The Launch Conference is starting today. It is descended from many venerable conferences, particularly like Demo. I was a fairly regular attendee at the Demo conference over the years, and so far, Launch seems to be continuing that heritage in a very impressive way.
Basically this conference is about Products, Products, Products. Particularly software and web and mobile products. There's a really good energy in the room, like the start of another gold rush :) It is overlaid with the usual Silicon Valley attitude and posturing, but that's ok, I kind of like that.
Each launching company is given 5 minutes to demo/preset their products. There are 5 celebrity judges who will listen to the demos and then ask difficult questions.
Here is a running list of products that look good to me. It will be my public notebook. I hope you enjoy it :)
Mingly - A way to easily remember who you have not talked to in a while. A useful tool for obsessive networkers (like me) and something that I have done with a Word file for years and years. Handy, but it's a business?
Altluition: TurboTax for financial aid. Very comprehensive solution to help students who are trying to decide what University to apply based on cost and aid, deciding where to get financial aid, and then actually applying to multiple financial aid sources. Looks pretty awesome! (A google for Turbo Tax for Financial Aid, I find this article about AidAide. Just shows, like there are no new ideas!)
Vocre.com: Video calls with live language translation. I speak in English. I see the text of my message to make sure it's correct. I press send and my counterpart hear's my message in, say, Italian.
Budge: Gamefication of exercise and other health related programs and goals. Pushups. Meditation.
Hadza: Mutiple videos are often taken in different locations, at the same time, of the same event: a concert, a sports game, etc. But also a wedding or a place. If you record these with the Hadza application they create kind of a 'director's console where you can decide what view of the event you want to see, which audio you want to listen to. This looks very interesting and cool. They do have to get people to record the video with their app which is a barrier I guess.
Robin: Voice activated tool for driver: find parking, check on traffic, and navigate. Will it really work? Judges debate the defensibility of this product. "Natural language is the new taxonomy of the web" one of the judges says. Not sure about the word "taxonomy" here but the point is that there's a belief that services like Siri will be the entry portal of a most services on the web.
uGokit: Finding stuff you lost. $1 tag you put in or with the thing you might lose. It's an RFID tag. There's a reader and an app. When you lose your charger, watch, wallet, you can use your iPhone like a geiger counter to locate it. Also making sure that I didn't leave for the trip without my required items, leave for my gym without everything, and so on. $150 for the app, the reader and 20 tags. Pretty cool.
mailerlite.com: Simpler and cheaper mailchimp / constantcontact. Looks good. Proof is in the tasting.
benetracker.com - Track the beneficiaries for my estate. like insurance and IRA accounts. When you die (!) they will notify all the beneficiaries. Ensure that the money caught in estates get to the intended beneficiary.
lifeyo.com - Really nice, pretty to look at, alternative to Google Sites or SquareSpace.
storybricks.com - Allows gamers to create story worlds and MMPG games.
wanderfly.com - Collaborative travel planning. It has a very pretty user interface. The recommendations are not just social, but from 'recognized travel experts. If it works it would be great, but of course these kinds of sites live or die by the quality of their content. It's true that TripAdvisor is not all that beautiful to look at but it's got the content and the quality.
Zabbi.com - Some kind of social network which let's you state what your current emotional state is and allows your friends to boost your morale when they see you are sad. Cool!
Moosiify.com - Flirting over music. Match meets Spotify.com. Meet people because you have similar musical tastes. A very nice user experience. And they are also creating a Spotify application so that the counterparts don't have to even have the Moosify client! This is really interesting.
spacemonkey.com - I unfortunately missed this one but it was so popular among the judges and audience that I decided to add it to my list. For example, here's what Rafe Needleman thought of SpaceMonkey. To be honest, reading Rafe's description doesn't impress me that much. I bought a 1Terrabyte disk last year for $70 from Amazon. Storage is cheap. Why pay a recurring charge?
That Suspicious Behavior - Another one that was popular with the judges that I missed. A way to "See something. Say something."
HipSwap - Another one that I missed. Buy and sell your stuff (a la crags list) but they include a pickup and deliver service.