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Samsung just invested in 5 new startups – including one making the perfect lockdown gadget

Samsung is backing five new startups, founded by Samsung employees. The businesses cover a range of interesting innovations and represent a continuation of Samsung’s C-Lab scheme, by which the company aims to support innovation in its workforce. So, what exactly have Samsung invested in? 

Samsung’s new line-up of investments delivers everything from high-tech video editing to an intelligent AI teacher, to an ideal lockdown gadget which can generate artificial sunlight and help users stay healthy. All these products are interesting propositions, and we’re keen to see how (and if) they are incorporated into Samsung’s existing product line-up.

Firstly, Blockbuster is a new video editing application allowing editors to use CG and 3G effects more easily, using their smartphones. The patented Blockbuster algorithm aims to make the process easier than ever.

With camera capabilities currently one of the most important selling points on any new smartphone, could Blockbuster take the video editing suite on Samsung phones to the next level? If so, it could be a key competitive advantage for Samsung phones in the future.

Related: Best phone 2020 – The 11 best smartphones for you

The second startup has pioneered a product that sounds like a student’s dream. Hyler is a smart highlighter that turns analogue text into digital text – transferring notes, print outs, or book passages onto your mobile device. Then, it’s easy to interact with your newly digitised notes via the Hyler app.

We’ve love to see this incorporated into the Samsung S-pen that comes with many of the company’s mobile devices. Imagine using a traditional stylus on one end and turning the pen over to use the Hyler function, easily transferring notes onto your Samsung phone.

Another startup Samsung is getting behind is Haxby – the smart study note service would be a great tool for those currently undergoing home-schooling. It records incorrect answers from workbooks and helps to recommend new work and materials based on the learner’s ability. Haxby uses an AI algorithm that identifies competencies for different subjects and provides customised worksheets.

If you don’t want an AI-marker looking over your shoulder, how about a lighting device that can top up your Vitamin D? SunnyFive does just that. It’s a window-shaped lighting device that produces artificial sunlight. It could be the ideal lockdown gadget for people who have been spending a little too much time inside watching Netflix. SunnyFive helps users synthesise vitamin D while they are indoors or in low-lit places without having to worry about skin ageing or sunburn, and allows for brightness and colour adjustment via the app.

While the obvious initial use for this technology would be standalone light fixtures, we’re also curious to see where else SunnyFive and Samsung could take the technology. Could we, for example, see a rival to Phillips Hue, with added health benefits?

Related: Our full Samsung Galaxy S20 review

But, for those at the other end of the scale, getting too much sun, Samsung also has a spin-off startup for that. RootSensor records daily UV exposure and can be integrated into wearable tech, cars and smart buildings. The sensor can also provide information on skin condition and vitamin D production.

Samsung said in a statement:

“The C-Lab spin-off program provides startups with the investment and business consulting needed to help them grow. Samsung also provides a five-year window during which employees who launch startups can return to their jobs if their endeavors prove unsuccessful, meaning that individuals can embark on their entrepreneurial projects without having to fear that they are risking their careers.

“As a result, 163 employees have established 45 startups since the inception of the C-Lab program. Not only have these companies raised 45 million USD in funding over the years, but their value has more than tripled compared to the time at which they were spun off.”

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