Last night I attended Mass Innovation #3. It took a few minutes for us to find the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation, where the event was held. The directions read a little bit like a treasure map:
in the mill building right next to the river, look for the Museum under the smokestack
Love it! We eventually figured out that one girl in our randomly assembled group at the parking lot entrance actually knew where it was, so we followed her lead. Once we got inside, we were all awed by the cool industrial stuff in the museum, from 100 year old bicycles to old engines, watches, and a very old school and very cool fire pump that may or may not have been pulled by horses (note to self, do not touch anything).
As for the actual networking and product showcase event, well it rocked! Met great people and witnessed some very innovative technology products. Without further ado, here’s the three innovative products I enjoyed the most.
Top Three Innovative Products at Mass Innovation 3
In no particular order, here’s three products that I found useful, innovative, or just plain cool and slick.
- World Computing Grid
I met one of the members of Chatterbox at Tuesday’s tweetup event, where I heard a little about Chatterbox, but seeing the software live in person left me even more impressed.
Chatterbox [@ChatterBoxApp] is a “collaboration platform for social media teams and power users”. In essence, it’s a piece of software that allows you to pull information from your social networks, organize it, delegate it and share it easily. Todd Clayton from Chatterbox was nice enough to hook me up with a beta invite so look out for some hands on analysis in the coming days.
Remember SETI@home? It’s the largest distributed computing system in the world. SETI stands for the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence and a few years back I used to run their SETI@home program all the time in the hopes of helping them find some aliens (what self-admitted geek wouldn’t help with that cause?).
Well, IBM’s World Community Grid is also a distributed computing system (meaning it splits up computer tasks and sends them out to computers around the world to crunch the data, then sends it back to the home server). They differ from SETI@home because the WCG is really a platform that allows researchers and organizations to implement a distributed computing system into their projects.
Any research project can submit a request to get free help from IBM setting up a grid to crunch their project’s data (submit a research proposal here). It’s a really cool system and is extremely customizable. You can set it to run in the background and utilize a certain percentage of CPU power, or simply run when your computer is idle as a screensaver.
The list of research projects utilizing the World Community Grid includes:
- Help Conquer Cancer
- The Clean Energy Project
- Nutritious Rice for the World
- and more research projects
The product that was most likely to make peoples jaws drop. In essence, it’s a piece of paper that you can draw on and it instantly gets transferred to your computer screen. It’s designed for digital flipcharts and interactive presentations.
From the piece of paper, you can select colors, brush styles, and other editing tools. Yes, from the piece of paper. Canson Papershow has tiny microscopic points embedded into each piece of paper. Inside the pen, there is a tiny camera which transmits data via bluetooth to a USB dongle connected to your computer. It’s really quite seamless and needs to be seen to be truly appreciated.
To that end, here’s two videos showing Papershow in action:
Canson Papershow is available now from Staples for $199.99.
Thanks to all the presenters at Mass Innovation Nights #3 for a great time. All your products were innovative and cool, these three just caught my eye and fit my interests the most. And thanks to Bobbie Carlton [@bobbiec] for putting everything together!