Social online TV and invisible speakers among 'DEMOgods'

Sep 24, 2009 by Glenn Chapman
An online network for farmers, social Internet television, and invisible speakers were among startups taking laurels this week at the DEMO technology conference here known as a launch pad for winning firms.

An online network for farmers, social Internet television, and invisible speakers were among startups taking laurels this week at the DEMO technology conference here known as a launch pad for winning firms.

Two days of rapid-fire pitches by 70 young technology firms with new ideas ended late Wednesday with revered "DEMOgod" awards bestowed on firms considered exceptional.

"It's just possible that these companies are going to be stronger, bigger and more successful because they are launching in this economy," said Chris Shipley, who has reigned over more than a decade of DEMO conferences.

"Right now is the best time to be innovating; there is so much opportunity while a lot of people are scrambling for the hills."

A star of the show was Emo Labs, which unveiled a clear film that produces high-quality stereo sound.

The US-based firm is in talks with major electronics makers interested in layering the Invisible Speaker System on flat panel televisions to turn screens into giant speakers, Emo chief executive Jason Carlson told AFP.

Along with becoming a DEMOgod, Emo won a People's Choice Award and an International Data Group (IDG) advertising campaign valued at 500,000 dollars.

firm Liaise won the second People's Choice Award, and an equally valued IDG ad campaign for software that enables workers to easily organize and prioritize email.

"We are about turning words into actions" said Alon Novy of Liaise. "The success of managers and teams depends on delegated work being done, and this is a great tool for keeping track of that."

LocalDirt.com was chosen as a DEMOgod for creating an online hub where farmers or ranchers can connect with markets, schools, buying clubs, restaurants, or individuals in nearby communities.

"Demand for local food is rocketing," said Local Dirt founder Heather Hilleren. "Local food demand is outpacing demand for organic food."

Local Dirt hopes to help family farms survive, stimulate local economies, and enhance access to fresher food.

TwirlTV, which combines on-demand Internet television with online social networking, won DEMOgod status, as did a Zorap service that lets friends easily share audio and video in "virtual gathering places."

Background-check titan Intelius was chosen a DEMOgod for a DateCheck service that lets people use smart phones as "sleaze detectors" to quickly check whether aspiring mates are creeps or gems.

DateCheck users armed with names and telephone numbers can mine the gargantuan Intelius database to uncover whether people seeking their affections fail to mention unflattering facts such as criminal pasts or current spouses.

"I am encouraged and inspired by the dynamic, exceptional group of companies debuting here, despite the range of economic challenges we are facing on a global scale," said Matt Marshall, who co-produced DEMO with outgoing conference queen Shipley.

Other DEMOgods were Pinyadda and ShareGrove. Pinyadda was billed as a next step in the evolution of online social networking for providing a way to personalize and aggregate content from online haunts.

ShareGrove is an online tool for creating "private conversations" with family, friends and other people culled from the tidal waves of email, social network contacts, "tweeters" and others on the "Social Web."

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Report: FBI's anthrax investigation was flawed

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Facebook testing Twitter-like 'Lite' version

Aug 12, 2009

The Internet was buzzing Wednesday with talk of Facebook testing a streamlined "Lite" version of the social-networking service that could challenge microblogging sensation Twitter.

The Web: Social networking searches

Jun 07, 2006

Media mogul Martha Stewart is launching an online social network for women -- joining other entrepreneurs who are starting similar projects and are collectively propelling social networks into the mainstream of the Internet, ...

SKorean firms to jointly develop new chips

Jul 27, 2009

Samsung Electronics will lead a group of South Korean firms in jointly developing advanced semiconductors used for smartphones and digital televisions, officials said Monday.

Recommended for you

Report: FBI's anthrax investigation was flawed

Dec 19, 2014

The FBI used flawed scientific methods to investigate the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people and sickened 17 others, federal auditors said Friday in a report sure to fuel skepticism over the FBI's ...

Study reveals mature motorists worse at texting and driving

Dec 18, 2014

A Wayne State University interdisciplinary research team in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has made a surprising discovery: older, more mature motorists—who typically are better drivers in ...

Napster co-founder to invest in allergy research

Dec 17, 2014

(AP)—Napster co-founder Sean Parker missed most of his final year in high school and has ended up in the emergency room countless times because of his deadly allergy to nuts, shellfish and other foods.

LA mayor plans 7,000 police body cameras in 2015

Dec 16, 2014

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a plan Tuesday to equip 7,000 Los Angeles police officers with on-body cameras by next summer, making LA's police department the nation's largest law enforcement agency to move ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

nxtr
not rated yet Oct 11, 2009
does anyone remember a story about an inventor that used two focused beams of ultrasonic sound that would constructively converge on a person's head to make a audible sound? I saw it on teh local news here in Seattle years ago and then it seemed like the idea disappeared.

The newscaster showed it working by putting the microphone in and out of the convergence area. The sound would go away and then come back strong.

the inventor said it would be great for listening to TV while your spouse slept in silence.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.