24 Apr 2011

Demo night–Spring Edition April 2011–a round up

What a great night. Loads of energy, a full-house, 16 demos, new devices to play with and free beer courtesy of IntelAppUp. What more could you ask for?!

Our regular columnist, Lauren McGregor has done a lovely round-up of the evening in case you missed it. Over to you Lauren…

Demo night graced us with its presence once again this Monday and it proved to not only be a popular one, but also one full of exciting new ventures. I have to admit that demo night is one of my favourites at Mobile Monday, an eclectic mix of start-ups and big mobile companies dabbling its toes in new and exciting areas. This week we had the very lovely Intel (also our sponsor for the night) telling us all about its app store, as well as some cool app developers and marketers delving in the world of NFC, geo-targeting, gaming, cloud computing and more. I have attached below a short summery of each of the three minute pitches, along with the all important links to their websites and the speakers details. As ever, if you have any questions send them over or post a comment and if you have any video clips then please let us know so we can see them.

Intel AppUp http://appdeveloper.intel.com/en-us/join – it’s free to join and there are lots of benefits
You are not anyone if you don't have an app store, or so it seems, and Intel are not one to be left out. Nena from Intel took to the stage to tell us a bit more. Intel's app store contains a core focus of apps, currently around 3,000, based around Windows architecture and directed towards netbooks/laptops and tablet devices. It contains many of the top charters including Tweetdeck and Angry Birds and developers  enjoy a 70% revenue share and a less crowded app store.  Intel has also a few partners within the OEM and retail space, including Dell, preloaded devices, and retailer Dixons, who co-market goods in-store, both in return for a revenue share. So what are the benefits to the consumers, well Intel allows its customers to download their apps on up to 5 devices, a try before you buy system and the security that comes with the brand.

Staying with Intel we had a brief intro to Meego from Sulamita, an open source Linux project sponsored by Intel. This multi-platform network allows developers create just one source of code. One of our audience members was quick to raise the question of Nokia's investment in this project (i.e. it's speculated they may not be very soon) and Intel jumped in and assured us that it is very focused on Meego.

Ribot, Anthony Ribot, co-founder.
Ribot is all about customer experience and more specifically, the everyday customer, bringing them the small screen experience. Following research funded by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) Ribot looked into needs for older generation and found that they in fact had just three core needs from a mobile device - independence, simplicity and connectivity.  This led the team to develop the Threedom app, which contains these three needs via three on screen buttons. The app currently sits on Android, but the team are moving to multiple platforms and hope to partner with a handset manufacture to create a device based on Threedom - watch this space.

QRpedia  and Terence Eden
Mobile Monday regular Terence has teamed up with Wikipedia to create QRpedia - finally a QR code app that stands out from the crowd. Following a trip to the British Museum, Terence noticed that the information available on artefacts such as the Rosetta Stone where somewhat lacking in detail and left him with a thirst for more knowledge. So it came to him, if only there was a way of storing lots of information in a small space that can be transferred onto my mobile device….and so QRpedia was born. This mobile Wikipedia app, allows museum visitors to scan a QR code and receive full Wikipedia info on that item. It doesn't stop there though folks, the app also recognises the language of the phone and redirects to the correct Wikipedia page - thus no issues with tourists from multiple countries being able to use the app.

A member of the audience asked if NFC was on the roadmap to which Terence returned another question…How many of you own or think your next phone will have a camera? and; How many of you have a or think your next phone will have NFC? I think this visualised the answer well - NFC simply is not mass-market enough yet. Another question of roaming charges came up and Terence said that he hopes to work in conjunction with museums to provide wi-fi to alleviate any huge roaming bills. 

You can see the video of Terence’s presentation here.

TouchType, SwiftKey http://swiftkey.net/ and www.touchtype-online.com/api Joe Braidwood, chief marketing officer.
Swiftkey has for a while now provided Android smartphone owners with a predictive, personal and intelligent text service and the team came to tell us about the next step for SwiftKey. The version 2 scans your internet accounts (Facebook, email, tweets), analyses your conversations and uses this to provide advanced predictive capabilities for your message writing. They also announced that the service is coming to tablet devices soon and that advanced voice integration to the app is on the roadmap. The team is interested in tie-ups with OEMs and has opened up its APIs to other developers interested in taking advantage of the intelligent word prediction.

Poynt http://www.poynt.com/
Poynt initially launched on BlackBerry App World and has since gone cross platform and boasts 7 million unique users, 1 billion interactions thus far and a growth rate of 30,000 users per day. Poynt provides local search functionality on your mobile device tightly linked to the users location, working with business and local amenities to provide special Groupon-esque deals on the go (soon to integrate Groupon and LivingSocial deals-of-the-day to location). The idea being, rather then having one search app for movies, one for restaurants and so on, you have all your searches in one app.  Although the team is not looking at any check-in based integration, it does provide a share function for Facebook.

The Game Creators http://www.thegamecreators.com/  with AppGameKit - Rick Vanner and Lee Bamber
After 11 years working in the world of the PC, Rick and Lee decided it was time to move to mobile – and hence created the AppGameKit. During a very comical presentation the guys picked upon one of the most annoying parts of development - multiple platforms for your apps. Fear not, they said for they have a solution - write once and deploy anywhere with zero porting…too good to be true? After showing us a demo of a game written on this platform, Ninja Ski, on a netbook, iPhone, iPad and Nokia device, the audience was more convinced.  The code is written once either in C++ or Basic and you need only deploy one time, any upgrades also sync across platform with no issues and  changes sync across platform. It even automatically recognises the controller type e.g. your on an Xbox or a touchscreen tablet and reacts accordingly to your commands. The AppGameKit is to be released in June and free to try with various pricing models thereafter.

TweetaLondonCab http://tweetalondoncab.co.uk/default.aspx demonstrated by Richard Cudlip, a licensed cabbie.
London cabbies have been using twitter to share information on traffic, jobs and general information for some time successfully, but the core idea behind TweetaLondonCab was to provide a real-time booking service via twitter. Now linked up with Taxi Spot, the team is looking to rollout a service where users can search on a map and view local cabs and be able to order the closest to them via twitter or the app. Behind the scenes there’s a complex system to manage the bookings and to allocate the right job to the right taxi driver. ‘Why not call a cab?’ asked one of the audience and the reply is that drivers are all self-employed and independent so this is a way of finding an independent black cab driver in your locality in London.

Local Social from Rococo http://www.rococosoft.com/, Sean O’Sullivan
Rococo provides proximity marketing software using short-range location technologies like bluetooth, NFC and wifi to interact with its users - both person to person and person to business. It provides an open API and comes Android and J2ME supported, its partners create the apps and Rococo makes them ‘proximity aware’. Sean’s looking for partnerships that can make good use of their proximity aware technology.

Smart Wifi from Kineto http://www.kineto.com/, Mark Powell (co-founder)
This app uses wifi to to run all your usual mobile functionality; calls, sms etc, - even when you don’t have your usual mobile signal. You also won't have to pay for roaming while you are abroad as you will use your home network on wifi and run your calls and messaging over this. The app is to come pre-loaded on all android T-Mobile (US and soon UK) and Orange (UK) - with more to be announced soon. It’s already preloaded on some devices and operators brand the name differently. From the operators perspective, it doesn't lose its customers due to lack of coverage and another huge plus is that it also alleviates capacity of data running on their networks. Impressive.

Nuance Mobile http://www.nuance.com/, Reimund Schmald
Nuance gave us a quick intro to its latest creation Flex T9 – advanced text to speech with multi-lingual voice recognition (and Reimund proved this by speaking into various phones in various languages. Nuance is a large company and their system is already in use for games, coffee machines and cars. It is available to buy now in the Android Marketplace for £3.

Insiteo http://www.insiteo.com/ , Tiago Mateus
Insiteo is an indoor positioning system that incorporates dynamic mapping to guide users around for example a shopping centre, airport, hospital or an exhibition. The app works by triangulating the users position using wifi access points, with an impressive accuracy of 5m inside. The app can also deliver geo-targeted advertisements and is completely opt-in.

AiRaid – Rise of the Undead , Keith Bauwise
This Samsung Bada app is a first-person 360 degree augmented reality shooter game, there is just one goal to survive for a full 2 minutes - which is hard when ghosts are attacking you. The backdrop for the game is the area around you and so you can imagine people fighting imaginary ghouls with their phones thrust in front of them. The team has created a good online community of players sharing high scores and experiences.
The game is open source to other developers and they are open for them to overlay graphics and expand on the app. In the future, the team is also looking at ways to integrate GPS to the game play.

NaturalMotion Games and, Torsten Reil, CEO and co-founder
With a background in games and animation development (Grand Theft Auto, Backbreaker to name but a few), the team wanted to create a truly social game using the same realistic animation that drives their console games. They’ve now found a way to make that animation engine fast and responsive enough for mobile. And with this in mind they are working with game developers to do this. The Munkyfun app they demoed was one where you can own your own horse, feed it, play with it, tend to it, ride it and as one eagle eyed audience member spotted - it looks like race them too! Through the camera mode, you can view and interact with the horse and take pictures to share and these look incredibly life-like. The revenue streams are not just about paid-for downloads but also micro-transactions within the experience.

Torsten is a former Ted speaker so you might like to take a look at his video explaining how the study of biology can help make natural-looking animated people -- by building a human from the inside out, with bones, muscles and a nervous system.

Parcel Genie http://www.parcelgenie.com/, John Taylor CEO
Parcel Genie claims to be the world’s first gift messaging service on mobile, you can send real little gifts without needing the recipients address. All gifts are below £5 for example a chocolate bar or a game and you can pay with either PayPal, premium SMS or a credit/debit card. The recipient receives a message asking where they would like their gift to be delivered and what it is. Once the location is confirmed (99% acceptance rate) the recipient receives the gift the next day with a personal message and the sender pays the P&P. The app is rolling out on Android and iPhone and is already available on Windows Phone 7.

Spark http://www.sparkinspires.com/ with Mindings http://www.mindings.com/main, Stuart Arnott
The idea for this came up when Stuart’s mother was very ill. Stuart used to send her photos every day so that she didn’t miss out on seeing her new family and could keep her spirits up during a very difficult time. Sadly, Stuart’s Mum lost her life, but he thought that there must be a better way to do this. And as a geek, he was just the person to do this. And so he created version 1.0 of Mindings which was a picture frame with email upload. Next Stuart integrated flickr uploads for version 2. Now on version 3 the device adds captions for photographs, calendar integration iCal and Google Calendar for alerts, Facebook integration, medication reminders, in-built health devices e.g. blood, glucose, heart monitors. All this information is stored and can be shared with other family members/health care professionals remotely to monitor and interact with the user - a far cry from the original photo frame device. The cost of the device will be around £80 at launch (October 2011) and subscription to the services will cost an additional £5 per month.

LifeSort http://www.lifesort.com/, James Norris
This cloud-based service offers one place to store, sort and share your documents within one unique infrastructure that is fully customisable giving more flexibility than the likes of Dropbox. The app can be viewed on an iPhone/iPad and via a desktop browser and all saved material is fully accessible across multiple devices and saved across device. As pointed out by an audience member, this does bear multiple similarities to Dropbox, but James assured us that it is different due to its unique infrastructure and customisation…we will have to try it for ourselves then, trials available.

We’re just experimenting with Lanyrd so if you’re on twitter and attended the event, feel free to add yourself. Equally, if you wrote a blogpost, took photos or video, or did an interview, please add it there too (and let us know in the comments). http://lanyrd.com/2011/momolo-april/ Thanks!

And finally, Daniel Appelquist took a whole bunch of photos on the evening which we’ve put into a slide show for your delectation.


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

A big thank you to IntelAppUp for sponsoring the event and thanks everyone for coming that made it such a success. Our next events are on 16 May (machine to machine and the internet of things) and 6 June (Web vs. Native debate). Register and RSVP at http://momolo.org