After the last DemoCampToronto the process to Demo was re-factored and the time for demos generally shortened to 5 mins. In many cases past DemoCamp slots were full months in advance and a limited number of demos could happen in one evening. With the shorter time slot more demos could take place and even if they completed sucked they weren’t on for long…
DemoCampToronto13 also featured the inclusion of Powerpoint. Several demonstrators moved away from live software and into slide ware. I’m not really sure this is a good move but live software did limit the ability to interact with the audience.
The Demo’s were as follows:
- Mike Beltzner from Mozilla
Mike was the first presenter in a long time to use Powerpoint and he presented on the Mozilla community interaction process between Mike, the usability guy, the Mozilla in-house developers, the Mozilla open-source contributors, the testers and beta testers and the over 30M regular users. His presentation was well layed out and provided a number of insites for anyone interested in product management. Many of Mike’s approaches would easily scale up or down depending on the community of users that you have as a product manager.
- Betsey Weber on Camtasia
Camtasia provides the ability to screen capture everything that happening on your computer screen. Screen capture tools have long been a tool for training and software testing. Camtasia seems to focus on using screen captures for podcasting and other social networking usages. The software can encode in most major video formats and the company has recently started offering high performance hosting services for people that want to share higher quality screen captures that Youtube or Google video can normally handle.
- Kristan Uccello on Linux based Devices
Krispy present on a device he found that runs linux and can be easily customized. The interface was pretty basic and felt pretty geeky with the different directories etc.. He had the device playing video, music and emulated games. The device can also be extended with SD Wifi card.
Vialcom.com presented their site for creating custom start pages. The demo was a little disjointed but I looks like Viavol can create a start page based on similar websites that you like. You bookmark sites you like and Viavol finds other sites that are similar. The site also works with for shopping, where you bookmark something you like and Viavol tries to find the best price for that item. Its not clear how they make money, I would assume from advertising on site and through “hot leads” for shopping purchases.
ProductWiki provides a Wiki for products and services. Most of the content is user generated and users can review the products through the Wiki. Most of the demo focused on the review engine and its ability to let people thumbs-up/thumbs-down different claim statements. The system seems to provide a good snap show of a product review rather than reading too much text.
- Hosinux Adhoc Mobile Networks
A group of Ryerson students have developed a mobile client that allows users to work around expensive long distance charges. The demo was kind of hard to follow but they’ve develop a client that will redirect you’re long distance calls to a local gateway which can use VoIP to connect your mobile call over the internet at a reduced cost. The most impressive part of the Hosinux demo was how transparent the whole process was, to use the system the user just dial the number as normal and the client did all the magic in the background.
- OpenID Authentication
OpenID provides the ability to authenticate to multiple websites with a single identity string. Its a technology I’ve been following for my day job so I was interested to see the demo. Walkah started with a very similar present to the Sxip Identity2.0 present a few years ago. He was able to show OpenID authentication working with his WordPress blog and Drupal. Walkah is involved with bringing OpenID support to Drupal.
My day job involves Real Estate advertising so I’m very familiar with the online rental sites in Canada. MyHood.ca creates a mashup with Google maps to show rental sites. Most of the content seem to come from Property Management companies and users can write reviews on the different buildings. Its not clear how Myhood.ca is going to manage the conflict between user reviews and professional advertising.
TeeVee by Feedbeat provides the ability to view video through channels. The demo reminded me alot of the Joost system but it didn’t require the application or understanding the Joost application. The channels right now are limited but there leveraging free content for YouTube etc… The demo was well done and I could see this evolving into a serious competitor for the Joost environment without all the overhead.
Anyone who’s been to a rave has probably always wondered how the video was created to match the music. Onyx-VJ is a tool to do exactly that, the interface was design in flash and looked terrifying initially. Once Daniel started to get going you could see how the it worked. Videos could be combined using a number if different filters and their tempos adjusted faster or slower. This allowed the videos to match the tempo of the music. This would have been great demo for sound but it still came off well.
My initial reaction to Apollo was similar to David Crowe’s in that Apollo was something I’d hate. I was a little more open after seeing the demo though and could see a space for it. There a lot of times where a desktop application is required and its a painful experience to develop one. Good examples would be Joost or the Camtasia applications, if these could be developed with Apollo it might make the whole process a lot easier. It wasn’t clear what sort of platform support Apollo can enable. I think it will be an interesting technology to watch develop.
I thought it was a great set of demos and great night overall. There’s been some discussions about further changes to format and trying some other approaches ( speed powerpoint etc.. ) but I think we have a pretty format right now. The time delay between demos was minimal but it did allow for some discussion before the next demo.