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.
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.
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.
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
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