RealTime IT News

Let's Get Ready to DEMO

It's DEMO time again. The twice annual industry insider's conference kicks off today at a new location, Palm Desert, Calif. Web startups, computer companies, analysts, venture capitalists, press and PR folks will make up the bulk of the 700 attendees expected to attend.

There are a total of 68 companies scheduled to demonstrate new technologies at the conference, which starts its 17th year this week.

Unlike most industry events that focus on a particular area, like the upcoming RSA conference with its security angle, DEMO runs the gamut from consumer to enterprise technologies.

"It's like a science fair for grownups," Chris Shipley, executive producer of the event, told internetnews.com. "The strength of DEMO is its variety and the serendipity of making connections you didn't expect going in."

This week's event does indeed cover a broad spectrum of diverse technologies. Well-known companies like Seagate Technologies and Symantec will share the stage with startups at DEMO 07. Seagate  will formally debut its Digital Audio Video Experience (D.A.V.E.) technology, a project previously code-named "Crickett."

Seagate describes the DAVE platform as an enabling technology that delivers 10-20 GB of wireless storage in an accessory smaller than many common slim-line mobile phones. DAVE technology is designed to store, play and share digital files on mobile phones, PCs, and other wireless-enabled devices.

Designed for telcos and mobile handset manufacturers, DAVE works with either Bluetooth or Wi-FI connections in a package about the size of a centimeter-thick credit card. It can operate up to 30 feet from the phone.

Seagate DAVE
They call it DAVE.
Source: Seagate

Also, the mobile storage platform is open source and is designed to help third-party software developers create new applications for the mobile phone utilizing the hard drive’s capacity.

"Products using DAVE technology will enable digital content, whether for business or entertainment use, to be stored, moved, and connected in ways never before possible," said Patrick King, senior vice president and general manager of Seagate’s consumer electronics business unit.

Aggregate Knowledge, out of San Mateo, Calif., will unveil an Internet shopping service designed to help online shoppers discover what they might want to buy based on what other shoppers looking at the same items bought. Aggregate Knowledge's Discovery Service collects information on customers' behavior (anonymously) at participating Web sites and makes relevant suggestions. The company said it uses a super computing architecture to collect billions of data points in real-time to deliver the right contextual suggestions. The service doesn't require personal information or registrations, so no personal identification is collected.

"What we're doing is analyzing the pre-buying behavior right up to the second you're ready to, say, buy the pair of shoes," Paul Martino, Aggregate Knowledge CEO, told internetnews.com. The service lets you know, for example, what other people who bought those same pair of shoes also purchased. Launching in two weeks, the service is free for the first 30 days to ecommerce Web site operators, followed by a pay-for-performance pricing model.

The company also has a Discovery for Media service which makes online content recommendations. The Discovery Window at WashingtonPost.com is already powered by Discovery for Media. Other rollouts are planned.

Waltham, Mass.-based Zink Imaging is a good example of a company that will demo something unexpected. A technology spinout of Poloroid, Zink has developed a special kind of pre-inked paper that will let phones and other portable devices produce full color printouts.

DeviceScape Software is another company aiming to give small devices a boost. The San Bruno, Calif.-based firm will unveil a service that allows any Wi-Fi enabled device to automatically connect to Wi-Fi hotspots and municipal networks without filling out a set up screen or agreement to terms if it's a service you use regularly and have already registered once.

The service is designed to work with traditional notebook computers as well as media players, VoIP phones and game systems that have Wi-Fi built-in. The software is available now as a free download for consumers.

"Hot spot operators have told us that even [for] legitimate users, about half the time they open up their laptop and it fails to make the Wi-Fi connection for some reason," Glenn Flinbaugh, vice president of products at Devicescape, told internetnews.com. "Anything that makes it easier will help customer satisfaction and support costs."

DeviceScape also will offer a Wi-Fi connection where it knows a service has a roaming agreement with another service that the consumer might not even be aware of.

DEMO attendees might also GetABuz while at the event. No, not that kind of buzz. Palo Alto-based BUZ Interactive will show its GETaBUZ service that lets consumers personalize their voicemail messages by mixing their choice of music and their own voice.

IDC analyst Julien Blin said BUZ Interactive "could do for voicemails what ringback tones did for dial tones."