DEMO 08 consumer and enterprise tech preview

On stage at DEMO: The world's most useful pen, the natural enemy of YouTubers, movie-making technology for amateurs, IM translation, and smartphone apps galore.

10 cool new technologies at DEMO 08

Some of the technology industry's most innovative and successful companies make their debuts at DEMO , a launchpad for emerging technology. Here are 10 cool consumer and business technologies being unveiled at the event this week.


A high-definition video service which lets aspiring musicians learn how to play songs from expert instructors and, in some cases, the artists who originally wrote and performed the tunes. Musicians from the Doobie Brothers, Allman Brothers Band, 3 Doors Down, Sting's backup band and Rush are among the famous instructors. Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson says " iVideosongs gives me a very personal and powerful way to connect with my fans, and an unparalleled way to show them how to play my songs." Learn more .


YouTubers beware! If you violate copyright laws, EyeAlike is coming to get you. The company is marketing a visual-based search tool to media content producers that automates the process of detecting copyright infringement. EyeAlike's technology "is unique in its ability to automatically analyze every aspect of video content simultaneously by image, motion, and face to [recognize and flag] any video content that is being served illegally online," the company states. Learn more


You won't need any Hollywood connections to make movies after Xtranormal , a 3D animation company in Montreal, launches in April. The Web site will gives users a platform for creating talk shows, music shows, and newscasts by merging "near-life" 3D avatars with live video. Average Joes will enjoy creating videos and sharing them, while advertisers may see new opportunities in Xtranormal.

"Xtranormal aims to bring out the director/creator in all of us with Pjungle, an application that allows users to create video spots from a variety of templates and broadcast to the audience of their choice," DEMO's technology experts say. "Through a range of production tools that simplify the entire movie making process to ingenious avatars that recreate your dialogue, Xtranormal has created a technology that could have far-reaching ramifications not only for the entertainment industry but for the very definition of online video." Learn more about Xtranormal's founder and president Richard Szalwinski .


It's the Swiss Army knife of writing utensils. Livescribe 's Pulse Smartpen "is a computer within a pen that captures handwriting and simultaneously records audio and synchronizes it to the writing," the company states. "Users can simply tap on their notes to replay what was recorded from the exact moment they were writing, so they never miss a word they hear, write or speak."

Pulse comes in 1GB ($149) and 2GB ($199) models, and accomplishes its myriad tasks with a high-speed infrared camera, dual microphones, an embedded speaker, audio jack, and a special notebook equipped with "nearly-invisible micro dots" that tell the pen where a user is writing or tapping. Learn more .


A free downloadable Web browser for smartphones that Skyfire claims is "just like browsing on a PC." Skyfire's browser is designed to browse Web sites built with dynamic technologies like Flash, AJAX, and Java, making video, music and social networking sites easily accessible from a smartphone, the company says.

"Before Skyfire, users painfully waited for these Flash and AJAX-heavy sites to render - often resulting in error messages or crashes," Skyfire states.

DEMO technology guru Chris Shipley has high hopes for Skyfire, noting in a press release that "mobile browsing has not advanced at the same rate as other mobile technologies."

SpeakLike LLC

Instant messaging is easy, but not if you need to chat with someone who speaks a different language. SpeakLike solves that problem with a Web-hosted service that translates Internet chats in real time, and provides users transcripts of their conversations. "The service will make it possible to type text in one's own language and have others see it in theirs, accurately and within seconds," SpeakLike promises. SpeakLike is launching in beta and is currently available only for English, Spanish and Chinese. Learn more .


Smartphones let you create video, audio and photos, but what are you supposed to do with all this new mobile content? With CellSpin , you can easily post your video, audio and photos to social networks and content-sharing sites like YouTube, using only the smartphone. The technology also lets you use your smartphone to post audio and videos to eBay auction listings.

DEMO organizers have seen many applications designed to share and move data from mobile devices, but say their "skepticism evaporated in the three or four screen taps it took to capture and image and send to Facebook, an eBay auction listing, Flickr, and a blog post." Learn more .

LegiTime Technologies

LegiText , a message management service for smartphones that's carrier-agnostic and integrates with Exchange, Lotus Notes and various Web e-mail services. Users can configure their inboxes to display e-mails in order of importance; group messages by sender, topic, project team, or personal or professional relationship; have threaded, searchable conversations; and access various tools to enhance business collaboration. A Web-based administrative tool lets users set up recurring meetings, manage contacts and groups, and send RSS and news feeds to their mobile devices. Learn more .


Ok, so you probably see more than enough advertising already. But Ecrio 's MoBeam ClipPod device lets you receive coupons from retailers of your choice on your cell phone and then redeem them in a store without having to print anything out.

The ClipPod device, which fits on your keychain and connects wirelessly to your mobile phone via Bluetooth, can be used to redeem coupons with the standard barcode scanners used by retail stores pretty much everywhere. The extra device is needed because various technological issues make it hard to scan a barcode on a mobile phone screen, according to Ecrio. Learn more .


An innovative search tool called Top of Mind that ignores keywords and instead focuses on feelings. Want to know what experts think about oil prices or interest rates? Top of Mind tracks opinions and sentiments expressed on the Web and how those opinions change over time. Jodange thinks its tool is perfect for companies looking to better understand customers, competitors and their marketplaces. Learn more .

We want to hear from YOU!

Tell us what you think about this year's DEMO presenters.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

Related Slideshows