The best and worst from Supernova

by David Spark on June 22, 2007

Attended the Supernova conference today. I found all the sessions to be random mutterings. The last session, Connected Innovators, hosted by TechCrunch, was a series of 5 minute presentations by new Web 2.0 and mobile companies. Here’s a summary, and my opinion of each.

ZenZui – A visual interface for your mobile phone that creates a sixteen icon tilescape. You specify what these items will be. You’re essentially two clicks away from any item. I believe the presenter had an absurd amount of coffee before he started. All we see though is a somewhat intriguing interface. Not exactly clear what else this does though.

Zing – Connected mobile entertainment. Discover, get, personalize, and share music through your mobile device. Listen to a song streaming, you can download it, you can rate it, create a mix list, see what your friends are watching or listening to and you can send them something you like. Seems cool but it appears very complex experience for a mobile media player.

Wize – Consumer research and product reviews. Scrapes content from all over the Web to come up with its WizeRank number. Problem with the WizeRank number is it doesn’t take into account the different reasons people buy products. People look at different variables (e.g. price and features). A balance is necessary.

Sodahead – A social network where the leading piece of content is a poll. The poll leads the discussion and then allows you to discover the people who responded to the same poll you were interested in. Click on the person, see the profile, and see what their responses were for other polls. Interesting twist on getting people interested in a conversation and other people.

CastTV – Web video search tool. Put on an impressive demo. They’re in a closed beta right now. Cool feature is that it categorizes video by type (i.e. see full shows, clips, or commentary). As DMCA is sending take down notices to video sharing sites, more video is staying on the sites of the owners of the content. The distributed nature of video is going to require quality video search.

Spock – Search engine to find people. I saw these guys at the Web 2.0 conference. The presenter gave a good presentation then, but he’s definitely honed his presentation skills and delivered a killer presentation. He just started a demo and constantly asked questions that you ask yourself when you’re searching people. Each option he clicked revealed another funny answer with popular celebrities. Unfortunately, the search engine is on a closed beta. Wait for it to take off when it gets fully released. – Overlay ads for videos that appear contextually to the content of the programming. No interstitial and all text based. This is definitely a hot area right now as everyone is looking for ways to monetize the endless amount of video. Other players that are doing similar projects are VideoEgg and Vidavee.

AdaptiveBlue – Contextual short cuts from Web content. Kind of interesting, but not that exciting.

Pando – These guys got an amazing writeup from David Pogue today. They’re a file sharing program that allows subscribers to share up to 1 GB files for free. They’ve been around for a while, but what they announced today was a feature for distribution of HD content over the Bittorent P2P network. They claim they can distribute a 1 GB HD video file to 1 million users for $5000.

Jangl – Giving people access to your phone without revealing your phone number. The idea is that you could create an email link on your blog or social networking page that would call your phone. People could leave you a message and then you call them back. Your real phone number is never revealed. I see this potentially being successful with online dating sites. People looking to meet someone right now but want some level of personal security.

Critical Metrics – A site that aggregates top reviews of music from many reviewing sources. Kind of interesting, but I’ve always been a fan of Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes that do this also for movies and video games.

ZapMeals – Imagine a company like WebVan, but a million times more complicated to operate. That’s ZapMeals, a company to match preparers and buyers of meals. But the joke was all on us because this was a gag company. Thirteen companies presented and this was the fake company that was designed to fool us.

Update: Renee Blodgett posted some photos of the many attendees.

Previous post:

Next post: