DEMO Day One: The Post Game Show


Some thoughts on the first day of DEMO:

BuzzLogic: wants to dig deep into the dynamics and implications of online conversations! Brand monitoring, of course, is extremely useful for marketing and PR and research, so the company has signed up big-name clients like Lenovo, Sun, Fox Interactive, and Proctor & Gamble. BuzzLogic is building its own index of media and blog sites and measures influence by using factors like traffic, links, timing, and frequency. The information is only available to paying customers for now.

Dash Navigation: We wrote about this before. The device seems even cooler than originally thought, adding to real time routing recommendations and local info with gas prices and locations, nearby Craigslist listings, and whatever other useful things you want to set up to be pushed to you when you’re driving.

Some major downsides, though: when I got to go on a drive this morning, the CEO actually had to shove a paperclip into the thing multiple times to reboot it. Also, it’s going to cost at least $700, with a $12- to $14-per-month subscription. Still, the promise of alleviating my traffic and navigational woes is pretty tempting.

Adaptive Blue (blueorganizer): Social bookmarking tool with deep categorization and navigation features. This is for the really, really anal people who color-code and file everything. I would never put the work in to make this useful, but it’s an interesting concept. It’s kind of like Netvibes inside-out, with tools for searching and adding to all the web 2.0 sites built into a browser extension.

Presto: I really want to hate this product – a printer for grandma that spits out photos and sudoku without being connected to a computer, and allows her kids to monitor her ink and paper levels – but I can think of one or two people who might adore it. This will be $149.99 with a $9.99/month fee. If all goes well, and internet access becomes much more universal, this should be obsolete soon enough.

RingCube (MojoPac): Turns iPods, cell phones, and USB drives into a portable storage device that you can boot a PC from. “What happens in MojoPac stays in MojoPac.” I like the logo.

Pinger: Nice demo. All the attributes of a text message, but with voice. Sounds terrifically dumb at first, then totally useful.

uControl: Another gadget, but it’s literally a black box. Hooks into existing home-security systems (you need to have all the other hardware installed for this to work) but augments them with redundant connections (cellular, broadband, phone) and web and mobile interfaces for remote control and alerts. $99.95 plus $24.95 to $39.95 per month.

HeyLetsGo: As I’ve said before, I definitely see a need for these social event planning sites, but I’d really like to stop writing about how Renkoo/Socializr/Involver/Skobee/et cetera could be great if they ever got off the ground, and start having them actually be used. We were recently pitched by IPartee, which looks to be up the same alley.

Then, today, while making my way through the DEMO pavilion, I was grabbed by HeyLetsGo CEO Roy Rodenstein. Turns out he runs another local events organizer site based on work he did at the MIT Media Lab. They’ve closed a venture capital round too, but don’t plan to disclose the info just yet. What’s noteworthy is the site has apparently really taken off in Boston, where it’s signed up 80,000 users in the last four months.

A few others catch my interest for being particularly boring. For instance: PhotoCrank, which lets you add captions and graphics to cameraphone photos. Or MobileSphere’s Joopz, which displays text-messages, organized by groups, in a browser.


Brian Solis

Hey Liz…good post game show. I agree. Dash is promising, but too expensive. BuzzLogic is extremely appealing and I’m trying to get into their BETA round. RingCube is a definite life saver and that was a cool demo. SportStat was also very cool – very slick. There were other worthwhile companies from day 1 too. But the fake Bonodidn’t make the highlights?

Jason Coleman


We (Stranger Studios) helped PhotoCrank develop the website portion of their service. When we first came on board, I thought the idea was interesting but not really for me. Now that things are functional, I’m actually having a lot of fun cranking photos from my phone.

You get 3 free cranks, you should try it out and see if it’s still boring to you.

Joe Seither


Thanks for mentioning Presto! I hope I’m interpreting your post correctly, but it sounds like you had the same reaction to Presto that just about everybody who sees it has: “Wow! I’m online, so Presto’s solving a problem I don’t have, but I know a lot of people who would love this solution.”

Presto is solving an extremely common problem: Helping people who are not online stay connected to the digital content their family and friends enjoy and share over email every day. After all, 65MM Americans are not online… and the rate of getting online has been very flat among the 60+ demographic for the last 5 years.

Let’s face it — there are tens of millions of consumers who are just not going to get up the learning curve to get online. These people very often fall out of touch with their online family and friends — and feel isolated.

Presto is helping these people reconnect — without the need for a computer or Internet connection. We’re serving a very under-served population — one that most technology companies simply pass over.

Thanks again for you coverage of Presto!

Joe Seither


How do these companies even qualify for DEMO? :-(

Presto, Pinger … do they really believe people will use their products/services?

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