Burning Hot: Leap Motion, Mellowcabs and Koos Bekker’s billions

Burning Hot

Ever wish you could take a free trip in a pedicab, control your computer by waving your hands around in the air and pop off down the coast in your own private incarnation of Elon Musk’s Hyperloop? Well, it may soon be possible, as this week’s Burning Hot shows.

Okay, so you’d need to have a few billion to build your own Hyperloop — which is pretty much outside the realm of possibility for most earthlings, unless you’re someone like Koos Bekker. The CEO of emerging markets media and internet giant Naspers could have plenty of spending money should he decide to cash in his shares, which are currently worth around R13-billion (US$1.2-billion). To help him dispense that theoretical cash, we came up with a shopping list of suggestions ranging from helping cure a major disease to replacing schoolbooks with tablets.

That much cash could also buy a truckload of a little device called the Leap Motion. It’s a next-gen controller designed to change how you interact with your computer, theoretically providing a more natural interface than clutching and clicking a mouse. But it’s not the only startup hoping to disrupt an industry — South African Mellowcabs is aiming to take you from point A to point B while providing you with relevant geo-targeted ads and useful information through augmented reality apps. It’s still in the early stages, but these eco-friendly tech-filled cabs could become a quirky part of the daily commute in the future.



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