Top 3 Technologies from DEMO Day 2, Plus the Million Dollar People’s Choice Winner

DEMO must have heard my complaint that the majority of companies presenting on day 1 of DEMO were too derivative, because those showcasing during day 2 definitely satisfied my inner geek. Innovation was well on display whether it was companies like VoiceBase showing off their ability to search voice files; or Scayl who played Avatar on stage to showcase their email service that allows you to send files of unlimited size securely and blazing fast. Even less serious companies provided something new. For instance Bump whose social network allows you to send practical messages like “your car alarm is going off” as well as flirt with other drivers via license plates. An idea that is funny and troubling; how many people will “bump” into each other via traffic accidents?

The following three companies are my picks for the most interesting technology presented during the second day of DEMO Fall 2010:

Vizerra

Virtual reality has yet to impress me. Which is not to say that like ReveNews co-founder Wayne Porter, I haven’t spent some time in SecondLife. I just never became immersed in it. While some of the creations were beautiful they never had a real quality to them. Same goes for later virtual worlds I’ve explored like SIMs.

In steps Vizerra at DEMO blows me away with how realized their constructs are. Based out of Moscow and created by 3DreamTeam, Vizerra has produced 20 projects so far for the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites. Each reproduction is stunning. You can walk through mind-blowingly detailed versions of Angkor Wat, Machu Picchu, Red Square, and the Taj Mahal. All are amazingly rendered. Now these are not truly immersive experiences in the fact that there are no weather elements, sounds, etc. But how extensive the constructs are is very impressive and signifies the potential of virtual creations.

Vizerra could be used by tourism boards to create extensive virtual tours of their towns, in the construction of digital museums, for science and education, and as archeological cataloging like how they are being used for UNESCO. Vizerra has also set the bar on virtual constructs and I would be very surprised if quite a few game developers didn’t come knocking on their door.

E-Fuel Corp

Green technology is in vogue and as I witnessed at CES earlier this year there are a lot of companies doing some very innovative things. While E-Fuel Corp was the only green tech company at DEMO Fall 2010, it represented its vertical quite well. On display were three machines, the Micro-Fueler 200 Series, the GridBuster, and the MicroFusion Reactor.

The Micro-Fueler essentially looks like a gas station fuel pump. It turns organic solid waste like bread, wood, paper, plant material into sugar water which can then be fermented into ethanol with no excess waste other than distilled water. The system comes with a 250 gallon tank that can create 99.9 ethanol. The ratio is 14 pounds of sugar to one gallon of ethanol.

Buyers are eligible for a $5,000 tax credit which helps offset the system cost which runs $10k for the base unit. Plus Shaq likes them so consumers should come flocking.

The GridBuster is, designed to be paired with the Micro-Fueler, is an electric generator that is powered by ethanol and can produce up to 8 kWh peak load.

To help speed up the process of ethanol conversion and further reduce waste E-Fuel Corp also created the MicroFusion Reactor which can completely process cellulose material within 2 minutes through hydrolysis that dissolves any wood or other cellulose agricultural material in a manner that is residue free with the only waste output being: sugar water and Lignin powder.

President and CEO Thomas Quinn, who worked on the startup that owns the patent to the Nintendo Wii controller, through a lot of information at the audience in under 8 minutes. I think it went over their heads. Looking at the cost sheets system seems a bit expensive in up-front cost, approximately $18k in all to get everything, which will keep most homeowners away, however it is an intriguing innovative system and must-have for those folks who have the cash to live off the grid or who are preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

Ether2

When you have 90 seconds for a pitch, it is difficult to clearly put your value proposition against those who have a longer time on stage. But Ether2 COO Jonathan Gael had no problem snagging the audience’s attention opening with the following opening,

“Today Americans receive only 53 percent of the internet speed that they pay for.”

Ether2 aims to eliminate all that inefficiency by eliminating routers. Launching a network technology at DEMO Fall 2010 they’ve dubbed The Q which enables thousands of users to transmit Ethernet and Internet Protocol (IP) packets without overloading bandwidth and without having to build a new infrastructure. The Q can be wired or wireless, fixed or mobile, star or mesh and attains maximum efficiency even on legacy Ethernet devices. Their network scheduling criteria also claims to guarantee priorities for voice and video packets. A smarter sleeker network and all of this from an Alpha presenter.

But Gael doesn’t want to just build a smarter network. He’s got bigger aspirations. He understands the threat that ownership of the network is to net neutrality. “As Linux is to operating systems, Ether2 will be at the center of the distributed queuing universe,” said Jonathan stating that the reason they have opened The Q to open source community because “this technology is bigger than we are…This is just the beginning of a dream to return telecommunications to the commons.”

Million Dollar People’s Choice Award Winner and DEMOgod: Dynamics

At the end of every DEMO there is a list of winners, aka “DEMOgods” are announced. For DEMO Fall 2010 those winners were:

  • Veebeam. Makers of a $139 device that streams video in HD from a laptop to a PC.
  • VoiceBase. The ability to search through any voice recording.
  • Particle Platform from Particle Code. The ability to port an app from one mobile OS to another seamlessly
  • Delphix Server. Database infrastructure technology for cloud computing.
  • The Q from Ether2 described above.

Only one walked away with the $1 million dollar prize in free advertising from IDG Media, owner of 200 magazines and newspapers and 460 websites worldwide. A perfect way to create brand awareness for the lucky winner. For DEMO Fall 2010 that winner was Dynamics.

Like Ether2, Dynamics’ goal is to create a paradigm shift. They have developed a fully programmable and rewritable electronic strip that is designed to replace the traditional magnetic strip on credit cards allowing user to change information on the fly, like which account a payment is charged to at the time of purchase. One version of their Card 2.0 technology called the Hidden comes with five buttons on the face of the card that the user has to punch like a PIN in order to have the credit card information activate on the strip but without revealing the numbers on the face of the card.

While CEO Jeff Mullen claims that their technology, “Nobody can look at your number or swipe it online. I could lose my card in the middle of a store and nobody would be able to use it.” I have my doubts about that claim. I believe criminals are as entrepreneurial as anyone in Silicon Valley. Heck, some probably live there. It is only a matter of time before someone comes up with a way to get at the payment information even in a technology this secure. Mullen has simply thrown down the gauntlet in an arms race. Still what Dynamics has come up with in Card 2.0 is pretty slick and well deserving of the prize.

That’s all from DEMO Fall 2010 unless you want to look up the after party pics. But I won’t share those.

About Angel Djambazov

Born in Bulgaria, Angel Djambazov has spent his professional career in the fields of journalism and online marketing. In his journalistic career he worked as an editor on several newspapers and was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Wyoming Homes and Living Magazine. Later his career path led to online marketing where while working at OnlineShoes he earned the Affiliate Manager of the Year (2006) award at the Affiliate Summit, and In-house Manager of the Year (2006) award by ABestWeb.

For four years Angel served as OPM for Jones Soda for which he won his second Affiliate Manger of the Year (2009) award at Affiliate Summit.

Currently Angel serves as OPM for KEEN Footwear and MedicalRecords.com. His former clients include: Dell, Real Networks, Jones Soda, Intelius, Graphicly, Chrome Bags, Onlineshoes.com, Vitamin Angels, The Safecig, and Bag Borrow or Steal.

Angel is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Publisher for ReveNews.com and ReveNews.org.

Angel lives north of Seattle, spending his free time reading up on obscure scientific references made by his wife MGX, while keeping up with a horde of cats and a library of books.

You can find Angel on Twitter @djambazov.

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