Following TechCrunch50

TechCrunch50 is streaming all of the presentations this week.  I was able to catch most of them yesterday.  If you are not watching them, you really should, they are not only informational, but good examples of how to and not to present. Check them out here. I have found them very educational so far and got to see some really cool products. I wanted to share a few of my favorites from yesterday (this is in the order of appearance).

FitBit (

These guys are creating a small wearable sensor to track the body’s acceleration.  This device determines how many calories are burned and how much one is moving about.  The goal is to show people how sedentary their lives are and shock them into moving around some more.  The cool parts about it is the additional web app.  As the device approaches a base station, that station calls back home and updates the system.  The interface looks really slick and fun to use.  What I really liked about it was that little was required from me to get the data to the computer.  That means it’s something I may actually use.

During the presentation they also taked about wearing the device to bed and how it will be able to track sleep cycles.  I think that brings up the question of when would one actually recharge the battery? Maybe the battery is detachable and you get two of them per device?  They did mention the base station served as a recharge point.  But that’s a minor issue and I’m sure will be resolved.

PersonalRIA (

The goal of this startup is to replace mutual funds by adding more transparency to the whole stock picking process.  Now, instead of having to research stocks, customers will research account managers with lots of tools allowing them to compare one to another.  You give PersonalRIA access to your accounts and they match your holdings to the once held by the manager.  You can also initiate conversations with the managers and get some response as to why they are picking what they are picking and what they think will happen.  I like the fact that it adds transperancy.  My issue is that I’m not sure how comfertable I will feel giving up my account information.  I don’t know what these guys can do to make me more comfertable, but I hope they figure it out.

PostBox (

This was another one of those manage email overload type apps.  They have an interesting way of organizing and searching email.  It’s a standalone client does not replace your accounts, just uses existing technology and lives on top of that.  The interface looked realy nice and I definetly give it a try.  They are starting a beta program, for which I signed up for, hopefully it’ll be out soon.  Though I’m not really sure how they are planning on making money, the client is free.

Swype (

The final company I really liked was swype.  Their product is hard to explain, you really should go and see their demo.  The basic idea is that it’s a new way to enter text using touch screens.  I really want this for the iphone.  They want to make money by going the OEM route.  I hope companies take them up on it.  It seemed like an cool and intuitive way to enter text.  You basically swipe around an on-screen keyboard, instead of touch type on them.  The algorithms can figure out what words you were trying to type based on what keys you passed.  It seemed very forgiving of mistakes and, while it did take some time to figure it out, everyone who tried it was able to use it ok in a few minutes.  Really cool technology.

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