Taking the smartphone further, Spicebox spices up what apps can do
Intoxicase, a bottle opener integrated into an iPhone case was the first product of California-based “appcessories” company Spicebox, proving Gilad Meiri’s - CEO and co-founder – belief that it is often the simplest ideas that can thrive to become great innovations.
“Intoxicase is a gadget, but now with the app you are able to see when people are opening a bottle, who is opening the bottle and what bottle the user is actually opening”
“Intoxicase is a gadget, but now with the app you are able to see when people are opening a bottle, who is opening the bottle and what bottle the user is actually opening.”
This information, which may be seen as unnecessary to some, is actually exactly what a lot of beer companies are now interested in as part of their marketing strategies.
Meiri’s fellow co-founders, Ori Shaashua and Gil Mahler all have a background in the Israeli Defence Forces and have known each other for many years, long before they founded Spicebox together. In fact, Meiri and Shaashua met when they first started school, already knowing early on that they would someday run a company together.
“We have very different in skillsets. When I walk down the street and he walks alongside me, we just see different things, it amazes me every time,” Meiri explains.
The third musketeer is a few years younger and worked on numerous software projects for the Israeli Directorate of Military Intelligence so when Mahler was looking for “entrepreneurial experience” beyond the army, the duo took him on and Spicebox was founded.
The company’s headquarters are in sunny California, but also relies on a huge network of subcontractors in Israel. Convenient, as “Israel is extremely techy, cheaper and faster,” Meiri explains. Yet while his co-founders are based in Israel or travel between a triangle of the US-China-Israel, Meiri spends most of the year in America.
Since 2011, Spicebox has grown into a small team, one that can still be counted on two hands, but this does not negate the existence of an innovative spirit running through the company, which is already working on a major new idea. While Intoxicase was “a platform to make mistakes”, the equally simple and brilliant Mauz means business. Mauz is a small device that fits the iPhone charger slot and swiftly turns it into a computer mouse, track pad, as well as a visual and motion controller.
“The biggest thing is this mouse is now a smart mouse, it is not only connected to the computer, but receives feedback from the computer.”
“Imagine you are walking to your car and it understands when you are in it and automatically changes your phone settings to Bluetooth, makes your office aware that you are approaching and the coffeemaker starts to make coffee”
Mauz enables the user to turn and move objects in 3-D programmes with the wave of a hand and offers a set of short keys for certain applications. It is simply “one device to rule them all”. What Spicebox is trying to achieve with its award winning Mauz (Macworld Best of Show 2013) is a unique interface and set of visual and motion gestures that changes its functionality depending on the user’s current needs.
Despite enthusiasm around their ideas, Meiri and his team are not thinking of taking a break. They already have an investor world tour planned for 2013 and the next project on their To Do list, promises to be revolutionary. With HexaTag, Spicebox wants to create a platform to help connect a location, a person and an object.
“Imagine you are walking to your car and it understands when you are in it and automatically changes your phone settings to Bluetooth, makes your office aware that you are approaching and the coffeemaker starts to make coffee.”
As Spicebox continues generating new ideas, like HexaTag, Spicebox could provide a ground-breaking step into the future, just like internet was not so long ago.