Transform your sporting data into 3D animated content with Iddo


Following his first interview with Follow Innovation back in March, Rui Sousa Campos, inventor of extreme sports sensor Iddo, has been busy. He has since completed the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator program in London, an intensive experience which, Rui says, enables entrepreneurs to focus on the progression from startup to full-fledged business.

“When you start out you just don’t know what’s going to happen,” Rui explains, describing a learning curve as steep as a particularly daunting ramp – such as an Iddo user might attempt to tackle on their BMX. “It was a crazy first month.”

“They want you to make sure you know what you’re doing and understand how to solve real-world issues,” Rui says of the specific strengths of the Microsoft program. “They want you to focus on the market.”

The opportunities for connection with customers and the world of enterprise, he says, are among the other things that Microsoft Ventures do particularly well.

In the opinion of Rui and other entrepreneurs he has worked with recently, the baptism of fire offered by an accelerator helps to create a calmer approach to troubleshooting in the long term. You quickly realise, he says, that “things are going to catch on fire a lot of times. But you learn to have a fire extinguisher at hand.”

Having spent some time developing the technology, Rui’s next challenge was to expand the market for Iddo beyond the BMX world. Towards the end of the accelerator, he confirmed the 25 different sports that the Iddo technology can work best for and found a way to capture data from these and transform the numbers into stunning animated content.

“It’s not just getting to say, ‘I did this cool trick’,” says Rui on the latest version of Iddo. The new iteration includes the ability to record completed tricks in 3D and share them online with anyone. “It’s not just a friend that does extreme sports. It’s your girlfriend, it’s your mother or father. Anyone can join the platform and say ‘I like this’.”

Rui has grand plans for Iddo and is enthusiastic about the potential of the technology.

“The idea that I have for the future is so massive that we’re going to change the way that people think of the Internet of Things … When it comes into sports, we know what IoT really is all about and what people want. It’s not data.”

What people want, according to Rui, is the ability to share their experiences and enjoy the permeability between the real and the virtual worlds.

A focus on affordability is a large part of the attempt to maximise Iddo’s market share. “We came to the conclusion that people want high quality technology to be affordable.”

The solution was to develop two separate versions of the Iddo device, one with an exterior made of aluminium and another in less expensive plastic. There will also be two types of sensor, with the Pro option including GPS. Users can mix and match, opting to use a Pro sensor in a plastic casing or housing the more basic version in an aluminium exterior. There are also more advanced chipsets, which allow for more accurate recording of tricks and greater interaction with the 3D technology.

Rui is now focusing his attention towards funding for the development of the new products, as well as expanding the marketing of Iddo to potential customers.

“Our focus right now is enabling the platform, making sure people know about it, and having devices out there that people can try-out and use.”

Having been concerned that the market for the Iddo ran the risk of being pretty niche, Rui is now satisfied that the potential for expansion is great. “The product has found a global market with this iteration,” he says.

The technology used in producing the 3D shareable content helps to push the appeal of the platform beyond the boundaries of the skatepark, with companies already lined up to license it.

“We hope that our technology captures the interests of those actively involved in each of our sports. We then want to inspire friends and family through the content being created and shared. Hopefully everyone will want to be part of the Iddo community.”

As a parting word of advice to other startups looking to join an accelerator program, Rui suggests: “Choose one that will really work you hard and push you to grow into a business which understands how to tackle real-world problems head on. You want to graduate from an accelerator feeling prepared to take on any challenge that is presented to you – and trust me, that’s there’s no such thing as an easy ride!”

That is, they should enrol on a program that will stretch them towards achieving the next level of growth.

“Because it’s going to be insanely good.”