Tag Archives | DEMO

Live From DEMO09

Demo LogoI’m at the DEMOFall conference in San Francisco Diego, the second massive launchpad for new companies and products (after last week’s TechCrunch50) in as many weeks. So far, the product-demo gremlins seem to be having more than their usual amount of fun with the companies onstage: Problems with Internet access and other glitches have bedeviled multiple demonstrators.

My favorite demos so far:

  • HP kicked off the conference with SkyRoom, a $149 piece of software for conducting high-definition video conferences among up to four people. It’s aimed to simplify business collaboration, and will come bundled for free with some HP computers.
  • Micello tries to be “Google Maps for the inside of buildings,” with an iPhone app that can show you where things are on the premises of locations such as shopping malls and other public places. (I could have used something along these lines yesterday–I was at the San Francisco airport and really, really wanted to find a Wells Fargo ATM.)
  • Fuze Box (which used to be CallWave) launched Fuze Meeting, another HD conferencing service. This one has iPhone and BlackBerry apps.
  • Digsby, a multi-client IM app that’s been around for awhile, has a new version with Twitter functionality that aims to be conversation-centric and pleasing to mainstream folks rather than Twitter geeks. (It’s got a single-column view, unlike power tools such as Seesmic and TweetDeck.)
  • Waze is a sort of phone-based social network for commuters that (somewhat like the late and lamented Dash Express) aggregates info from users to identify traffic problems in real time. The company launched an Android app awhile ago, and is using DEMO to announce that it’s now available on Android, iPhone, Symbian, and Windows Mobile.

More thoughts to come as we see more demos and I get the chance to troll the aisle of the pavilion…


Plastic Logic’s Reader: Electronic Paper That’s the Size of a Piece of Paper

The first morning of demos here at DEMO has begun, and the second product unveiling of the day looks potentially cool: A company called Plastic Logic previewed an e-book reader that uses electronic paper technology similar to that of the Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader–but in a larger, thinner form factor with a full touchscreen.

Plastic Logic says that unlike the Kindle and Sony, its product is aimed at folks reading business documents and magazines (the demo involved a copy of The Economist). The reader includes markup and annotation features that leverage the touchscreen, and the 8.5″-by-11″ screen size obviously makes sense both in terms of providing more real estate and mimicking the typical size of business documents printed on plain old paper.

I have and enjoy using a Kindle, but I’m still something of an electronic paper skeptic: The displays are monochrome, with gray text on a gray background, and there’s not enough grayscale to do decent photos. (I remain baffled by hype for electronic paper that touts it as looking like real paper or being wonderfully legible.) And while the Plastic Logic reader has some advantages over a notebook–it’s a third the weight of a MacBook Air and the electronic paper technology lets it run for days on one battery charge–I’m curious whether the business types that the company wants to cater to will buy and carry both a notebook and an electronic reader.

So far, I’ve only seen the Plastic reader from my seat in DEMO’s demo hall; I’m looking forward to seeing it up close. The company didn’t mention a price or a shipping date–actually, even the product name is TBD.


An Absurdly Busy Week for Technology

I’m in San Diego for the DEMOFall conference, where more than seventy new products and services–mostly from startups–will debut over the next two days. You’d think that would be enough new stuff for one week in September, but DEMO is going head to head with TechCrunch 50 back in San Francisco, with 52 other debutantes, all of a Web 2.0 nature.

Did I mention that Apple is holding an event tomorrow in San Francisco at which it will unveil new iPods and possibly other items?

I’ll be blogging highlights from all three tech events here at Techologizer, and will cover even more news–albeit briefly–in my Twitter feed. Should be a fun, exhausting, and extremely newsy three days–join me, won’t you?

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