The T-List: Special DEMOfall Edition

By  |  Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 7:48 am

I had a swell time at DEMOfall, which, despite stiff competition, turned out just fine. And here are a few more debutantes that I found interesting for one reason or another.

Goodbye, TV Guide?
If there was a striking trend at DEMO it may have been the launch of three services designed to help TV fans find stuff to watch. Invision.TV sports a dense, grid-like browser of Internet video clips and shows and lets you watch content without leaving this view; FFWD takes a distinctly different approach, with a big window that only shows one video at a time and a FFWD button for surfing to the next one. And the oddly named BeeTV, which optimistically claims it’ll be your “new best friend” aims to bring sophisticated personal recommendations to set-top boxes, based on their viewing habits. I wasn’t completely sold that any of these services have solved the problem of too much video and too little time to find it, but all are worth a look.

Koollage Looks Cool
I kind of like Koollage, a service that lets you create “pods”–which you or I would call widgets–that can be viewed in a browser or on an iPhone. Pods can contain RSS feeds, video, photos, and other content, and you can share ’em with people you know or the whole world. I’m actually less interested in creating pods than I am by their potential as an alternative, space efficient way to browse through a blog on an iPhone. Side note: Koollage’s DEMO demo involved creating pods shaped like a frog. That part I still don’t understand.
Read more at: Mashable

Finance Gets More Personal
I’m a fan of Mint, a slick personal finance service that debuted a year ago at TechCrunch40. DEMO included two interesting new competitors. Rudder focuses on short-term money management–basically, telling you how much cash you have once all your bills have been paid–and attempts to help you do much of that management via e-mail alerts rather than in the browser. Like Mint, it’s free–it analyzes your spending and offers you up coupons and other deals. Green Sherpa, meanwhile, is aimed particularly at women–who do most of the money management in this country–and stresses cash-flow management and planning for purchases. It’s free of the marketing angle of Mint and Rudder, since it’s a paid service.
Read more at: The Standard, VentureBeat

Hey Cosmo! You’re Annoying!
My friend Ed Albro of PC World named HeyCosmo as his personal Worst of DEMO, and while I’d have to think a bit before going that far, it certainly looks like the most annoying service that launched at the show. It’s a weird automated phone survey system that lets you robocall multiple friends at once to help plan outings or call dozens of restaurants simultaneously and demand that they press buttons on their phone to answer your questions. The first feature would bug the heck out of most of my friends; the second one attempts to solve the same problem as OpenTable in a far more complicated manner. At this point in the development of the human race, I think most people have at least one thing in common: They don’t like to be called by machines.
Read more at: PC World

I Like ILovePhotos
Anyone who launches a photo management and sharing application and service designed especially for Macs has set themselves up with a considerable challenge, considering that it means going head-to-head with iPhoto. But I still liked ILovePhotos, which emphasizes working with photos of people. It auto-detects faces in your photos, making it easier to tag your friends and family, then auto-creates slideshows that can be played on any iTunes-compatible device, like an iPod or an Apple TV. ILovePhotos looks relatively skimpy on features, and I don’t think most people would want to use it as their only photo organizer/sharing service. But it does look fast and fun. The Mac version is supposed to be available shortly; a Windows edition is in the works.
Read more at: VentureBeat

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. ashleysays Says:

    Edward, gave two narrow examples of how you can utilize HeyCosmo in a useful AND socially acceptable way. It can do what OpenTable does and MORE. For example, if you need a plumber ASAP because your toilet is gushing water, HeyCosmo will dial every single plumber in your area to see who can fix your problem the fastest for the least amount of money, saving you time and money. OR, if you wanted to convene all your friends for the DEMO dinner but didn’t have a moment to call them all, HeyCosmo would call them to let them know to meet in front of the Ballroom doors. So far, 76% of people who receive a HeyCosmo call interact with the system, meaning they pressed 1 or 2. Businesses see it as a free business lead. Your friends, well, may need a little more adjusting time. As a Millennial, I think it’s pretty cool.

  2. Elina Says:

    Thanks a Lot for great help here.