TechCrunch Disrupt is now ranking among the top new technology shows to hit New York on an annual basis. Don’t know TechCrunch? By itself, the website is a good place to stay current with new technology for the web, smartphones and digital media. With such events as the Hackathon (coders battle it out all night to create a winning app) and Startup Battlefield (around 30 chosen companies present their products before top tech and VC judges), attendees have a chance to participate or listen about the latest tech developments.
The show ran from April 29th to May 1st and filled the ballroom of The New Yorker Hotel and showfloor of the Manhattan Center. If you’re curious to get a sense of what went on, TechCrunch did a good day-by-day review, which you can see here. The show draws top Silicon Valley folk, often pairing them with local VC.
The show garners attention in the wider press as minor celebs like Aston Kucher show up, though in his case it makes sense as he’s developed a decent rep as an active partner in a $100 million VC fund. New York-based Enigma—which is developing a search engine that can quickly work through some 100,000 government and other data sources—won the shows $50,000 Disrupt NY prize.
While you can always learn something at the constant discussions and presentations in the big ballroom, we always enjoy visiting Startup Alley. Much as it sounds, this casual presentation space fills with dozens of startups with hopes for success in their eyes as well as a ready willingness to buttonhole passersby to deliver their pitch.
One trend at TechCrunch revolved around finding new uses for all those smartphones we carry which sport increasingly impressive video capabilities. One Startup Alley hopeful, CrowdFlik, is developing an app for iOS and Android devices that enables users to create and share custom edits of crowd-sourced video. The CrowdFlik app will allow users who are signed in at a particular event, for example, to upload videos from that event. The company has received $800k from investors to date.
Then what happens is “magical”, according to CEO Chris Hamer, who is interviewed here. Using a time-base created from precise signals generated by the Naval Observatory, the Crowdflik app stitches all the videos together to make one fluid video, even though it’s created from lots of different movie clips shot from a variety of users.
Crowdflik users will be able to see all of the videos aggregated and stitched together or browse the variety of videos shot from different users. The app is still in beta, but should be completed soon, according to New Jersey-based CEO Hamer.
We found a similar approach—a social media phone app enabling group video creation– was also Wedeeo’s aim. The New York-based company is further along, however, with their software already available in Apple’s App Store.
Wedeeo integrates out of the box with Facebook and Facebook pages, and why not, since the social web site is the home of many younger users who wouldn’t think of reaching for a video camera instead.
While CrowdFlik emphasizes video creation around events, Wedeeo looks to target users who want to create “private video moments together with their circle of friends.” Here too separate videos are combined and edited, and can be aimed at public or private sharing. Forget Citizen Kane. Group camaraderie ranks as most desirable here. As Wedeeo says in a promotional piece, “Why link up with strangers…when you can have a lasting video made with the people you love?”
We’ll post another video soon that shows what a “TV Van in a Browser” looks like.