Water Recycling shower wins $684,000 in the Green Challenge

“The average teenage girl (according to a UK-based survey) spends 16 minutes in the shower. 16  percent of them spend more than 30 minutes.” says Nick Christy. Christy’s company Water Recycling Shower just won the Dutch Postcode Lottery Green Challenge and can potentially save cash-strapped parents, and the rest of us, 70 percent on the cost of heating their shower. The prize of $684,000 will be used to refine the product and get it to market more quickly.

Demo: Métier mines text to improve a company’s performance

In large companies, it’s all too easy for employees to duplicate work or fall out of sync with the company’s strategy. Métier‘s workforward product uses natural language processing (NLP) and semantic matching to help managers find the right employee to work on a project, speed up project planning and ensure that company strategy is actually being executed.

Fits.me’s female robot helps you find the perfect fit online

Fits.me aims to increase clothing sales online and reduce returns by showing female shoppers clothing on a mannequin matching her exact dimensions. It does this by using robotic mannequins with artificial muscles that can simulate the shape and size of any body. While a male robot, or Fitbot, has been available for some time, the long-anticipated female version will launch soon at British retailer Hawes & Curtis.

Visa acquires Fundamo to offer mobile money to the unbanked

Fundamo, one of the biggest vendors of mobile financial services technology for the unbanked and underbanked has just been acquired by Visa for a reported $110 million dollars. Fundamo operates in over 40 emerging markets, in particular Africa and the Middle East. The company’s main customers are mobile carriers and financial institutions who want to launch services like person-to-person payments including remittances, mobile airtime top-up and bill payment.

Top 8 ways to annoy a tech blogger

You may think that a tech blogger’s life is a glamorous whirl of free lunches, great gadgets and being bought drinks at conferences. If so then you are probably following the wrong bloggers. In fact, it’s more like a long round of typing, getting annoyed with PRs and founders and then some more (louder) typing.

ImagePulse "sees" how you feel about brands

Is a picture really worth a thousand words? ImagePulse measures how consumers feel about brands based on photos in which the brand is included. It uses a mixture of text, sentiment and image analysis to measure if the image is positive or negative and the emotions involved. What does it mean to the brand when people take pictures of themselves at a Nike store or having coffee in Starbucks?

Avado turns health care into continuous care

In ancient China, doctors were paid to keep their patients well. If a patient fell ill, the doctor didn’t get paid until they got better. We have gotten used to being continuously connected, so why does healthcare still revolve around an occasional face to face meeting with your doctor when something has already gone wrong?

Print your own tableware with Shapeways

Tired of trekking to Ikea for funky tableware? Can’t find a mug that matches your iPhone? Consumer 3D printing shop Shapeways just took personalized manufacturing to a new level by being the first in the world to add glazed ceramic to its roster of materials. This means you can now design and print your own food-safe tableware like salt and pepper shakers, plates and mugs.

SoundCloud turns up the volume with SoundCloud Labs

SoundCloud is a platform that lets people share the sounds they create, from professional musicians to public companies who want to post earnings calls. The company just unveiled SoundCloud Labs, a site dedicated to experimental projects and features built on the SoundCloud API and developed by employees of the company.

Spotify bypasses iTunes and launches music store

Streaming music service Spotify just launched a new version of its desktop and mobile application that allows all users to synchronize tracks from their computer to iPods, iPhones and Android phones. Spotify Premium users could already synchronize Spotify playlists with iPod Touches, iPhones and Android phones, but free users could only listen on their desktops.

Spotify CEO laughs off movie rumors

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek today refuted the rumors (reported by TechCrunch and others) that the Swedish streaming music service had negotiated a number of deals with major movie studios to stream their content. On his Twitter stream Ek said, “Soon I’ll be reading that Spotify is launching a space rocket.”

Search, shop, love: Secrets of smartphone users

As part of Google’s ongoing battle to conquer the mobile advertising market, the company commissioned research from Ipsos OTX to understand how smartphones are used in people’s daily lives. Mobile ad network InMobi also just released some data on consumer’s attitudes to mobile shopping. Let’s see what they found.

Micro-lending site Kiva goes green

Kiva, a site that enables person-to-person loans, has just added a new category of green loans to help borrowers move to cleaner and safer forms of energy, green agriculture, transport and recycling. Loans made through Kiva generally go to individuals or entrepreneurs in the developing world, but some do go to people in the U.S.