This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

#DigitalSkeptic: No to Software and Apps -- It's Hardware That's Hot

HAMILTON HEIGHTS, N.Y. ( TheStreet) -- Bone-weary Information Age investors may finally have a reason to grab the A Train to upper Harlem: A new generation of entrepreneurs here are fed up with software and apps.

Now it's hardware that's hot.

"In the last, say, two years there has been what's called app fatigue," Nayeem Hussain told me in a basement hardware incubator called the Zahn Center for Entrepreneurship at The City College of New York.

Hussain is co-founder of Keen Home, a New York intelligent heating and air conditioning vent startup. And he and partner Ryan Fant are laying odds that the market for apps running on PCs, smartphones and tablets has bottomed out and that bringing new value to real things is where the real action is.

"When you're making hardware, the beauty of it is that you have a tangible product and you can provide this product to the consumer," he said. If there is ample demand, "The value proposition speaks for itself."

Sure enough, at least based on the past three months of dozens of conversations with those in this emerging product space, Keen Home is part of a dynamic new family of hardware startups and incubators racing to develop a generation of real consumer goods.

"A year or so ago I spoke with VCs looking for funding to start a hardware incubator," said Haytham Elhawary, executive director here at the Zahn Center. Back then, potential backers could not have dismissed him fast enough. But today hardware successes such as the Nike+ FuelBand have made major investments in hardware almost commonplace.

"The clear sentiment is: Hardware is back," he said.

Forget big data. It's big reality that shines
If investors have the courage and imagination to look, the signs that the real world has real luster are everywhere. No less than New York-based FirstMark Capital, the group behind such pure-play Digital Age hits as Pinterest, Shopify and SecondMarket, recently fired up their own hardware event series in the city called Hardwired NYC.

And several hardware-focused entrepreneurs I spoke with around the country confirm there is unprecedented venture capitalist interest in their hardware startups -- even for relatively obscure ideas.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,778.15 +421.28 2.43%
S&P 500 2,061.23 +48.34 2.40%
NASDAQ 4,748.3960 +104.0840 2.24%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs