Photos: DemoSpring 2010's gadgets and characters

Sights and scenes from this year's DemoSpring conference in Palm Desert, Calif., where close to 70 companies (old and new) launched products and services.

Josh Lowensohn
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
1 of 12 Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Demo Spring 2010 kicks off

At this year's Demo Spring conference, which closed Tuesday, many of the new services that were launched attempt to solve nagging problems.

Solutions for signing and faxing back documents without owning a fax machine, finding lost gadgets, or trying to type on a mobile phone's on-screen keyboard, were all targeted by companies as easy fixes. That is, if people are willing to buy into what are often proprietary systems.

In the photos that follow, you'll see companies old and new showing off their latest products, as well as a few memorable moments.
2 of 12 Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Zosh destroys a fax machine

Zosh.com CEO Joshua Kerr takes a baseball bat to a fax machine in an homage to late-'90s film "Office Space."

Kerr wasn't destroying it just for fun though. His company is actually trying to kill off the need for physical fax machines, by putting the act of receiving, sending, and signing documents on people's mobile phones.
3 of 12 Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Hillcrest Labs demos new TV-friendly Web browser

Hillcrest Labs' CEO Daniel Simpkins demoed a new version of its couch-friendly browser called "Kylo." It's a browser that's been designed to be used from the couch, including big, easy to press buttons.

It works with both PCs and Macs, and can be paired with the company's Loop pointer hardware, which the company is hoping to sell more of once people install it.
4 of 12 Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Nyoombl turns your TV into a video conferencing tool

Nyoombl's CEO Oladaya Olagunju demos his company's video conferencing gadget, which can be added to any TV. It straps onto the top of your TV to do one-on-one live video, without any special software. Instead, it goes through your TV's coaxial connection, and adds an interface to accept or reject incoming video chat requests.

The one big benefit this technology has over what Skype plans to do with TV sets, is that it can be added to any old TV without having to buy a new TV hardware.
5 of 12 Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Viaclix demos its Web TV in a box

Viaclix makes hardware and software for surfing the Web on your TV. Users need a special box and remote to make use of it, in return for being able to surf Web sites like flipping channels. This includes video sites like Hulu and YouTube.

Along with Internet video sites, Viaclix boxes can do things like live video chat (with a connected Webcam) and run third party apps.

6 of 12 Josh Lowensohn/CNET

The $50,000 PayPal bump

Osama Bedier, vice president of PayPal's platform and emerging technologies bumps phones with Punsri Abeywickrema from Rentalic, one of the winners of the PayPal developer challenge, in order to transfer them the $50,000 prize money. Bedier said that the actual transfer would take place a little later, and joked that in the past they would have used an oversize check instead.

7 of 12 Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Medl Tech's 'portable' LCD monitor

Medl Tech has cooked up a truly niche product: an external screen for laptop users. This could act as a secondary display when users are out on the road, all without taking up as much space as a traditional external display.

The 13-inch display sports the same resolution as an Apple MacBook, and can last around 4-5 hours on an internal, rechargeable lithium battery. The company plans to ship out later this year for around $300.

Read more about it here.

8 of 12 Josh Lowensohn/CNET

InVisage's camera sensor special sauce

InVisage Technologies on Tuesday demoed its QuantumFilm camera sensor technology, which is able to slurp up more light in a smaller amount of space than traditional silicon-based camera sensors.

For an in-depth explanation of what the technology can do, read the CNET News story on it here.
9 of 12 Josh Lowensohn/CNET

The Li'l Magic precision laser inventory sorter

General Inspection's Greg Nygaard demonstrates the "Li'l Magic" part-identification system, which is designed to help places like hardware stores more easily do inventory and point-of-sale identification.

All users have to do is drop hardware parts like screws, bolts, nails, etc., into the top, and it uses a precision system to figure out what it is based on things like size, weight, and shape. These are then cross-checked with a store's inventory system to keep track of large numbers of small parts without too much effort.
10 of 12 Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Geneio's CEO comes out cuffed

Want to grab attention for your demo? Come out in handcuffs.

That's what Genio.com's CEO and co-founder Sol Tzvi did. Believe it or not, there was a point to it all. Tzvi was trying to demonstrate how typical content aggregators were limiting--just like hand cuffs.
11 of 12 Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Any 'Lost' fans out there?

Contact-slurping service Gwabbit demonstrated its new "gwab-o-sphere" product, which can sync up contact information changes from around the Web.

Gwabbit president Todd Miller donned a replica Dharma Initiative jump suit from the popular TV series "Lost" to show how the new tech could grab the right contact information no matter what time the e-mail had come from.

For more on how the gwab-o-sphere works, read our coverage.

12 of 12 Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Phone Halo keeps an eye on your gadgets

Phone Halo is a $60 gadget that turns your BlackBerry or Android phone into a handheld finder. Unlike some more traditional key finder hardware, however, Phone Halo integrates Bluetooth and GPS to create a tethered radius for your gadgets. So, if one of them goes out the door without the other, you get a message about it back on your phone, or through e-mail and even Twitter.

Read more about it here.

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