TechCrunch50 2009 in pictures
The show was started in early-2007 by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington and entrepreneur and Weblogs co-founder Jason Calacanis as an alternative to the DEMO conference series. Instead of paying to be on stage (once selected) as is done at DEMO, companies selected by Arrington and Calacanis get to present for free.
Here are some highlights of the show, in pictures.
Card tricks and iPhone apps
Seen here, Jillette gets Microsoft's director of business development, Don Dodge, in on a card trick that uses the iPhone to guess what card was on top of his head.
Meet the next generation of toys
ToyBots is a new gaming platform that lets toy manufacturers plug in their toys to an online network. Much like the Pleo, the personality of the toy can be altered by firmware upgrades, which are directly connected to the Web. Users can then play games and get feedback from their toy, as well as purchase and download new personalities and applications.
The company is hoping to get toy manufacturers on board as partners, and get them to start using the standard firmware profile across their entire line of toys. This would do two big things: let users re-use firmware or applications they've purchased for one toy, onto another, as well as keep money coming in even after a consumer has purchased a toy.
Google demos Fast Flip
Seen here, Google's Krishna Bharat, one of Google's distinguished researchers, demos Fast Flip, which lets users flip through entire Web pages with the same speed they're used to in an RSS reader, except with all the formatting, advertising, and user comments.
See full story on Fast Flip here.
Mint gets snatched up by Intuit
See our full story about the deal here.
iMo demos iPhone joystick app
The company demoed it as a steering wheel for racing, a flight controller for flight sims, and as a control pad for games like Grand Theft Auto. The software needs to be both on the iPhone and on your PC, although the company is working on solutions for game systems as well.
The (Demo) pit
Spawn Labs: Video games from anywhere
The service pipes 720p HD footage over the Web, but can also scale it down dynamically depending on your connection. Its creators have designed it for users who want to access their console while away from their house, or continue to use it if someone else in the house needs to use that TV.
Spawn Labs is similar to OnLive, a product that made its debut earlier this year at the Game Developers Conference. However, OnLive puts the consoles and software in the cloud. In the case of Spawn Labs, the proposition is a little closer to something like LogMeIn, giving users a quick way to use their own hardware and existing software library.
Microsoft demos Bing's visual search
For the full story on Bing's visual search, click here.
Affective Interface's facial analysis
Affective Interfaces had one of the more interesting demos of the day--using facial expressions to track emotional reactions or moods. It records a user's face while they're watching something online, then matches up those reactions to what was happening on the screen. Its analysis engine can then make an educated guess at what kind of emotion it was, all of which are highlighted on the video's timeline.
The technology will initially be used for ad targeting and audience
metrics, but is also being developed for use in automobiles as a way to
alert drivers when the system believes they're becoming drowsy. Seen here it's analyzing Digg founder Kevin Rose's face for signs of happiness.
Laser etching madness
Microsoft Bizspark Winners Anyclip
The company also has an API that lets people build things on top of it, although it's still in private beta.
Red Beacon nabs $50,000 prize
Its scheduling tool lets you put out an order for whatever you need; its system then goes out and finds people to do it for you. On the other end, service providers can put out a quote for how much they would do the job for, then you as the service seeker can you get to pick the one you want.
To help users choose providers, companies get ratings and reviews from previous consumers, along with any photos they've taken to back up that work. Red Beacon also pulls in the aggregate rating from Yelp's API.
The service is currently limited to the Bay Area until the company sees how well it
does. For the full story click here.