A closer look at Virgin Media Business “Three New Things” shortlist of web technologies

UK telecoms giant Virgin Media Business is currently running a competition to find “Three New Things” alongside some very appetising rewards for digital entrepreneurs up and down the country. The list has now been whittled down to 10 finalists – and most have something in common…

Perhaps unsurprising for a competition run by a modern and forward-looking empire as Virgin Media – the majority of the finalists have some relation to the web and connected devices.

Here we will take a look at some of those finalists and help decide for ourselves who should get the unique backing on the 12th March…

Heat Genius

The offering by this innovative start-up may sound familiar, “intelligent heating control”, it sounds like the recently Google-acquired ‘Nest’ right? Not quite.

Whilst taking on the connected nature of Nest and the ability to customise heating whilst on-the-move from your devices… Heat Genius take the concept one-step further with devices to place over your radiator dials to completely switch rooms heating on and off as needed.

Not only does this naturally save wasted energy; but allows the user to keep individual rooms warm when they’re needed. By installing a Heat Genius wireless motion detector, the system in ‘Footprint Mode’ can detect which rooms you’re likely to be in and at what times.

Audio Analytic

Whilst a software developer, the company provides an innovative platform which – as the name suggests – analyses audio waves to detect, react, and alert users.

The obvious benefit here is for implementations such as baby monitoring; helping to only alert you when a cry is heard… rather than every time the neighbour’s dog barks.

Audio Analytic’s system comprises of two key products; the “Core Logger” which is a lightweight software module running on the end-device, and the “Sound Packs” which contain unique descriptions of the sounds to monitor.


At this point we know very little details about this company, only that it’s an “Instant messaging platform that removes the language barrier so users can type, translate and chat from their mobile.”

If the integration is as seamless as envisioned, don’t be surprised if this is the next acquisition by mobile giants Apple, Google, or Microsoft to boost their all-important enterprise capabilities…


With online video on the rise, in creation not just viewing, and entrepreneurial individuals have started to turn their ‘Vlogs’ (Video blogs) into brands. Taggled is taking advantage of this rise in popularity to offer an online tool for viewers to click on tagged items to find out info and/or make a purchase.


Attitudes to learning are changing and becoming more modern. Ellumia is looking to follow in the success of platforms such as Codecadamy (specifically for coding) and offer “affordable, personalised, effective learning for everyone.”

A demo is available to watch on their website which shows the variety of courses on offer; from an “Introduction to Excel” to “Colour Theory” for those budding artists…

The winner will be selected by an expert panel comprising of international computing expert Dr Ling Ge, Emily Memarzia from the Technology Strategy Board, tech journalist Monty Munford, Ella Weston who heads WPP’s “Stream” initiative, and Rob Evans who is Virgin Media’s Executive Director of Engineering.

Whoever the champion is – and they all deserve it – will gain the industry giant’s support to bring their idea to life with a package consisting of mentoring by Sir Richard Branson himself and “nurturing” throughout 2014 to ensure the project is a commercial success.

Who is your favourite to win Virgin Media’s “Three New Things” competition?

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