TC50 "New Frontiers" Demo Session

By September 14, 2009

As I try to adjust to the fact that this year’s TC50’s demo pit apparently got its PR training from Brussels touts, here are some quick thoughts on products we’ve seen demoed so far: Fluid.html, fixing the problems of Flash. Flash doesn’t work for deep linking, doesn’t work like rest of internet, can’t be pre-rendered like HTML. Fluid borrowed a lot of their ideas from HTML: style sheets, etc. Brands can now make brand content easier and cheaper. Sotheby’s is a customer. Looking for investment. Toybots Woozees. Toy that can interact with online world. Objects added to physical toy make in-game character more customizable. Physical toy reacts virtual world, uses accelerometer to check phone messages or play in-world games. With GPS, toy becomes ‘virtual tour guide.’ “It’s basically an iPhone or a Kindle inside a toy,” says the developer. Firmware is open-sourced. Announcing partnership with telecom carrier in next week or two. Looking at the Hobbyist market as well as kids. If they had this for Star Wars and GI Joe when I was five, I’d have totally been down. Yossi Vardi’s investor assessment: “I am amazed that a country that can invent things like this and send a man to the moon can’t develop toilet seats that don’t fall when you lift them.”

Yossi Vardi: always one of the best things about this event. Cross my dad with the Magliozzi brothers and you've got Yossi Vardi.

iMO's iPhone/iPod Touch PC gaming controller. iPretty cool, but I’m not sure how it will work outside of the simpler button-mashers. Games with complex controller configurations will be very difficult to control. Plus you have the unenviable task of getting PC gamers to try something that's not WASD and use something that evokes . . . gasp . . . consoles.

Clicker. “TV Guide for the Web.” Not revolutionary but definitely very necessary. Makes finding television features across the myriad sites they might be hiding on easier – like the only six episodes of Seinfeld available online being on TBS, which is nowhere near the first place shadenfreude-hunters would look. Until Hulu takes over the world, this is something we definitely need. (We also need to deepen the library, since I’m on the subject.)

I also like the fact they kept the 'e.' Seriously, the era of naming your startup like you were writing Georges Perec's A Void (La Disparation) has got to end.

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