Posted by Tattletech on Mar 31, 2009 in 3GSM
, Cool stuff
, Mobile World Congress
We briefly mentioned Option right after MWC in Barcelona. So we finally got a chance to invite Option’s Jan Poté to our Hot Seat:
Tattletech: Option must be around for a while (either that, or you had to pay a substantial sum to own the www.option.com domain) Can you tell us a little bit about how the company started?
The company was started in 1986, and has indeed owned that URL since the ‘90s. The vision was to make products enabling “anytime, anywhere easy access to information”. Today, that vision is still the basic philosophy by which we design and develop products.
We started with designing full-size and half-size PC modem cards for laptops (Toshiba, IBM etc.) – still with a fixed line. Later on we developed the first completely wireless (cellular) PCMCIA data card. It is with that data card – together with a massive marketing campaign from Vodafone in Europe – that we ‘created’ the market for data cards.
In total we have come up with about 22 world firsts in cellular data (the first 3G data card, the first data card combining cellular with wifi, the smallest wireless module on the planet for Intel platforms, etc.). Now we have about 110 customers, including Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange, AT&T, and Telefonica.
TT: You recently launched Ucan – a virtual ‘PC on a stick’ – How does Ucan make our lives easier? At least our digital lives?
It makes our lives easier because you can take with you (in your pocket) all your applications, all your data, all your favorite websites and much more in a device that also lets you connect to the internet via 3G and 3G+ (HSPA). With this ‘PC on a stick’ you don’t need to worry anymore about whether or not you have your PC with you (netbook, notebook, or big laptop) – you just plug it into any USB port of any computer and it automatically creates your own personal digital environment.
TT:How do you ensure user privacy? What happens if I use Ucan on a public computer, open documents etc? Can anyone logging in after me see my stuff?
Not at all… and that is another beauty of this product. When you stop working and take the USB device out of the computer, it leaves no trace at all on the host machine. It is as you where never there, never used it. Yet, everything you changed or added is saved on your USB device.
TT: How is your product different from others already available on the market?
There is no other product on the market that does exactly what uCAN does. You have the simple 3G USB devices (which enable you to connect to the Internet) and you have USB devices with applications on them, offering no Internet connectivity. The latter type of device is similar to uCAN, but works by automatically installing all its software on the host device – it will even require you to have the necessary access and permissions for the host PC.
TT: So, do you really see a future where business people walk around NOT carrying a laptop?
We do see a future where some business people and consumers will walk around with all of their digital information without a laptop. Having said this, it is also true that it is a matter of ‘customer convenience,’ meaning that not all business users or consumers will prefer to walk around like this. However, as with all advancements in technology, there’s no telling how quickly something like this could become the norm. Would we ever have thought that some of us would go running around with 10,000 songs around their neck? Yet, it happened. Additionally, the type of software/applications that can be installed on the USB device can vary widely according to the needs of the customer (e.g. a USB device for the banking industry would have different software than a USB device targeted at the ‘gaming community’). So yes, we see a very bright future for this type of product – we call it ‘Internet in your pocket.’
Posted by Tattletech on Mar 23, 2009 in Cool stuff
, Red Herring
Now that we have a few spare minutes but before Plugg fades too much in our memory, here’s the juicy news on Nimbuzz, courtesy of the awesome Tobias Kemper. They have just announced a new VoIP app for the iPhone! The new app enables you to make free Wi-Fi calls to your IM buddies with a full dial-pad, AND you can make VoIP calls to landlines and mobiles wih Skype Out, as well as with their other partners Gizmo5, Vyke, sipgate and A1. The new app lets you see how much Skype Out credit you have remaining right on the dial pad, and if you don’t have access to WiFi, you can make VoIP calls to your Nimbuzz buddies using their dial-up VoIP in over 50 countries!
How does that work you may ask? Nimbuzz dials a local access number using their VoIP servers that will connect you anywhere in the world, for the same cost as a domestic call. Genius! On top of that, you can magically turn youriPod touch into an iPhone and make calls via Skype Out or usering a Nimbuzz VoIP provider.
Sounds pretty cool to us. We’re going to give you more with the upcoming Tattletech Hot Seat interview with Tobias Kemper, don’t miss it!
Posted by Tattletech on Mar 15, 2009 in Conferences
, Cool stuff
, Good things
, Intelligent Search
, New things
, Sexy tech guys
, Social Networking
, Start ups
, Web 2.0 stuff
, Women entrepreneurs
Tattletech was at Plugg last week in Brussels (that Robin Wauters puts on a good show) and it was one of the best events we have been to in a while. The agenda was superb, the speakers were excellent and the food was outstanding. The start up rally was fun with our audience participation paddles, but the majority of the start ups were not that compelling, with the exception of three that stood out WAY above the others. We are planning on having all three of them do a Tattletech Hot Seat in the coming weeks.
Here are the three companies we think you should keep your eyes on. (Plus one extra)
Jinni – Everything is changing so why not how we search for TV shows and movies. Long time IPTV industry veteran and former Oracle guy, Yosi Glick thinks its about time we re think how we search for movies. So enter Jinni. Tattltech saw a super secret demo of Jinni last fall at IBC and now the train is on the track as Jinni has brought its new search technology to the forefront. Blending both a social networking element with a more logical way to search for what you want to watch (a social search and recommendation engine), Jinni will change the way you think about searching for content. They will. Sign up for the beta online. Watch them, get on board now, this would be like missing the Skype train. Yes, I said that. A fantastic management team makes all the difference and Jinni has that.
Myngle - Learn a language online. Okay, so at first glance that may not sound innovative, but it is. It is because it connects you to the global marketplace where you are talking with folks that know that native language. Its interacting with them in a way you would normally if you knew a language, not the “phrases” that you normally go through in an old school language class. It’s e learning mixed with educational social networking and we think that this is one of the best ideas for applying elements of social networking today. Imagine the possibilities this could have on developing nations.
Global classroom, cultural exchange takes on a whole new meaning. Founder by Marina Togenetti and based in the Netherlands, this woman gives entrepreneur a whole new name. Winner of the Plugg Audience Choice awards and more than 20,000 users in seven months.
Softatutor – It is unfortunate that their site is only in German, but trust me when I say to you this CEO has his eye on the big picture. And like Myngle, Sofatutor is focusing on applying the elements of social networking to education. Sofatutor blends video with social interaction to create an online “tutor”. And the CEO, Stephan Bayer at Plugg 09 says that he wants tutors to get paid for their work – educational advocate. Nice. Not to mention the fact that if we did a Top 10 list of sexy tech guys at Plugg, he would be on it.
Now, also on our list is Nimbuzz who has won all sorts of awards and plans to become the gobal communications platform for IP-based communication between mobile devices and social media platforms. Watch for their upcoming Tattletech Hot Seat interview with Tobias Kemper. And rounding out the trip was the excellent conversation spent with two fantastic “personalities” we had the great pleasure of spending our breaks with – Nicolas Mertens (picture a young David Spade with the same sense of humor), The Next Web and Jeroen Mirck.
Tattletech always finds itself in good company – always around start ups that seem to have their finger on technology that will pull the current market forward and with entrepreneurs that do more than focus on the technology but how to apply it to our lives. When we met Dragos, we knew immediately this compay was onto something. We caught up with uberVU’s Co-Founder, Dragos Ilinca and here is what he had to say. (uberVU was also a 2008 Seedcamp winner!)
Tattletech: So… let’s start with the question you are probably asked over and over again, what DOES uberVU mean?
Dragos Ilinca: uber is a German word that means “more, better, super”, just like in ubergeek or uberblogger. “VU” is just a misspelled “view”. we weren’t trying to be cute, but uberview.com <http://uberview.com> was taken. So in its essence uberVU refers to having a “superview” of the conversation on the Web.
TT: Will aggregating all of the conversation threads into one place make the online world a smaller one, in the positive sense of the word?
DI: Quite possibly. All the people that comment on a story are part of the same community, they’re interacting around the same social object. So the online world around a story will be bigger, as you’ll be aware of people you did not know commented on a story. It might be smaller in the sense of more intimate, as in time, there will be many more familiar faces around each story or blog or content source. The point is that people should care about who is commenting and what they are saying and not have to worry about the underlying platform.
TT: At the end of almost each article or blog post we see an unending list of icons and link backs – will Ubervu end all of that clutter?
DI: Some of those icons have their purpose, such as sharing the article on different services. The purpose is not necessarily to end that clutter, but be able to interact with people on the services that the icons represent without paying much attention to the service itself. This means getting comments from people everywhere in one place and also allowing you to reply to those people from one place. It’s about freeing the conversations from closed silos and exposing people to each other.
TT: What is the main differentiator between what you do and others? Do you trace the conversation and not the user profile?
DI: Yes, that’s the main difference. We get comments around a story, not around a person, user profile or keyword. Whether those will be included I don’t know at this point. One more difference is the ability to reply from within uberVU, in the sense that they reply gets sent back to the site/service where it should belong. From this point of view, we seem to be a great complement to a lot of existing services that people are already avid users of.
TT: Do you think users will quickly adopt using uberVU?
DI: Hopefully, although that’s not the goal in the short term. Our main goal is to understand how people are using uberVU, what they need and don’t need from it and how to transform those demands into usable features so that they do start to use uberVU regularly. I think we still have some way to go until uberVU hits the bullseye and becomes just right for people. That’s why we’re experimenting with different things right now, such as being integrated by Disqus through our API. Maybe we’ll be a great destination site, or maybe we’ll serve as an infrastructure service that will only be used by way of API.
– SM and JLH
About a month ago, Mashable’s Adam Ostrow wrote a story abou Geo Location and why it was absent from Facebook and Twitter. You know where this is going right? I am going to say, well it is absent simply because they aren’t doing it. And you know where this is going next? So who is doing it on line? Well no one except IRLConnect. On the mobile, its all over the place, but still not pulling in the numbers like the good old Web does (sure argue with us later about it) but the fact is that there are 506 million or so users on the Web and those users are ready for a new experience. And geo objects is where its at.
So, the next evolution in this post is the fact that today IRL Connect announced that it has integrated Facebook with its application and you know what happened. Floods of people came into the application. I must say, it is the absolutely coolest thing to see all your Facebook friends on a map! I mean, You can see where they are and start up a conversation with them. IRL is the first visual social network.
I am an ex pat living in Amsterdam and today, Boston was flooded with my Facebook friends and the friends of my Facebook friends and I immediately had this connection again. It gave me something I was missing. Not to sound sappy, but it really brought my social network into focus.
Try it- they have a public beta on April 2, but you can get a sign up key here, use Tattletech.
Posted by Tattletech on Mar 4, 2009 in social media
, What makes good news
I don’t know about you – but when folks start name calling it’s either because their mom didn’t raise them right or they feel cornered or threatened a la Dick Cheney style. And in this case, I think we can lean toward cornered. In this article this week from the Silicon Alley Insider, Google’s CEO calls Twitter “the poor man’s email”. Of course, this is fresh on the heels of Google getting onto Twitter last week with their first Tweet of 1010101010 and all that.
But on a lighter side, Jon Stewart brings it all home in this fabulous and stunningly brilliant expose. We sure love him.
Posted by Tattletech on Mar 4, 2009 in Entrepreneurs
, Open Coffee
, Start ups
Tomorrow, Tattletech will be going to Open Coffee in Amsterdam to hear start ups sing their song. Yea I know the details are in Dutch, but we are going to cover and review some start ups that are presenting there, just like we did for the European Venture Summit.
Posted by Tattletech on Mar 3, 2009 in 3GSM
, Cool stuff
Another cool company we met at MWC in Barcelona, Option (www.option.com <http://www.option.com> ), presented us with a virtual ‘PC on a stick’ – an effective way to carry your computer preferences, software and all associated configuration data with you at all times on a USB stick called Ucan.
Ucan uses any PC as a host to easily access all your applications, files and content, as well as connecting to the internet.
Option tells us that for operators, this presents an opportunity to generate new revenue streams and deliver new innovative services to customers, as well as a chance to create market differentiation. For us consumers, this is an opportunity to embrace the true potential of a personalized and portable, ‘Internet on the Go’ 3G experience.