DEMOmobile, which took place September 17-19 at the Hilton in La Jolla, Calif., is one of the most selective trade shows on the tech circuit. According to Robin Azar, VP of seminars and events for IDG Executive Forums/NetworkWorld, companies must begin interviewing six months in advance to be allowed to demonstrate at the conference.
“Our two rules are: companies must be launching a product and the technology must modify the industry significantly—so you won’t see a version 1.2 of an existing product,” says Azar.
This year’s DEMOmobile show featured 37 demonstrating companies, executives from organizations seeking the newest mobile products and a bevy of potential investors. Each demonstrator had only six minutes to make their pitch.
“The people who come to DEMOmobile know what they’re coming for,” Azar explains. “The companies that demonstrate have everything to lose and gain—there’s a lot at stake. That’s why this show has more buzz and excitement than other shows.”
DEMOmobile 2003 drew more than 400 registered attendees, an increase of 25 percent from the previous year, she adds.
Eight companies took home the coveted DEMOgod Awards: Dynamic Mobile Data, Logitech, Pulse, Realeyes3D, Firetide, Microwave Photonics, Ispiri and Bitfone. Bitfone was the winner in the “People’s Choice” category.
Azar said her personal favorite was Dynamic Mobile Data’s “Heads-Up!” notification application. The company says Heads-Up! takes the frustration out of delivery or service appointments—which often require consumers to be available for a window of time that can stretch from four to six hours or longer. Instead of sitting around wondering when the technician will arrive to install a cable connection or fix the water heater, customers can be notified exactly when to be home and receive the information on any device they choose.
“Dynamic Mobile Data created tracking systems for delivery companies, which means it had a limited outlet for its products. The company wanted to do more, so it created a useful consumer product,” said Azar. “Not only is the product innovative, but the imagination factor is impressive.”
Other DEMOgod Award-winning products were: Logitech’s Bluetooth desktop suite; Pulse’s interactive virtual characters for mobile devices called Veepers; Realeyes3D scanner optimized for writing, described as “Post-It Notes for a mobile phone”; Firetide’s instant wireless network; Microwave Photonics’ deployable antennas that promise “to eliminate cellphone blackout for onetenth the cost of a traditional cellular tower”; Ispiri’s Mirra PC data sync; and Bitfone’s self-updating operating system for mobile phones that allows users to upgrade to the newest mobile OS automatically and remotely.