Locbit: When Passion for Building Leads to Innovation

June 17, 2013

5:00 pm

Quick grammar lesson: what is the difference between “doing well” and “doing good”? For my purposes, I’ll assume that you subscribe to the view of grammar that equates “doing well” with “doing fine,” and interprets “doing good” as “doing good [acts/deeds/works].”

I know – grammar, ugh, someone stop this article right now. This distinction is important, though, especially during a time when it’s rare to find ourselves at the confluence of “doing well” and “doing good.” The folks at Locbit, however, have managed to pull it off.

Locbit is a web platform for the smart TV that allows a person to control the experiences on-screen with a smartphone (without additional hardware or having to download any apps). But Locbit wasn’t initially planned to turn out this way.

“We were just a team. A good tech team – [we] just wanted to build something. [We] didn’t know what it was, at first, just…something,” say Boian Spassov, who was working with Ernesto Ruy Sanchez.

The original concept for Locbit dealt primarily with advertising on digital displays. The team soon found out that early users of Locbit found more value in the ability to change the ads on the screen; the ability to interact and change the digital experience was more worthwhile than the advertising potential.

The team eventually set their minds on doing something with the computer experience on-screen – no one had yet really figured out an innovative way to engage with big screens and, as Spassov says, “it just seemed fun.” They set to work on making Locbit what it currently is: an on-the-go, low-cost way to take your computing experience to the big screen. Using a QR scanner from your smartphone, you simply scan the QR code provided by the Locbit platform on a smart screen, and from there are able to control the content on the screen.

“One of the problems with computing is that we don’t have a way to easily transfer information between devices,” says Spassov. Locbit makes that sharing of information significantly easier. Spassov likens this computer experience to Dropbox: “What is a Dropbox? A link to your files. So this is just a link to your computing experience. . . . Locbit is Dropbox on steroids – we’re sending people a link to control [their] computing experience [on the big screen].”

This means that a user can open a PowerPoint presentation directly onto a screen by simply using their smartphone. A classroom of students can use their phones to engage with the content of a lecture rather than using those stupid, expensive clickers.

From desire and genuine interest in building a product, to actually creating something useful and potentially groundbreaking in computing, the team at Locbit has certainly learned to do well and to do good.

Locbit is a showcasing startup at our Tech Cocktail San Diego mixer on June 27 – join us!

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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