Three Columbus engineers created the solution of radars immune to interference before they found an application for it.
Launch Pad: GhostWave
Invented by: Ohio State University
Cost: To be decided
Amount funded: None
After hearing that Ohio State University was looking to commercialize patents, Columbus engineer Dean Zody and OSU engineering professors Eric Walton and Wladimiro Villarroel partnered to make one patent come to life.
“So, instead of finding a problem and creating a solution, we have a solution that we're looking for a problem,” Zody says.
The solution is radars that are immune to interference. And the problem, they've discovered, happens to be in automobiles, a far shot from the original problem that Ohio State was commissioned to address for the US Army.
“Microwave Journal's cover last month said the auto industry is not doing enough to address radar mutual interference problems, which is going to be the problem when you have all these radars on your cars: blind spot detection, lane-change assist and stuff like that,” Zody says. “So essentially, we have radars that are immune to that interference.”
GhostWave has not received any funding yet, despite its beginnings as a US Army grant. However, GhostWave is seeking $350,000 in development grants from the state of Ohio and Rev1 Ventures to bring the radar technology to a marketable size for the automobile industry as it develops autonomous vehicles.
Will GhostWave achieve startup success?
“GhostWave sounds like it has great technology with the potential to be transformative, but often success in commercialization is more about economics and relationships than obvious technology merits.”
–Potential Investor: Ben Lagemann, New Ventures Vice President, Fast Switch
“Along with the safety that the engineering brings to the technology, one also would have the peace of mind regarding the minimal emittance of radiation when using this high-tech anti-crash application.”
–Potential User: Chris Sidon, Retired educator
“There is definitely a need to enhance the radar-based technology that can rip through the interferences caused by electronic devices for vehicles to assist the driver and ensure passenger safety without compromise.”
–Industry Pro: Surya Kumar Jayaramegowda, Design Engineer, Siemens***
Developers Opt to Hit the Stage With Music-Making Gloves
Leaving jobs at Cardinal Health in Columbus and Amazon in Seattle can't be easy, but for Ray Li and Michael Ndubuisi there could be much to gain.
Li, a Columbus resident, and Ndubuisi, who lives in Seattle, worked together in 2014 to develop SoundSpace, a pair of gloves that allows users to make music by manipulating sound with their hands.
Users know just where to move their hands by looking at a computer screen. But now, Li and Ndubuisi have found that a virtual reality headset can replace the screen.
“We can take what we made from the gloves and just import it into the virtual reality environment so you can actually see the virtual environment instead of having to have a computer screen and interact with it,” says Li.
Li has performed with SoundSpace gloves on WOSU-TV's “Broad and High” and at COSI, Short North Gallery Hop and Rev1. But instead of commercializing the musical gloves through retail sales, the Cornell University grads have quit their full-time jobs to become performers. In doing so, they hope to change the world of electronic dance music.
At the moment, singer-songwriter and composer Imogen Heap is the only competition they're aware of who has created musical gloves and performs with them.
But that doesn't intimidate Li and Ndubuisi.
“We're really going to be capitalizing on our own performance technology to try to create not just a unique act in terms of what we would do on stage, but also try to create a unique sound in how we play the instrument and how we will be able to better infuse a more human performative element in electronic music that we think is missing nowadays.”
Julie Bhusal Sharma is a freelance writer.