Welcome back to Baby Breakerdom! This week's quest to find budding Rule Breakers reveals video games that abide by the laws of physics and robots beside your bed.
We begin with Ageia Technologies, which recently took $27 million in series C financing, according to VentureWire. The money, it seems, is to help the company bring to market its PhysX processor chip for video gaming. Not surprisingly, Ageia's website says PhysX is the "world's first physics processor." That means it's designed to do the complex calculations needed to make virtual worlds appear all the more real.
The pitch could work. Most of the processing to create realistic body movements on screen is currently done in software. But that can be notoriously slow or, at best, inefficient. Mixing in a processor like the PhysX could change that forever. (And maybe aid and abet a few addicts in the process.)
Color me intrigued. But I'm also just as sure that competitors like Rule Breaker Universe member NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA ) and ATI Technologies (Nasdaq: ATYT ) will be unhappy to see the rules of their industry get broken. It'll take more than a flush bank account to fend them off while simultaneously attracting major game developers like Activision (Nasdaq: ATVI ) and Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS ) to the PhysX platform.
We move next to the semi-real world of robotic medicine with InTouch Health, which VentureWire says just completed a series C round of $12 million in financing from Galen Partners, Acacia Venture Partners, and InvestCare Partners. InTouch is developing robot technology to help doctors remotely connect and consult with patients and hospital staff. That seems silly at first blush -- seriously, what happened to docs being measured by their bedside manner? -- but InTouch's pitch isn't bad. This comes from the website:
"Already today there are over 400,000 unfilled nursing positions causing hospitals across the country to close wings or risk negative outcomes. Over the coming years, the declining ratio of working age adults to elderly will further exacerbate the shortage."
Probably true. And while bringing a "robot doc" to cut down patient waiting time isn't exactly the kind of breakthrough that has allowed Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG ) to deliver a close to 60% return for Rule Breakers subscribers, it nonetheless sounds very useful.
Sadly there were no Baby Breaker public offerings this week, which means it's time to say goodbye. For now. See you back here next Friday when we continue the quest for the next ultimate growth stock.
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Intuitive Surgical is a Rule Breakers pick. NVIDIA, Electronic Arts, and Activision are allMotley Fool Stock Advisor picks.
Fool contributor Tim Beyers thinks the prospect of being prodded and probed by a robot during a hospital visit smacks of The Terminator, Blade Runner, and Star Wars all rolled into one. He'll stick with the real thing, thanks. Tim didn't own stock in any of the companies mentioned in this story at the time of publication. You can find out what is in his portfolio by checking Tim's Fool profile, which is here. The Motley Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.