RealTime IT News

Demo Till You Drop

It's Demo time again. The tech conference of cutting edge product previews and debuts kicks off informally tonight in San Diego with the official product rollouts slated for Tuesday and Wednesday. Some 69 companies are slated to appear, running the gamut from consumer and Web services to hardware and software designed for the enterprise.

On the hardware side, a company called Fusion io will be making its debut. Few details are known at this time, but Chris Shipley, DEMO producer and host of the event, said it will offer terabytes of solid state storage in a form small enough to hold in your hands. "This could represent a 30 to 50 percent savings in infrastructure costs," Shipley told InternetNews.com.

A noticeable trend at Demo, according to Shipley, will be the move of enterprise class tools to the small-to-medium business class space. The conference will feature six new applications focused on collaboration that can be accessed and used by individuals without requiring the involvement of IT departments.

Diigo is going to be previewing upcoming features to its Web collaboration service, which lets you meet online, highlight, clip and annotate Web pages with sticky notes and make slideshows out of the Web pages you visit.

"We're adding social components that connect people with knowledge and knowledge to people," Maggie Tsai, vice president of marketing at Diigo, told . RSS feeds and tags can be converted into a Diigo Web slide and the service will let you search for people with similar interests based on their Web site collections. Web slides and online discussion groups can be public, limited to a specific group or totally private based on user preference.

Yuuguu (from the Japanese word for fusion) pitches itself as a simpler alternative to WebEx for unscheduled, on-the-fly meetings. The product has been in beta testing for a number of months by several thousand people worldwide, "from multinational corporations to kids on MySpace, said Yuuguu's managing director and co-founder Anish Kapoor. "We make sharing really easy and simple, and it's free."

He said the product grew from the frustration he and cofounder Philip Hemstead felt trying to work together with tools designed to facilitate collaboration. "We found those tools are more geared to presentations and planned meetings," he told InternetNews.com. "We wanted to be able to mirror that sort of ad hoc, spontaneous meeting you have in an office."

Yuuguu includes screen sharing, instant messaging and a log of all your conversations that, when needed, you can access remotely from another computer. Yuuguu currently requires the download of a small piece of client software, but at Demo the company is announcing a browser-based version that doesn't need any downloads. There is a fee for additional services like integrated voice conference calls.

Click on the graphic for a view of MyQuire

DimDim will make its debut as the world's first free, open source Web meeting service. The service lets you share your desktop, show slides, and talk or broadcast via a webcam. No software download is required. The company said its free hosted service can be used for small groups or seminars involving hundreds of people.

MyQuire is a one-stop shop for coordinating projects online. Project management is often viewed as a necessary, if hard-to-master, application, but MyQuire is "project management for the rest of us," according to vice president of business development Michael Dawson.

"We started this because doing projects is an ordeal. Whether you're planning a casual weekend or new project, people still rely on e-mail and Excel, and the pain continues."

He distinguishes MyQuire as a service for doing a project versus tools focused on planning a project. The basic service is free for up to five projects, after that it's $10 per month for unlimited projects. MyQuire is designed to let anyone quickly set up a project, invite colleagues or friends to participate and share documents and editing in real time. MyQuire saves work and keeps track of to-do lists.

Mash your media.
Source: MetaRadar

Web 2.0-type services and tools will have a strong presence at DEMO. For example, MetaRadar is introducing Radar described as the world's first "MediaMasher."

The idea is to make multiple sources of rich media content, including RSS feeds, Web sites, social networks, video links, photos and more, easily accessible from its Radar navigation and display system.

The company claims Radar, which has been in alpha testing and is available for download, is a fully scalable, open platform for consumer and enterprises customers. Shipley said Radar "represents a new wave of innovation aimed at solving the problem of content overload and fatigue as consumption grows and the pace of social networking accelerates."

It sounds like the perfect tool for Demo attendees.