Ergonotics aims to improve human-computer interaction through the use of natural language (such as English or French). ActiveLinguisticsâ˘ was developed using a set of technologies that turn words into actions, thus making difficult or cumbersome actions a lot easier. Their first application, Convex, (www.convexapp.com) is a smart âunit converterâ that enables one to effortlessly convert over 950 different units in over 20 categories such as miles to kms to inches. It has been downloaded over 600,000 times to date, in over 100 countries and is even used by NASA. Ergonotics is currently working to develop new products in other categories that offer users a productive experience through the use of language. They will be shortly releasing a smart remote control for an Internet/TV box in France that allows users to record a movie or an episode of a series by just telling the app to ârecord movie tomorrow night on TV5â for example - no more messy menus and complex recording nightmares. The next phase will take the technology to other companies in different vertical markets to enable them to differentiate from their competitors by offering simpler, more natural and more effective user interfaces.
Ergonotics was Francois Ligerâs first attempt at entrepreneurship and while he knew quite a bit about technology (having worked at Microsoft for 16+ years) he certainly did not fully realise the complexity and challenges of getting a company off the ground - especially a technology one, which required upfront R&D investment. Getting from idea to product, and to a set of products, turned out to be a much slower and a far more costly endeavour than was originally expected.
The incubator advantage
Francois approached a business incubator at first mainly to ensure that he would get some help in dealing with the regulatory side of starting the company. Prior to starting Ergonotics, he had spent 14 years abroad in Ireland, Belgium and the US and he wasnât familiar with the concept ofbusiness creation in France, his home country. The help he received from the business incubators he worked with (MITI and Ruche Ciel) went way beyond what was initially expected. For example, they won a national innovation award that the company would never have contemplated competing for, if not for the incubator pushing them to so.
Being incubated provided Francois and Ergonotics with the means to improve their companyâs operations and offering by challenging their business plans, activities and priorities. The âexternalâ yet benevolent eye that was provided got the business on track and helped them stay on course. The continual feedback and evaluation of assumptions âdefinitely made us more adaptable and business-savvy,â says Francois Liger, who was very satisfied with the quality of service and the guidance he received.
Where to find us
5 rue Heloise,
59650 Villeneuve dâAscq
MITI Incubateur Nord - Pas de Calais
Parc Scientifique de la Haute-Borne
HUB Innovation - 11, rue de lâHarmonie
59650 VILLENEUVE DâASCQ Cedex
Published on 06-06-2012 12:05 by David Tee. 1282 page views
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