The biannual DEMO conference starts this week in Palm Desert, Calif., with a gaggle of new tech products and services from startups and more well established companies. On Tuesday, the first of 77 different companies will show off a range of products spanning both consumer and business interests.
DEMO's impresario, Chris Shipley, said the conference mirrors and sometimes leads trends in marketplace. "We're going to have business and consumer technologies, but the trend we're seeing is the impact the individual is having on all aspects of computing," Shipley told InternetNews.com. "When you're at home you cruise YouTube and Facebook and then you get to work and face the ERP system with a dashboard interface that's incomprehensible. There's a big disconnect there, but it's changing, it has to."
One of the drivers of such change are social networks and so-called Web 2.0 (define) community applications like blogs and wikis. But it's not all about Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn anymore; a number of new players are carving out niche applications or going beyond what the market leading players offer both in social networks and other important technology areas:
CatalystWeb will enter the online applications arena with the launch of CatalystOffice. Instead of enterprises, CatalystWeb said its targeting small and "fiercely independent" businesses with a suite of Web-based productivity and communications software. Based on a SaaS (Software as a Service) on demand delivery model, CatalystOffice includes a document management application for sharing files that the company said eliminates the need to use "painfully slow" Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). Also included, Share Workspace for online collaboration; secure "enterprise grade" instant messaging and CatalystOffice Sync for synchronizing data with Microsoft Outlook.
Monthly service plans start at $25 a month for 10GB and scale up to $125 a month for 100GB, with the first GB free.
Movial is set to unveil its Social Communicator, an application designed for "instant social communications." The company's IP communications software is targeted at service providers who in turn can offer users a simpler and more diverse way to share content.
In research weve conducted, 60 percent of online users have told us they want the ability to use any device they choose to experience Internet-like ease, comfort and usability, regardless of who they are communicating with and regardless of the applications they are using, said Victor Donselaar, president of Movial, in a statement. These same users also told us they want to be able to communicate with each other instantly about their social content."
Movial's Social Communicator automatically determines the best way to share content, regardless of a users device or online/offline status, according to the company. The idea is to bring real time or instant message-like communications to a variety of devices, including mobile handsets, PCs, IP set-top boxes, and Internet tablet devices.
Road warriors might find the release of PCMobilizer of interest. The application, from Rove Mobile, lets you access any file or application on your PC or notebook computer from a BlackBerry smart phone or Windows Mobile device. The company said the software can be quickly and easily downloaded from either the computer or mobile device; a username and password is needed to get access to your remote computer. Monthly subscription to the service is $9.50. There's also a free 30 day trial at the company's Web site.
"Remotely connecting to desktops that are in the office or at home is a growing industry and weve seen a strong demand to extend this capability to mobile devices," said Rove Mobile's CEO Rob Woodbridge.