FreedomPop is a new venture that gives customers complimentary mobile phone service, as long as they pay for a phone. The service is freemium, meaning that limited features are free (500 megabytes of data, 200 minutes and 500 text messages). If you want more minutes, texts or data, you’ll have to pay. Like Virgin Mobile and other mobile virtual networks, FreedomPop’s network uses Sprint towers. With the release of the HTC EVO Design at an attractive price point of $99, the service could soon see an influx of new customers.
Have you ever listened to medical advice you found on the internet, only to realize it didn’t work or made your symptoms worse? A medical startup called MedWhat wants to give you a better way to make sure the information you find online is legitimate. The application is programmed to ask questions and respond like a doctor, as opposed to being a static search engine for medical advice. As medical costs in the United States soar to over $1 trillion, MedWhat hopes to help people save time and money by using smarter technology.
How would advertising change if companies could physically tell you were looking at their ads? Could ad hosts charge more depending on how long you looked for? Google’s recent patent filing reveals the company is exploring these “pay per gaze” options as a potential reality. With Google Glass, the tech giant would be able to use onboard sensors to determine the general direction of your gaze. The fact that Google applied for a patent around the technology is causing a fresh wave of privacy concerns.
Find out a little more about how “pay per gaze” works:
The push to go green is heading mainstream. Swedish housewares retailer IKEA recently released plans to sell solar panels at its stores in Britain with a sticker price approaching $10,000. Still, even with the high initial cost, the store says the investment will be paid off by the typical homeowner in seven years. After that, your energy will be free. Solar panels are already sold in stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s in the United States, but it’s interesting to see what will happen if IKEA, a retailer with low-cost goods, takes their plans stateside.
Billionaire Steve Case has a fresh round of capital for early-stage startups. Along with his partners Tige Savage and David Golden, Case announced a venture fund targeting tech startups beyond Silicon Valley. With investments said to be no less than $10 million, Revolution Ventures is set to turn big ideas into big players in the tech world. The founders will be available for mentoring and brainstorming, as Case says, “We’re not just investing capital, we’re investing time and reputation.”
Do you have an early-stage tech startup hungry for venture capital? Let us know in the comments!