Products Created by Tech Startups That Can Increase Your Productivity at Work
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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Like eBay’s Innovators Collective, which was launched earlier in 2015, Amazon has also recently unveiled its own marketplace, Launchpad, a store specifically geared at selling products created by startups.

[RELATED: Top Apps to Organize Your Work Day]

By partnering with Y Combinator, Andreessen Horowitz, and Indiegogo, the Everything Store has sourced and vetted startups for the new site. Each startup on Launchpad has a product page where it can upload a product video and information about the startup. Startups on Launchpad will also be able to take pre-orders for products directly through Amazon, rather than on their company website, and Amazon will handle shipping logistics. Launchpad currently hosts 200 products in 15 categories, including Smart Keyless entry locks, Smartphone controlled paper airplanes and Wi-Fi pet treat dispensers. Joining Launchpad doesn’t cost startups anything upfront, just a commission on product sales.

While many products on Launchpad involve food, health and fitness, and home security devices, here are a few gadgets that would work great for offices and white collar professionals.

Awair: Smart Air Quality Monitor with LED display
Most people don’t realize that pollutant levels can be up to 10 times higher inside than outside. Poor indoor air quality has a direct impact on our health and productivity. For example, high concentrations of carbon dioxide are the major cause of “brain fog.”

The Awair Smart Air Quality Monitor uses a host of sensors to keep track of the air around you, including temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, toxic chemicals, and dust. Whether you’re concerned about allergies and asthma or simply want to increase the humidity in your office, Awair uses a connected app and LED display to alert you when the air quality does not meet your intended preferences and make suggestions on how to achieve the desired environment. In the future, Awair plans to work with connected devices such as thermostats, HVACs, air purifiers and humidifiers, smart watches, fans, and much more in homes and offices to help maintain optimal air quality. Awair will not be released until October 2015, but pre-orders can be purchased for $169.00 on Amazon now.

Lumo Lift – Posture Coach and Activity Tracker

When you hold yourself in an open and upright position, you get a surge of hormones that make you feel and look more powerful, according to Amy Cuddy, creator of one of the most famous TEDTalks of all time “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.” Other research shows that great posture helps prevent backpain, lower stress, and helps you to become more productive.

The Lumo Lift, a discreet wearable device, is perfect for the white collar worker who sits in front of a computer day-in and day-out. After measuring angle displacement, it sends gentle vibrational reminders for your posture whenever you slouch. The gadget is able to track your posture, steps taken, distance travelled and calories burned through the companion iOS, Android, or Windows Lumo Lift app, which syncs wirelessly with select Bluetooth 4.0 equipped devices. It can be purchased on Amazon and shipped today for $79.99.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.


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