DEMO Highlights Novel Mobile Apps, Services, Drones for Enterprises

By David Needle  |  Posted 2014-11-21 Print this article Print
DEMO 2014

Templafy bills itself as a content management system for templates that lets brand managers and administrators ensure documents on mobile devices as well as on desktops follow compliance rules. For example, changes to a company logo or disclaimers in standard documents are pushed out to all users in a matter of minutes. "We'll even alert you if the logo or disclaimer you're using is outdated," said Lund.

Mobile users often don't have a lot of time to spend on traditional business apps like email, especially when their only option is to look at a small smartphone screen or tablet when traveling. GlanceAt aims to help with that. The company's app promises to "dramatically enhance your productivity with email."

The GlanceAt app, currently in beta for iOS, will send you a "smart alert" when any email arrives that it determines—based on the context and contact info—requires your immediate attention. The app also highlights actionable items in a "smart card" that's displayed separate from the email. For example, a smart card might have extracted the key message in the email "Can you meet me Monday for coffee at 2 p.m.?" The app then presents you with a ready response you can edit along with a calendar invitation.

"We're using semantic data, some machine learning and natural language processing to make email smarter and more actionable, but more importantly providing you with a fun and easy way to be more productive," said GlanceAt co-founder and CEO Atif Siddiqi.

Mobility isn't limited to communications devices. Drones made a surprise appearance at DEMO, specifically a new gasoline-powered "micro hybrid electric engine" from startup Topflight Technologies. The company designed its own drone, though CEO Long Phan says the engine, which is about the size of a bowling ball, can be adapted to other models.

While drones have a strong hobbyist following, Phan says he's aiming squarely for the enterprise and is already working with a few Fortune 500 insurance companies. The advantage of his company's hybrid engine is that it can power drones to fly for up to two hours versus the 15 to 30 minutes more typical of lithium battery-powered drones that currently dominate today's market.

Enterprise applications include pipeline, railway and power line inspection, as well as security and humanitarian aid as these drones can handle bigger payloads than consumer models, he said. Declares Phan: "We're here to change the world."

From smartphones to tablets to drones, the world is getting more mobile and more changes are inevitable. Even smartphones will eventually have their comeuppance. In 10 years, "the chances we'll be rubbing away on a black plastic rectangle seems unlikely," said Andreessen Horowitz's Evans, reflecting on the rapid evolution of mobile technology.



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