Slideshow

15 cool new technologies at DEMOfall 08

On stage at DEMO: A computer algorithm that uncovers media bias, and new ways to watch television, create music, manage money, and spy on IT workers.

  • What do YOU think? We want to hear from YOU. Tell us what you think about this year's DEMO presenters.
  • Company: Fusion-io Technology: DEMO alum Fusion-io is back with ioSAN, a PCIe card utilizing flash memory that delivers an easy-to-deploy storage-area network with extremely fast performance. "Fusion-io launched its first solid state disk at DEMOfall 12 months ago, and has been on a rocket ride ever since," DEMO organizers say. "Now the company drops into place the next piece of the solid state storage vision, a complete storage-area network solution that is small in stature but huge on impact, both on data management strategies and green data center initiatives."
  • Company: Paragent Technology: Targeted at managed service providers, Paragent provides easy-to-use remote IT management capabilities for less than US$8 per computer. Remote IT management is nothing new, but the cost is an "order-of magnitude price improvement" over existing products, according to DEMO. Features include software and hardware inventory tracking, alerts, help desk capabilities, software compliance, and warranty tracking. "Smaller consultancies serving smaller businesses now have the same critical capability to support their clients as do large IT organizations," DEMO organizers say.
  • Company: Message Sling Technology: Get your voice messages anywhere you want with Message Sling. A voice-to-text transcription service lets voicemail be delivered as text messages and e-mail. Or access messages as MP3 files on any phone. "Message Sling isn't tied to any one carrier, so you can swap out your phone, jump to another carrier and even lose your phone without losing your message," DEMO organizers say.
  • Company: Infovell Technology: Get ready to search the "deep web," the 99.8 percent of the Internet that isn't accessed by most search engines. Designed for researchers in the medical and biopharmaceutical industries, Infovell's comprehensive search tool indexes the parts of the Web missed by Google and Yahoo. "With an outcome-focused interface supporting a deep dive into content, Infovell will become the go-to search engine for researchers and others doing more than a cursory hunt for Web-based information," DEMO organizers say.
  • Company: Awind Technology: mobiShow connects your PC or smartphone to your television set using a wireless transmitter, allowing you to stream high-definition movies, your desktop or any video format to your big screen. "Born of expertise in delivering high-definition, PC-based presentations to the television screen, mobiShow makes it easy to discover and watch IP-based video," DEMO organizers say. "But it's the transcoding of PC-based video into high-definition video scaled to fit the television screen that makes Awind's offering remarkable."
  • Company: SpinSpotter Technology: Plenty of Web sites aim to uncover news stories that are one-sided, biased or inaccurate. Perhaps only SpinSpotter claims it can do so using computer algorithms. With input from "distinguished journalists," SpinSpotter says it has developed algorithms that uncover spin "wherever users surf." The service, when available, is supposed to identify unsubstantiated facts, vested interests, adjectival flourishes and unnamed sources. Inaccurate reporting and one-sided news stories should be easy to find even without a computer program, but we're looking forward to seeing just how SpinSpotter's technology actually works.
  • Company: Green Sherpa Technology: A Web-based money management service, Green Sherpa is designed for individuals who want to track finances, set goals, and synchronize bank, credit and asset accounts. Competing against products like Microsoft Money, Green Sherpa is targeted at consumers ages 30 to 55 who already use products like Quicken or Excel but would like an online service that's available anywhere. "We start by helping our users clarify their spending priorities and ensuring that those priorities line up with their personal values. But to that base we add exciting and cutting-edge tools like scheduled importing of bank statements, flexible cash flow, spending alerts delivered via SMS and email, and mobile Web access from devices like the iPhone," the company says.
  • 15 cool new technologies at DEMOfall 08 Some of the technology industry's most innovative and successful companies make their debuts at DEMO, a launchpad for emerging technology. Here are 15 cool consumer and business technologies being unveiled at the event this week.
  • Company: Unity Solutions Technology: Spying on IT workers has never been easier than with Lanxoma, a new security product that makes sure IT pros don't abuse their access privileges. Lanxoma gives IT technicians controlled access to privileged systems, and then watches everything they do. "Lanxoma deters abuse by recording every action (keyboard, mouse, screen and audio)," Unity Solutions says. "Lanxoma acts as a deterrent and offers evidence - like a CCTV camera in a bank." Most data security threats come from inside a corporation. IT pros are generally a virtuous lot, but there are bound to be some misfits. "IT professionals are minding system security, but who's minding the IT professionals?" DEMO organizers ask.
  • Company: Asyncast Technology: Rocketron, a mobile news delivery service that relies entirely on voice. Use voice commands like "sports news" or "technology news," and then listen to the news as it is read to you. If the story bores you, just say "next article" and go to the next one. Rocketron works with any mobile phone. "While we've explored a number of mobile news and podcasting services, we like Rocketron for its simplicity, flexibility and depth," the people at DEMO say. "The voice-command search and navigation interface drives a rich database of news sources, delivered quickly and at your command. Over time, the system learns your preference and interests and pushes relevant content to the fore."
  • Company: Best Buy Technology: Giftag, a new Best Buy service, is a Web browser add-on built with open source tools that makes online shopping a more collaborative process. Giftag seeks to integrate e-commerce with social networking features by letting users pick items from anywhere on the Web, add them to a list and then share those lists with friends. In addition to products, users can grab "any part of a [Web] page" and add it to a list. "Online shopping was a popular theme among DEMO applicants this year, a good sign that it's a sector in need of innovation," DEMO organizers say. "A key need among consumers... is the integration of e-commerce into other parts of online life."
  • Company: Alerts.com Technology: Just like it says, Alerts.com is a place where you can aggregate all the alerts you want. The lowest gas prices in your neighborhood, job postings, news and weather feeds can all be seen in one place. You can also monitor products you want to buy, and get notified as soon as the price drops. Alerts can be received via e-mail, text message or voicemail. "Alerts.com aggregates content from multiple sources eliminating the need to manage multiple accounts and profiles," DEMO organizers say.
  • Company: MixMatchMusic Technology: Aspiring pop stars will have a dynamic new way to collaborate on creating music with this online service. Musicians contribute works in progress, like guitar riffs, drums and vocal tracks, allowing fellow MixMatchMusic users to search through a catalog of sounds and songs to find snippets that complement their own song ideas. An audio sequencer provides editing tools allowing artists to mix and match snippets to create more complete songs. Even casual fans who don't play instruments will be able to experiment with the available sounds. MixMatchMusic says contributing artists will be paid 85 cents on the dollar every time their music is downloaded or used.
  • Company: RemoTV Technology: Known as Channels!, this application installs on your personal computer and lets you share movies and music with friends. RemoTV streams "any type of media" to "any Internet-connected device including PCs, cell phones, smartphones, social networks, game consoles, the iPod Touch and iPhone." A free version is available to consumers, while licensing plans will let media companies distribute content to their customers.
  • Company: CoreTrace Technology: Known as Bouncer, this enterprise security tool flips the antivirus model on its head by "enforcing a whitelist of good applications rather than relying on a malware blacklist." Bouncer automatically develops a list of approved applications based on each user's habits, and adds to the list when the PC user installs new applications or updates existing ones.
  • Company: Alcatel-Lucent Technology: Tikitag, a new Alcatel-Lucent project, essentially connects everyday items to the Internet using RFID technology. "The same technology that allows warehouses to track pallets of Wheaties is the basis for a consumer service that bridges the tangible and digital worlds," DEMO organizers say. The idea is that people can wave NFC (near field communication)-enabled mobile phones or RFID readers at certain objects and receive information about the objects over the Web. Objects must be outfitted with a so-called "tikitag" in order to be scanned. But if the idea catches on, potential uses would range from "travelers requesting information about a monument that's tagged, to children interacting with a PC via tagged toys."
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