Last night I had the pleasure of attending Demo Night at the monthly meeting of the New York City chapter of Mobile Monday (or MoMo for those of you in the know). Mobile Monday is an informal social club of mobile enthusiasts -- everyone from industry insiders to developers to aspiring entrepreneurs to mobile geeks -- who meet once a month to talk about all things wireless. Meetings range from highly technical discussions of obscure wireless topics (like developing new applications in BREW or how to address device fragmentation) to all-out social mixers and parties. Last night's meeting was a non-stop demo fest with eight companies showing off their latest products. Let's look at some mobile apps.The format of last night's demos was short and sweet -- every presenter had just seven minutes to cover their products. That's it. Some of the presenters were genuine startups, while several were larger companies. All were excited about their new mobile apps.
For your convenience, I condensed each seven-minute pitch down to a short write-up for each presenter:
Mobivity -- DIY mobile marketing for the SMB space. Mobivity allows users to create SMS short codes and keywords on the fly. The platform is compliant with all the guidelines of the Mobile Marketing Association. Costs range from between $0.09 a message to $0.08 a message (the company supposedly offers discounts based on volume of usage).
Wireless Generation -- Online administration of education assessment. The platform has two-levels, one for PDAs and the other for the Web. Users can administer tests, grade their students online, and track their progress. Think of it as CRM for education.
SalesPitch.mobi -- This is voice-based mobile sales management tool. SalesPitch.mobi can transcribe sales calls into text, send follow-up reminders, and generate reporting. Pricing starts at $99 a month for the first 100 users, and $150 a month after. The company's voice power comes from VoIP technology on an Asterisk server. Without integration with Salesforce.com, I didn't see anything that unique about this platform other than the voice transcription angle.
iLoop Mobile -- iLoop was showing off their mFinity platform, a self-serve mobile content creation tool. MFinity lets users build SMS text campaigns, mobile content stores, and WAP sites, all with a hosted WYSIWYG editor. The company said it will add an ad server soon for the WAP site portion of the tool. MFinity is targeted at larger companies looking to launch mobile marketing.
Septet Systems -- Septet offers a unique version of online search called Personal Search Syndication (PSS). PSS is a topically-driven form of search that sorts content automatically based on a given topic. Think automated tagging done through an algorithm. Anyway, last night, Septet was on hand to show off the mobile version of PSS, PSS For Mobile. I think the PSS approach to search is interesting. If it is combined with manual, human tagging, it might be a really powerful way to guide search queries.
Vector Max -- Vector Max provides online video solutions. Last night, the company showed off its Mobile Anywhere product, a 3D video compression technology that lets users show video clips for ring tones or other mobile applications. Vector Max showed off a 3D animation system that lets users create custom animations for their mobile devices. Their applications work with Symbian devices as well as Java and some Windows Mobile handhelds.
SCO Group -- SCO demoed HipCheck, the coolest piece of geekware I've seen so far this year. HipCheck is targeted at systems administrators and other senior IT managers. It allows users to remotely monitor and control systems and networks through smartphones. Users can activate and de-activate processes, monitor key IT functions like storage and printers, and even receive SMS alerts when systems go down or pass certain pre-defined performance thresholds. This system looked so cool, you might literally be able to phone in your job as an IT manager. (yes, I know that was a really lame pun, but I just could not help myself).
Send Word Now -- The last presenter of the night was Send Word Now (SWN), a mobile emergency communications platform. SWN is designed to let large businesses, organizations, and government agencies coordinate emergency messaging across a number of technologies, including SMS and voice, and across a number of devices (including both cell phones and landlines).
I wish there had been more startups last night, but otherwise it was a good group of demos. I thought the two most interesting presenters were Septet and SCO. I don't know if PSS will win as a search format, but it's a potential glimpse of what Search 3.0 might look like. I thought the HipCheck application looked useful from an enterprise IT perspective and I plan to check it out further.
I look forward to next month's meeting. And if you are planning to go to next month's MoMo, send me an e-mail.