Greetings from the DEMO Fall 2012 event in Santa Clara, Calif., where more than 70 companies are launching new sites, apps, services and, in some rare cases, actual physical products. For more than 20 years, the DEMO events have showcased companies that have gone on to greatness (to be fair, several companies have also vanished after appearing here), so it's always a good barometer of what might be coming down the road next.
It's always a good event to see what types of problems are being solved via technology across the spectrum -- whether consumer, vertical markets, enterprise or even within the Internet infrastructure itself. (Disclaimer: The show is co-produced by the IDG Enterprise events group.)
WHERE ARE THEY NOW? DEMOgods from 2011
Here's a bunch of products/companies I was impressed with, at least in the sense of things I might end up using a few days, weeks or months from now.
Givit: Millions of people have taken video footage with their phones, but more often those videos just sit on the phone, because video editing takes a big commitment and is hard to do. Givit wants to change that. Its very cool (and free) app works for iPhone users (Android coming later), allowing them to take a video clip and choose the best highlights from the clip by touching the screen (a tap on the left picks the last seven seconds; a tap on the right lets you choose a start/end point). The app also lets you add some basic effects (like slow-motion, instant replay and speed-up) and music to your video, and of course you can then share and upload.
Opal Brainstorms: This social software for use within companies helps unlock innovation and ideas from people who might not normally be allowed to participate in brainstorming sessions (or who might be afraid to). There's a very cool interface that seems to combine features found on the public Quora site (asking questions of users) and Pinterest (ability to post photos/videos/thoughts within a square-like design).
iBuildApp: A very sleek platform that lets people build their own mobile apps -- the service includes more than 500 different templates/widgets, and users of the site have created more than 66,000 apps. I want to try this out to see if a very-non-developer guy like me could create an app that would be worthwhile. Stay tuned on this one, too.
Ube: Pronounced "You-Bee," the company showed some Android-powered devices that can plug into your power outlets, providing Wi-Fi connectivity for "dumb appliances" that can then be controlled via a smartphone app. Control lights, TVs, etc., without needing propriety equipment, installers, etc.
Tellagence: Claiming to be able to "predict word of mouth," this social analytics tool can map a brand's social connections, and then give the brand a list of 10 other sources that can help spread their message to have the most impact across the network. For companies struggling to find the right people to help spread messages across the social sphere, Tellagence could be a very valuable tool.
Check out NetworkWorld.com and DEMO.com for more coverage from DEMO (including video presentations and interviews with demonstrators), as well as our slideshow featuring the 20 coolest products at the show.