cool stuff part deux
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During my last post, I provided some short descriptions of a few companies I discovered at the Dow Jones Consumer Technology Ventures conference a couple of weeks ago in San Jose, California. I couldn't go through all of them in one post so I'll include a few more here. If you discover some cool stuff you want to share, shoot me an email or post a comment.
Revver allows users to post their videos to the internet and get paid for it. You upload your video to their site, they clean it up and allow the video to be distributed anywhere on the net, such as YouTube. They attach ads to the end of the video on the fly, track when and where your video is viewed and share the revenue with the individual that posted . They are more of a user generated content distribution and monetization service than a destination like YouTube and they absolutely do not allow any illegal video to get distributed.
Having read about and heard the CEO speak several times, I can tell you that he is a pretty special individual. You'll be hearing alot more about Revver in the coming months and years.
Turn Here Productions www.turnhere.com
This company has a global network of amateurs or independent film makers, who generate short documentary like videos and ads shot by a team of one. They focus on capturing the essence of neighborhoods and associated small businesses as well as travel destinations and often use real people in the ads. One of the ads I saw was for a very high end hotel in Asia in which they used the hotel concierge as a tour guide of the city ... very compelling. The ads are of very good quality, not the shaky grainy stuff you would expect, and their "realness" really comes through which I think makes them very effective. You kinda have to see it to get it.
The thing that is very interesting about this is that they end being able to make really effective ads for small and large clients at a very small fraction of the cost of traditional ads that require dozens of people to write, produce, shoot, edit and market. Not only does this allow very small businesses like bakeries and restaurants to get very good ads for a few hundred dollars but it changes the economic equation in a HUGE way. This is one of concepts we'll be using at earcandy.
They have developed some technology and products (myvu glasses) that project a large screen into what appear to normally be narrow glasses. These are not the only guys doing something like this and they are definitely not the first. However, the key difference is that the devices use some optical magic which projects from the side onto what looks like clear glass. This allows you see around you and in front of you while also getting a great image from devices such as video iPODS. The image is pretty good and you don't feel like you're in a cocoon which is the problem with other solutions that I've seen. They naturally have some military applications as well.
Everybody wonders how effective small screens on iPODS and cellphones are really going to be. With a solution like this, you can be on a plane or a bus, watching a big screen tv for less that a few hundred dollars. It could be a game changer.
Microsoft Zune http://www.zune.net/en-US/meetzune/device.htm
Microsoft .... you may have heard of this company. You know ... the one you swear at several times a day. The have just launched an "iPOD killer" called the Zune. I've checked it out and quite frankly it leaves me entirely cold. The only semi-cool feature is that it has WiFi. You would think ... great, it will automatically sync up with my music collection from any WiFi hotspot.... no more docking to your PC. Of course you would be wrong ... it is only used to beam up to three songs to another Zune owner which are going to be as hard to find as Stanley Cups in Ottawa. Furthermore, microsoft has also launched a proprietary service like iTunes, that will sync with the zune.
I predict this product to be a massive failure. There is nothing compelling about it relative to the iPOD and other players like sandisk and creative. Apple had a huge advantage because they are... well .. Apple. You knew without even touching the iPOD that it was going to be really cool, beautiful, easy to use and reliable. I was absolutely delighted when I opened the beautiful box and ever more delighted when I started playing with the click wheel. I got a must have, luxury item that everyone wanted for a few hundred bucks (well .... actually ... the honey bunny bought if for me as a present so it was technically free :).
I guess earcandy and apple will have to split the market after all .... gotta go raise some $$$$!!
Entrepreneur with an Iron Ring