Monthly Archives: March 2012

SxSW Live: Isis and Banjo app reviews

Welcome to SxSW 2012 everyone.  We are already deep into countless apps being launched and pitched.  Paul and I are kicking off the mobile app reviews with Isis and Banjo.

Isis really isn’t launching, yet again this year we find out.  Isis is a Near field communication technology providing your mobile device the ability to become a digital wallet.  By being in close proximity to the payment terminal and entering your pin, you can quickly check out.

Other capabilities later would include sharing information and data between devices.  They are working with Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile right now to get this technology out there.  We were a bit shocked to see such a nice display and demo area for them not even being a real product again this year.

Next up was another location based service called Banjo.  This app for iOS and Android hooks into your social networks and alerts you (or not depending on your setting) if someone you know is close by.  It will also see those publicly sharing their location.  See our full review and concerns in the show.

Get your startup name in lights with IBM at SxSW

IBM suddenly appeared in force at SxSW 2012 with eight or so sessions and a social media assessment area and Future of Social Lounge While they were not a sponsor, we were told they were funding some items.

This session as titled above coupled some university and education panelists with venture capital and then IBM employees. They were here to find some candidates for the Smarter Planet campaign that are startups. Interestingly, attendees around us stated they would rather see some smaller startups on the panel instead.

The questions were formatted in advance as most panels begin. The host read very tightly from a script. Guy Dietrich spoke about Texas A&M University and companies they have spun out. He has a wide background in software development and is currently the Vice Chancellor. I have no idea what that had to do with the session title and abstract as he went on about medical stuff.

Jani Byrne of IBM actually said exactly what the session hook was and that they want next generation IT technology they can own or license to help IBM leapfrog competition. They have started the IBM Global Entrepreneur program about 18 months ago. It takes companies less that 5 years old and less than $1m in revenue, you get free IBM software and access to mentors. To help your startup get over the hurdle. They do not provide money but backing.

Then there are 40 IBM Innovation Centers to help a startup meet IBMers. Finally they make their intellectual property available to startups for a fee to move ahead. Assets IBM considers can be commercialized.

The third panelist talked about kick starter project and funding sources for new technology. But not how IBM fits in. She mentioned how they attended a recent Angel Investor conference and amounts of funding rounds. I’m not sure how IBM fits in.

This seemed to continue throughout some of the panelists. Many people left very early when this started. The moderator blew off some questions which was strange. He wanted the panelists to get their spiel in. Not a usual panel format.

We soon followed. This session was a semi bust from IBM and didn’t address what those around us we asked anticipated what it would be as a whole session. How was any startup helped by IBM? This wasn’t answered.

Do you GetGlue? Spiked Studio shows are there to check in!

If you have not used GetGlue, it is a service to “check in” but has nothing to do with location.  It is only about letting others know what you are watching, reading or listening to.  It is a discovery service for things your friends like to watch, participate in and listen to since you get most recommendations from them anyway.

They also take a different approach in the gamification reward system.  You are able to unlock badges and stickers based on how often you check into a show.  However, after so many stickers are earned you are able to have them physically sent to you.  Which that is not a huge reward system like gift cards, it brings a physical item to the hands of those participating in a virtual game.

Imagine the ability now for TV channels, sports, movies and individual shows to see how people interact and talk about their shows.  Gone are the days of the simple Nielsen ratings to a select few families.  Everyone can now be married into the Nielsen family.

I are also happy to announce that the Spiked Studio shows will be showing up on GetGLue for you to let everyone know you are watching and also discover more related material.  I want to thank the team there for being in touch and launching BlackBerry Today on GetGlue first with the success we have had breaking half a million downloads already.

Look for the rest of the shows to start appearing shortly. It is actually fun and I have found quite a few shows and how many friends watch the same ones I do.