Consumers have until midnight to vote for Walmart's Get on the Shelf contest, and if locally made product NODE is selected, it could be a game changer for Variable Inc.
"[Wal-Mart has] a way of changing the destiny for small companies," Variable Inc. CEO George Yu said Wednesday.
Click here to see the video about NODE and to vote.
In February 2012, Yu won the local Will This Float? competition after building the product himself, staying in his garage to work on the product until it was ready for the public.
Another Will This Float? competition is coming up. Officials are currently taking applications for the Nov. 19 event.
And Yu said that the Will This Float? competition is ideal for people who have ideas fleshed out and are ready to get public feedback.
Yu invented NODE, which is a wireless sensor that can measure everything from a person's temperature to dampness in a basement.
It uses a variety of sensing attachments to create data for attributes of the environment, including gases in the air, color, humidity and barometric pressure.
He applied his knowledge of syncing handheld sensors with iPhones and created a platform device that will allow iPhone application developers to create apps that can do various things, according to archives.
And Yu said that in the next few months he and his team will be announcing additional products and a roadmap for the future.
"NODE is not just one product; it's the platform," Yu said. "[We will be] using the same platform to create new products."
Yu raised $76,000 via Kickstarter to provide the first NODE, and Variable Inc. has sold several thousand devices since NODE hit the market last August, according to a recent CNN article.
The company and its product have been featured in an array of national media, such as Tech Crunch, and Yu said he and his team are finally getting more comfortable with that attention.
He said he is honored by all the recognition, and he's happy to be able to get acknowledged while working in Chattanooga.
"We are not a Silicon Valley company," he said. "But this makes the story that you can really start anything anywhere as long as you have a great idea and a great team behind you. Great ideas are great ideas."
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