Demo 2012 was a little like watching a road being revealed in the bright light of high powered quartz halogen high beams – what’s unveiled by the light is sometimes overlooked the casual observers
Up front, I need to disclose I have strong opinions about Demo. I produced Demo branded events and interviewed thousands of companies in conjunction with this family of technology showcases.
There was a lot to see and experience at Demo 2012 last month. More than 1,000 attendees saw about 70 companies with new consumer, business and enterprise technologies. What was shining brightly in Demo’s hi beams was CNBC business reporter John Fortt’s interview with Intuit’s CEO, Brad Smith.
Fortt was at the top of his game. His interview of Smith completely reversed my somewhat negative view of conference Q&A sessions. It was the best CEO interview I’ve seen at a conference since the days of Stuart Alsop’s legendary one-on-ones with Bill Gates at the Agenda Conferences.
Fortt’s preparation for his one on one with Smith was stunning. By the time his segment ended, I fully understood what drove Intuit’s usability efforts and had new insight into the company’s intrapreneurial and external acquisition strategies. Frankly, I’m surprised Intuit’s executive management hasn’t been selected for any executive technology show case one-on-one conversation before now. This veteran technology company is literally the 10,000 pound gorilla that dominates a large part of the Silicon Valley jungle.
The CNBC correspondent’s Q&A with Brad Smith illuminates the uneven nature of most conference panels. When a discussion leader and panelists prepare for their discussions and are not allowed to venture into self-serving pitches on portfolio companies, panels can provide attendees with deep insight into emerging trends or real market opportunities. And ultimately it’s up to an event’s producer to map out their expectations on the purpose of the panel.
After sitting through two presentations by companies with technologies that enhance the important of geotags I understand that there are still major opportunities in mining metadata information. GeoTrex—which lets organizations push enhance content to patrons’ smart phones and tablets based on their physical location in a facility appears to have good commercial potential and fulfills an underserved need. This company did the one thing that helps to validate a Demo stage presentations— a customer endorsement. GeoTrex’s first installation is Midwestern zoo that uses the technology to provide visitors with additional information on its animals or exhibits.
As a San Diego zoo and Los Angeles Museum of Science and Industry patron, I immediately understood why some organizations should adopt GeoTrex’s technology.
ShareWith911.com was an alpha startup at Demo 2012 with a Geotag related technology. The idea driving this Chesapeake Bay Area company is the capability to send photos taken with camera phones of scenes where emergency services are needed to a centralized site that’s designed to be accessed by emergency dispatchers.
If the idea sets off alarms in your head that this might be too much information, settle down. It’s not. Moreover, ShareWith 911.com does something that’s not been done before and provides several pieces of critical information needed by emergency responders—the physical location of an accident scene and mixed media (graphics and text)—that increases first responders’ situational awareness. But what really impressed me about this startup was a feature that extracts and displays the geotag data in about one second.
ShareWith 911.com came to Demo2012 via a partnership with StartupAmerica. This demonstrator’s technology may seem to have a small market, but the technology comes at a time when the federal government is pumping millions of dollars into first response agencies nationwide. Moreover, this is exactly the type of application that providers of computerized automatic dispatch systems can use to differentiate their products or make them more appealing and useful to law enforcement, fire departments and other services who serve rural areas with landmarks or mile markers that are not apparent to 911 callers.
There were sveral pother Demo2012 companies and tends I want to spotlight in tomorrow’s post—jim Forbes May 9, 2012.