I attended WebInno 8 last night in Cambridge. This was my third WebInno, so it’s becoming a regular crowd of people now.
There were three companies doing formal presentations:
- FatCalico, doing something with podcasts on phones, involving forwarding podcasts to friends, dynamically building podcast shows, and inserting ads. I use my phone exclusively for talking to people, so my eyes kind of glaze over during mobile demonstrations. Erik Schwartz was doing a good job working through the difficulties of how to show a phone screen to the crowd, and demo’ing in general. At one point, he had the typical demo problems: “um, that didn’t work, let me try it again”. He seemed to have a real business background, since he was throwing around terms like CPC and CPM, and “call to action” (in the marketing sense).
- Traineo came next, but Alasdair McLean-Foreman’s laptop blue-screened with a parity error when he plugged it into the projector. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen that happen. The crowd couldn’t help but chuckle about the demo gods on that one, though I know they all felt for him.
- The Echo Nest gave a very cool demo. Tristan Jehan and Brian Whitman are building an automated music intelligence system. “Automatically knows about all music in the world, all the time.” They have software that listens to music and analyzes if for structure, pitch, rhythm, instrumentation, and so on. Their search engine can answer queries like “madonna”, but also, “something quiet and romantic”. They do language processing on pages that link to songs, so they can associate the adjectives and nouns with the songs. They have a lot of very cool technology, and are building an open API to access it. They showed a video of a friend who made a PSP dj application using the API.
- Traineo came back with a rebooted laptop, and showed their site, which helps people set and meet weight loss goals. It seemed well-designed and would probably help people lose weight. They’re very proud of their factoids (“Traineo female members from New Zealand consumed 1503 calories on average today”), but they were a little too prominently displayed for my taste, and quickly grew tiresome. When asked about how they would make money, Alasdair replied, “We signed up 10,000 users the first day, and the weight loss industry is a $10B/year market”, which wasn’t really answering the question, though we could all see where it was headed: ads.