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Two More Tech Startups to Watch in 2013

If you’re investing in technology, there’s only one motto to remember: The early bird gets the worm.

The sooner we know about a promising technology – and the company behind it – the better.

Or, as Peter Lynch put it in his bestseller, One Up On Wall Street: “If you’ve found a stock with little or no institutional ownership, you’ve found a potential winner. Find a company that no analyst has ever visited, or that no analyst would admit to knowing about, and you’ve got a double winner.”

It’s with that spirit in mind that we recently began compiling our Top 10 Startups to Watch in 2013, starting with our first company, Neul, Ltd.

Think about it: Would you rather scramble to conduct due diligence on a tech company in the days before its IPO, potentially misjudging its market because of too much hype?

Or would you rather be way more informed about truly compelling tech companies – most of which are still privately held – much earlier in the process, so you know precisely which ones promise to be “double winners” when they decide to go public?

Yep, thought so!

So without further ado, here are the two latest additions to our top startups list…

Top Tech Startup #2: Senseg OG

Senseg was founded in 2006, and secured backing from the founders of Skype via the outfit’s venture capital arm, Ambient Sound Investments.

More compelling, though, is the fact that Senseg has developed a breakthrough in haptic technology using Coulomb’s Law. You know, the electrostatic reaction that occurs between charged particles (for example, when you rub a balloon against your hair and get it to stick).

Using this principle, the company can create the illusion of texture – and even movement – on a touchscreen.

In a recent demonstration, Senseg split a typical tablet screen into four sections. To the touch, one section felt as though it had ridges… another had a rough, sand-like texture… another felt like cloth… and the final section had a bumpy texture.

What does this mean?

Well, given such a range, the possible applications are endless.

For example, invisible keyboards or raised buttons for videogame controls. Heck, it could even be possible to shop online and “touch” a product before buying it.

In short, Senseg’s technology, which is called E-Sense, turns touchscreens into “feel” screens.

It’s energy-efficient and affordable, too. As Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Ville Mäkinen, says, “[E-Sense] uses less than 5% of typical battery capacity. He adds, “It would probably add less than 10% to cost.”

So far, so good.

But before we consider investing in any disruptive technology companies, we need to see if the technology in question is patented.

Senseg has this angle covered.

And given the rapid proliferation of touchscreen devices – particularly tablets – it’s no surprise that tech sector heavyweight Toshiba (TOSBF) is working with the company. Apple (AAPL) is also rumored to be an early adopter, too.

After appointing a new CEO in June 2012 – one who boasts significant industry experience – I expect Senseg to move beyond fully functional prototypes and actually have its revolutionary technology incorporated into devices sold on the market. Keep an eye out for it!

Top Tech Startup #3: Resonant LLC

As MIT Technology Review’s David Talbot states, “Smartphones and tablets are… primitive and inefficient inside.”

And that’s where Santa Barbara, California-based Resonant LLC comes in…

Formed in July 2012 via a spinoff from Superconductor Technologies (SCON), the company is helping to “modernize” the guts of mobile phones.

How so?

Well, it would take me an entire column to explain it (which I’ll do eventually), so for brevity’s sake, let’s keep things in layman’s terms.

Resonant specializes in radio frequency analog circuit design. Its technology promises to dramatically reduce the number and complexity of radio frequency filters needed for a typical mobile phone to operate.

The proliferation of mobile devices means the company is focusing on a multi-billion-dollar market here. One that continues to grow at a healthy clip, too.

As Resonant CEO, Terry Lingren, says, “Mobile data demand from next-generation smartphones is exploding and device manufacturers are struggling to keep up.” And Resonant’s technologies “can address these issues.”

How? Because the technology produces a cost savings of up to 75%, in some cases.

Resonant already has a product development agreement in place with an unnamed “global leader in mobile communications products.”

In other words, the company has received vital market validation for its technologies. Why else would a wireless market leader waste its time with a lowly startup? It wouldn’t, unless the technology was legit.

Just like Senseg, Resonant has patent protection in place, too. When Resonant was formed last summer, Superconductor Technologies contributed 14 U.S. patents. No doubt, additional patent applications are with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, while other patent applications are being processed.

So keep an eye out for any news related to the company’s technology being incorporated into any major mobile devices this year and, more importantly, for an eventual IPO. I certainly will be!

Ahead of the tape,

Louis Basenese