Caught our eye

Spectrometer to combat fake meds



Seeking out fake meds

With LinkSquare, the Californian start-up Stratio has developed a spectrometer that for now primarily helps consumers who order medications over the Internet. The device, which can be connected to a smart phone via a USB cable, uses a light wavelength analysis to check whether the tablet really contains what the packaging or insert claims. The results of the LinkSquare analysis are set to Stratio’s web database via a smart phone app and are compared with the reliable medication information stored there. If deviations from the standard formula are identified, the user at least knows that he or she is dealing with a fairly dubious online “pharmacy”. 

Spectrometer for foods coming soon?

And it seems to happen fairly often. According to Interpol, a good twenty million packets of fake medications sent via the Internet were seized last year alone. The undetected cases are clearly an unknown quantity. For the future, Stratio plans to expand its spectrometer technology beyond medications and into the area of food, to enable false declarations on fish or meat products, for example, to be uncovered.

Stratio Technology


Internet television

I-TV will become even better

One thing is certain: television has undergone a complete transformation over the past few years. And another thing is just as clear: this is only the beginning. The US market researchers from IDC are absolutely certain that more huge changes are to be expected in the coming ten years in the area of Internet television. Needless to say, the content such as that offered now by Netflix in 100 countries will be expanded further – and will also be offered by providers that do not yet exist. Viewers will no doubt be interested to hear that in the future, there will be more and more live offers, which can of course be saved. After all, in some situations – for example in a vote or election campaign – this is of greater interest than a movie or series that you can watch any time you choose. In addition to a transformation of the associated advertising strategies and technologies, the I-TV offers of the future will increasingly shift to the social networks. So the need for internal innovation will not decrease at Netflix or Facebook either.



Windows Tablet

Far-reaching interface

Experience makes you knowledgeable – or really shrewd. Probably more than any other globally influential company, Microsoft has successfully taken this tenet to heart. By now, a few hundred million users have noticed and confirmed that Windows 10 is really good. And now this: with the latest Surface Book, the Redmond-based company is offering a device that really impresses – in complete contrast to the flopped attempt in 2012. It’s naturally based on Windows 10. But it’s also a really useful notebook that can easily hold its own against the equivalent Apple products. We’re now really interested to see how the sales figures turn out. My tip – and no, I’m not a Microsoft shareholder – but nevertheless: the figures will be impressive.

Microsoft Surface


Intelligent contact lenses

Novartis and Google for diabetics

Swiss pharmaceutical group Novartis wants to actively support the efforts of Google X, the search engine and advertising expert’s research department, to develop an intelligent contact lens for diabetics. In other words: Novartis is clearly convinced that Google’s approach is very promising from a technological point of view and requires the support of the medical and chemical specialist to achieve market maturity. Or from the opposite point of view: the Basel-based chemicals giant can learn a thing or two from the Californian company’s technical expertise. Either way, Google’s prototype lens permanently measures the glucose values in the wearer’s lachrymal fluid and sends the data to the smart phone app so that the diabetic is warned in good time about expected ill effects. The market launch of the lens is planned for this year..

Intelligent contact lenses Novartis/Google


Silicon Valley vs. Switzerland

The future of birth control is from Switzerland

A few days ago, I spoke on the phone to Lea von Bidder. Lea currently lives in San Francisco and is co-founder of the Swiss star-tup Ava. She proudly told me that the number of pre-orders for her smart wearable have significantly exceeded expectations. The target group is women who would like to get pregnant and, with the help of the sensor armband, want to precisely determine their ovulation. The first production batch will be delivered in the middle of the year. Ava has positioned itself globally:

Research and development is in Switzerland: a technically sophisticated solution is being developed with Swiss medical technology expertise and links to research at Zurich University Hospital.

The software is being developed with a partner in eastern Europe. Here, the deciding factor is not costs alone, but also the availability of good developers.

The market launch will take place in Switzerland and the US in parallel, in order to profit from the benefits of the home market (Switzerland) and, at the same time, appeal to one of the largest connected markets in the world (USA).

“I can’t wait to see what happens next in the area of e-health for women.” For a long time, it seemed that this topic was being neglected, but the integration of menstrual cycle monitoring into Apple’s health app and fertility apps like Glow are now showing that this is certainly a promising subject.


Penny Schiffer works as a consultant and mentor for start-ups and is a member of several juries. She is always on the lookout for innovations for Swisscom and therefore regularly works as a trend scout in Silicon Valley.