RWW 2WAY Summit is not a pitch event, but that doesn't mean it's not a great opportunity for tech companies to showcase their products. So today we invited a group of startups and established companies to present at our conference, a continuation of what's become a tradition at ReadWriteWeb's tech events: Speed Geeking.The
Rather than taking turns on stage going through slides and talking about a product, speed geeking has startups presenting simultaneously. Audience members circulate from table to table, watching demos - not PowerPoints. The tech companies have five minutes to give their presentations and answer questions, and then a whistle is blown (or in this case, our own Marshall Kirkpatrick shouts "Time's up") and people migrate to another table. It's an interesting way for participants to see demos in a more casual (yet very high energy) situation. And it's a chance for companies to answer questions and get feedback from a wide range of tech enthusiasts.
The following companies showed off their wares today:
OpenStudy: OpenStudy is building the largest online study group in the world. Students are able to join OpenStudy and - 24/7 - find others who are working in similar subject areas. Students can ask each other questions and help each other with studying and homework. Last month alone, some 25,000 math questions were asked on the site, the majority of which were answered by other students within 5 minutes.
SecretSocial: SecretSocial is an on-demand and ephemeral social network that offers privacy for its participants. Conversations on SecretSocial last only 15 minutes to one week. Then the data is erased from the system. SecretSocial wants to create an alternative place for conversations online that avoid the "endless data trail" that we leave behind.
Crowd Scanner: Crowd Scanner provides an interesting way to meet people at various events. The app turns networking into a game of "People Hunt," with questions and rewards for figuring out people's identities.
Soup: Soup wants to pull all of your digital data into one location and give you an easy way to present visualizations and other customized ways to present that material (such as mapping out all your various check-ins). The startup copies your data from various social networks, but says that it has no plans to sell that data. Rather it plans to monetize based on premium presentation templates.
SpotOn: SpotOn offers an iPad and iPhone app that gives you dining recommendations based on you and your friends' Foursquare and Facebook check-ins. SpotOn lets you rate these places very quickly so you can help get recommendations, but also give recommendations, to your friends.
OneDrum: OneDrum helps make Microsoft Office work more like Google Docs, letting multiple users simultaneously collaborate on a document. Currently, OneDum works with Microsoft PowerPoint and Excel, but ideally the platform could be extended to work with any piece of software.
Pixable: Facebook may be the largest photo sharing site, but a lot of the photo searching and browsing capabilities of Facebook leave a lot to be desired. Pixable's apps - particularly its iPad app - address this. Pixable takes the photos from your News Feed and presents them in a much more enjoyable format. The app also lets you see popular photos and follow particular friends' photo updates (which, quite honestly, is probably one of the most compelling things shared to Facebook these days).
Singly: Our personal data is strewn all of the Web. Some of it we share willingly. Some of it, not so willingly. Regardless, even though it is "our data," that information resides in a multitude of locations and often with a multitude of other people having access to it. Singly is working on The Locker Project which will be a centralized and personal place for everyone to house their information. The Locker Project wants to give users control over their own personal data - deciding who can access that information, for example. Ideally developers will be able to build apps on top of our lockers.
Today's Speed Geeking session wasn't just about startups. Both the API provider (and ReadWriteWeb sponsor) Mashery and the game-maker Rovio also had tables and talked about their latest offerings. You can watch a video of today's Speed Geeking session here.