you like to continue on your own?
– Yes, most of our competitors were acquired before they released anything commercially; they might have had time to release a beta version or similar at best. But we have the ambition to go live and become the next generation 3D mouse that does not require additional hardware. The advantage of our technology is that it’s software-based, which means we can scale it up very quickly. Any device that has a camera can potentially use this technology without any additional hardware, which means virtually every cell phone in the world.
Learn more about Manomotions revolutionary technology on Manomotion.com