CNET News Video: Launch Week's Top 5 products demos
CNET Webware Editor Rafe Needleman has chosen his favorite standout products from so-called "Launch Week," the combined presentations from both San Francisco's TechCrunch50 and San Diego's DemoFall. Needleman and CNET's Kara Tsuboi discuss the Top 5 and why they have the potential to be the next big things.
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>>I'm CNET's Kara Tsuboi here with Rafe Needleman editor of CNET's webware.com and Rafe we're concluding a really interesting week of product launches, website launches that come out of two major conferences held here in California.
>>Rafe Needleman: That's right there was DemoFall, which was down in San Diego. That was a big launch event and then at the same exact time here in San Francisco there's TechCrunc50, which is a big web 2 O launch party event with three full days of product launches.
>>Kara Tsuboi: Exactly both of these are multi day events and you and the other editor's from CNET and webware have identified the best products. Let's talk about the top five best products that really stood out in your mind.
>>Rafe Needleman: Sure. Of the 120 plus products that were pitched on stage, we picked out the top ten and then there are five that I think are really, really interesting and I'll just start.
>>Kara Tsuboi: Yea FitBit, right?
>>Rafe Needleman: FitBit is this cool little thing. It's like half a size of a pen. You clip it on to your clothes and your pants or whatever and it monitors your activity level. Then when you get back home you put it in a little charging dock and it transmits that data to a website where you can then see how much you're walking, you know, what your sleep habits are, how active you are and it graphs that over time and lets you communicate with other people for encouragement and stuff like that.
>>Kara Tsuboi: And that's the part that I really like.
>>Rafe Needleman: That's really key, yea
>>Kara Tsuboi: Yea, you need that motivation.
>>Rafe Needleman: And this is a product, the price point is right, $99 no monthly fee, this is a product that will make you healthier. I've seen similar products like this in the past before the infrastructure was set up, before America became so obese and this is the right product for the right time at the right price with the right technology and I just, this is a no brainer. I just love this product and I think everybody should buy it, [Laughter] I really do.
>>Kara Tsuboi: That's great. Now moving on to number two is a product called GoodGuide which similarly also can help you lead a better, healthier life at some point.
>>Rafe Needleman: This is a web service. Now what GoodGuide has done is they have compiled a data base of the, of products, of personal food products and clothing and health and beauty products and looking at each in terms of the humanity of them whether they use sweat shop labor, the health of them and the greenness of them.
>>Kara Tsuboi: Uh hmm
>>Rafe Needleman: So you put in your product, you put in your perfume or deodorant or toothpaste or your sweat socks or whatever it is and it will tell you in each of those three areas how responsible the product is for you and for the planet. And it will rank products by score so if you're looking for, say toothpaste for your kid, a kids toothpaste, it will tell you which one has the highest score in a one to ten scale.
>>Kara Tsuboi: Now this next product is really interesting cause it solves the problem of wanting to take movies into your computer but not doing so illegally.
>>Rafe Needleman: Right
>>Kara Tsuboi: RealDVD. Tell us how it works.
>>Rafe Needleman: Well, I haven't actually tried it. This one was down at Demo and I was at Techcrunch but it was a very interesting product. You put your movie DVD in your computer and it puts it on the computer in a legal way. Now it's legal to do this but it's never been legal to have software that does it, the way the law works. This is legal and it puts layers of copper protection on top of what you already have to make it even more legal but the cool thing is DVD, on computer, easy to do, then take your computer with you on an airplane or something, you don't need the DVD anymore.
>>Kara Tsuboi: Perfect. And how much does the service cost?
>>Rafe Needleman: I think the software after introduction would be 50 bucks plus $20 per additional computer you are watching it on so there are some issues with this but it's the easiest way to do this.
>>Kara Tsuboi: Great. Plastic Logic
>>Rafe Needleman: Plastic Logic makes a competitive electronic ink technology for e-books that's based on plastics. Current e-books need a layer of glass
>>Kara Tsuboi: Sure
>>Rafe Needleman: Which makes them heavy
>>Kara Tsuboi: Heavy
>>Rafe Needleman: And fragile
>>Kara Tsuboi: And expensive
>>Rafe Needleman: And expensive. This should be cheaper and more durable and hopefully we'll see, you know, better e-books because of this technology.
>>Kara Tsuboi: Terrific and the final product that really stood out is swype with a Y, S-w-y-p-e.
>>Rafe Needleman: That's right. Swype from the inventor of T9, the guy who put, you know, the predicted text thing on to your mobile phone
>>Kara Tsuboi: Uh huh
>>Rafe Needleman: Is this new technology that puts a keyboard on screen for touch screen and pointer based devices like Wii and you kind of, instead of tapping out words you trace the shape of the word over the keyboard, like Mississippi
>>Kara Tsuboi: Very cool.
>>Rafe Needleman: Alger rhythm, I am going to the store. Just kind of wag your finger around approximately where the letters are and it gets it. It's an amazing demo and from the guy who did T9 and so I hope to see this in a lot of products soon.
>>Kara Tsuboi: Good for all of us with the fat fingers that make it hard to type right now.
>>Rafe Needleman: Yea, yea
>>Kara Tsuboi: Terrific. Thank you very much.
>>Rafe Needleman: Pleasure
>>Kara Tsuboi: Editor of CNET's webware Rafe Needleman, I'm Kara Tsuboi with the top five from launch week 2008.
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