Demos & Drinks Take Over Downtown LA

Tech in Motion LA recently hosted another edition of its popular event, Demos & Drinks. While many of the LA chapter’s events are held near Silicon Beach, this month added an enticing twist by taking place in Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA). DTLA has an exciting, up-and-coming tech scene that Tech in Motion was happy to be a part of. Hot companies like Postmates, Saucey and Causecast each had their own booth set up, where they demonstrated their products, mingled with guests and even gave attendees discount codes for their services.

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Postmates is an app that’s transforming the way local goods move around a city by enabling anyone to get any product delivered in under one hour. Their urban logistics and on-demand delivery platform connects their customers with local couriers, who purchase and deliver goods from any restaurant or store in a city.

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Saucey is an on-demand alcohol delivery service, which makes it easier, faster and safer for customers to purchase drinks and have them delivered in 20-40 minutes. Saucey has been referred to as the “Uber of Alcohol!” They were a definite hit at the event, and even delivered the beer and wine for Tech in Motion that night.

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Causecast is a “Corporate Social Responsibility” SAAS (Software-As-A-Service) organization. They develop the leading CSR platform, which drives employee engagement, reduces paper-pushing and helps their clients impact the communities where they live and work.

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During the event, Tech in Motion organizers had the opportunity to pick the mind of a few guests in reference to the participating companies, and it turns out that attendees were pretty pro-Saucey that night.

TIM: Of the companies you’ve seen tonight, which would you use in your personal life and why?

Wilfred: “I think Saucey because they helped me visualize the product. They had a tablet where you could actually see the app and pricing, which was more informative for me.”

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TIM: “Of the companies that you saw tonight, which do you think is the most innovative and why?”

Dean: “I think Saucey, because they seem to have everything together – their target audience, their packaging, their app looks great…”

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Lastly, we want to give a big thank you to our sponsors Jobspring Partners,Workbridge Associates and One Medical. Without their support, our events would not be possible!

Check out the events that Tech in Motion LA has lined up for fall here.

The Future of Virtual Reality

1097723620Written by Arthur van Hoff, CTO at Jaunt

Virtual reality is something many people have heard of, but few have experienced. Yet trying to put it into words is, as one blogger stated, “like trying to take a picture of your favorite song.” Poised to disrupt the way we see, live and engage with the world, the fully immersing experience of VR has the potential to change the face not just of gaming or entertainment, but has implications for education, travel, healthcare, real estate, and more.

Today, you can put on VR goggles and have an immersive experience beyond your imagination – with high-definition 360-degree, 3D video and binaural audio, you can feel as though you’re in the world’s most spectacular places, on stage next to your favorite musician, or on the field cheering on your home team, even when you’re thousands of miles away.

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The truly exciting part about virtual reality is that this is just the beginning. The potential applications for this technology is something that excites us tremendously and we are continuously exploring.

Much of the content that is currently being developed for virtual reality goggles is simulated or digitally produced, along the lines of video games. At Jaunt, we’re building the full-stack technology to create cinematic VR. This includes the camera, software editing, and content production. Instead of exploring a simulated world, you can be transported to other places in the real world.

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This also means exploring new means of storytelling beyond the current capabilities of traditional film-making. We’re discovering new ways to use the technology, and it’s opening up huge new doors for writers, directors, actors, artists, and other content creators.

We shared some of what we’ve discovered and created at the Tech In Motion event this week. We enjoyed sharing the experience of cinematic VR with you and you’ll see some action photos in an event recap posted later in the month.

Tech in Motion Silicon Valley is also proud to announce their September event, Security & Technology: BYOD, Home, & Mobile {Sponsored By Microsoft & Appvance}. You can RSVP here.

arthurAbout the author: Arthur van Hoff is serial entrepreneur and was most recently CTO at Flipboard. He started his career in Silicon Valley at Sun Microsystems where he was an early developer of the Java programming language. Since then he has started several successful companies. Arthur has expertise in machine learning, big data, mobile applications, 3D printing, and computational photography. He is originally from the Netherlands and has a master’s degree in Computer Science from Strathclyde University in Glasgow.

The Future of Mobile (Tech in Motion LA)

Tech In Motion LA recently hosted the Future of Mobile Panel Discussion, which was graciously sponsored by BlackBerry. The panel featured senior developers from Urbanspoon, Beats by Dre, Microsoft and BlackBerry. With the mobile market at an all-time high, the panelists dug into the state of mobile today and talked about what the future may hold.

The event took place at Loyola Marymount University – not too far off from the Los Angeles tech hub, “Silicon Beach.” Before the panel began, we polled a few guests to see what they are most excited to see in mobile’s future. This is what they had to say:

“I’m excited to see advances in the visual design of mobile applications.”

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 – Jesse Brownstein

“I’m interested to see how mobile apps will have the ability to control things around us. Like remotely starting your car, turning on lights in your house, etc.”

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 – Jens Zalzala

“I’m really into fashion and technology, so I can’t wait to see the next big thing in fashion/clothing related apps!”

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– Hillary Creech

All in all, the event was a hit with the crowd of techies, entrepreneurs and mobile tech enthusiasts. The lively discussion ranged from mobile security to cross platform development and kept the attendees attentive throughout the night. The audience Q&A that followed the formal discussion was a great opportunity for developers and entrepreneurs alike to share their ideas, concerns, and questions with some innovative industry leaders.

To get invited to Tech in Motion LA’s next event, don’t forget to join the meetup group. Thanks again to our sponsors: BlackBerry, Jobspring Partners and Workbridge Associates.

From Russian Linguist to CTO: A Recap of Philadelphia’s First Fireside Chat

On Wednesday, March 26, Tech in Motion Philadelphia hosted their first ever fireside chat at CityCoHo Philly Nexus with Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Richard Bunker of the Neat Company. Led by Christopher Wink of Technically Philly, the conversation covered Bunker’s journey from Russian Linguist to successful CTO, with a healthy dose of insight into the future of the Neat Company.

“I was paying to go to school for Russian literature by doing jobs as a programmer for Polaroid and Pepsi,” Bunker said about his beginnings, “and I discovered there are better paying jobs as a programmer than there are as a Russian literature student.”

Bunker’s path to CTO was never a straight line, but instead a varied path that included positions such as managing director, president and CIO. His first leadership gig was at SEI, as Vice President over about 50 software developers, followed by a stint as CIO for Procurian.

“CIO’s don’t become CEOs, so I made the move to the front office,” said Bunker of his transition to a Chief Technology Officer position.

Bunker leads the tech department as CTO of the Neat Company, which offers an integrated system of software, hardware, cloud services and mobile applications that allows users to perfectly scan documents and manage them in Quick Books, Constant Contact or other programs. Neat’s technology recognizes the type of document that is scanned with their hardware and intelligently parses the data accordingly.

“We’re going to keep selling hardware. We have groovy scanners,” Bunker acknowledged, “but the value is in our software…And I went to high school in the seventies; I’m allowed to say groovy!”

A little known fact about the Neat Company is that they process 12.5 Lowes receipts per minute, according to Bunker. Anyone with a small business has receipts and is going to keep scanning them. While Bunker believes this could be done directly with an in-browser application, Neat’s clients still prefer the mobile app.

“A lot of the hard stuff – synchronize, categorize, move things around – is going to move to the cloud,” said Bunker, indicating that the mobile app would soon become just a thin app. “We’re operating a cloud business at scale.”

When the conversation turned from cloud services to the Philadelphia tech scene, Bunker was full of optimism for the city, citing the high number of students and how the money made when companies are sold stays in the area as the former founders begin new startups. Neat Company even sponsored a code camp recently to give back, but Bunker sees the real growth for the community coming in the future.

“We are hiring people and we are doing things very close to what you would find in Silicon Valley,” Bunker told the audience. “These skills are becoming part of the community; those skills become a part of Philadelphia.”

While Chris Wink was a stimulating moderator for the conversation, Bunker inspired quite a queue of technologists waiting to speak with him after the Q & A wrapped up. Beforehand, he left the crowd with a phrase that has become his mantra.

“I try to say yes when people ask me to do things,” Bunker said with a smile.

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In addition to an educational evening from Bunker and Wink’s dialogue, guests also enjoyed bites from the Corner Foodery and beer donated by Shawnee Craft Brewing Company. CityCoHo graciously donated their space for networking and the fireside chat, as well.

shawnee craft beer

Thank you to sponsors Jobspring Partners and Workbridge Associates, who made the event possible.To join the Philadelphia chapter of Tech in Motion, please sign up here.

The Future of Online Video Entertainment

steven spearDigital video is on the rise…and U.S. audiences are demanding content whenever and wherever they want it.  By bringing a new platform technology to market, companies like Orange County-based start-up DeskSite are revolutionizing the way viewers consume their favorite sports video content.

Most technologists will agree the concept of an “app” came long before Steve Jobs was around, since applications are as old as punch card programming.  However, we can thank Jobs for bringing the word “app” to the forefront of mainstream consumer attention through his cornucopia of “There’s an App for That” campaigns.  Nearly a decade later, apps have become so commonplace, most of us can’t even imagine a world without them!  With apps like Shazaam that can tell you the artist and title of any song, or Maps that can guide you to any destination, the landscape of our digital experience has been dramatically enriched through technological innovation.

But what about an app designed for “Big Screen” devices, such as tablets, laptops or desktops instead of smartphones? What about an app you can use to watch hours upon hours of exclusive HD-video content directly from desktop or laptop rather than streaming videos from websites? DeskSite has picked up where Jobs left off and is redefining how mainstream consumers will process an “app” – from exclusively associating apps with small screen devices like smartphones, to understanding their place on larger screen devices like home computers and smart T.V.’s.

DeskSite uses a carefully-crafted brand of thick-client technology to enhance the viewing experience of online sports video content.  Acting as a DVR for the Internet, your DeskSite will automatically download and store HD-videos from your favorite sports team directly to your hard drive when you’re connected to the Internet, notifying you with a “You’ve Got Videos” AOL-type audio alert upon completion. Once the videos have been downloaded to your big screen device, viewers can watch your favorite sports content whether online or off.  With a personal DeskSite, sports fans can even have a laptop or tablet connected to an airport Wi-Fi connection downloading up to the minute videos in the background while waiting for their flight to take off, and then catch up on exclusive HD sports video content with no buffering and zero delays on the plane – where airplane Wi-Fi speeds would never support streaming of HD content.

DeskSite also brings value to the out-of-market super fan.  NFL teams typically broadcast hours of highly produced television content to their local area market.  But a lover of the New England Patriots, who doesn’t live within the 75-mile wide Boston area broadcast radius, is likely missing out on Patriots-produced T.V. shows – unless he or she has installed a Patriots DeskSite.  Each week, the DeskSite will bring these television shows from Boston to anywhere in the world, placing them on fans’ desktops for playback at their leisure.

Over the last couple of years, founder and CEO Richard Gillam has turned this simple concept into a scalable solution for a new kind of online video entertainment network.  Starting with the most popular entertainment brand in America, the National Football League, DeskSite has partnered with more than a dozen of the most valuable NFL teams and plans to expand into other major sports leagues and entertainment brands in 2015.

So if you’re an out of market fan, or sick and tired of buffering and streaming delays, or simply want to access brand new exclusive sports content from your favorite team, just remember, there’s an app for that…

Tech in Motion Orange County hosted author Steven Spear, Engineering Manager at Desksite, at one of their Drinks & Demos events. For more information about seeing companies like Desksite at Ocean County events, please join the group.

Recap: Hot Tech Trends in San Francisco for 2014

On Thursday February 20th, Tech in Motion: San Francisco rallied local techies. The gathering took place at Wish bar in the SoMa district of San Francisco. As drinks flowed, so did the conversations. San Francisco’s finest rolled into Wish Bar to discuss what tech trends they thought would hit big for 2014. For a Thursday evening, San Franciscan locals were more than happy to spend their free time learning a new name and adding a few more cards to their business card collection. Networking was in the air.

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Tech in Motion conducted a survey to pin-point the leading topic of the night. There was no big surprise what they thought would hit the mainstream tech feed. The winner was Big Data – apache Hadoop! The Apache™ Hadoop® project develops open-source software for reliable, scalable, distributed computing. In a nutshell Apache Hadoop software is a framework that allows the distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of computers by using programming models that are simplified. More and more businesses are in need of a more advanced system to handle the immense amount of data that is collected – and big data paving the way for 2014.

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Tech in Motion conducted a survey to pin-point the leading topic of the night. There was no big surprise what they thought would hit the mainstream tech feed. The winner was Big Data – apache Hadoop! The Apache™ Hadoop® project develops open-source software for reliable, scalable, distributed computing. In a nutshell Apache Hadoop software is a framework that allows the distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of computers by using programming models that are simplified. More and more businesses are in need of a more advanced system to handle the immense amount of data that is collected – and big data paving the way for 2014.

Another topic that scattered the powwows at the Tech in Motion mixer was high tech wearables. From coast to coast, techies are indulging themselves in wearable technology. Recently, New York Tech in Motion hosted an event for high tech fashion. The excitement of 3D printed shoes and LED clothing has definitely hit the west coast. Throughout the mixing and mingling, speculations on what hot new tech trends 2014 will offer permeated the room.IMG_3745

Tech in Motion members were also excited to discover Microsoft’s table, offering unlimited play time with Bing’s revived system, and a live engineer to answer any questions that arose. A buzz in the air of an exciting year to come has landed in San Francisco’s tech community.

Recap: Tech in Motion LA’s Demos & Drinks

Last Tuesday, Tech in Motion LA hosted a Demos & Drinks event featuring three unique companies and their products. Total immersion, cyPOP, and Slim Surveys were the featured companies! The event had a laid back feel, allowing guests to mingle and check out the demos at their leisure. Each company presented their product simultaneously at their designated stations.

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Tech in Motion guests were offered a wide variety of beers, and the dessert tray was a sweet success! The event not only gave the companies a chance to show off their applications, but also allowed guests to network and get inspiration for whatever projects they may be working on.

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Total Immersion provides the world’s most widely used commercial augmented reality platform. Through its patented D’Fusion® software solution, Total Immersion blurs the line between the virtual world and the real world by integrating real time interactive 3D graphics into a live video stream. They had a popular demo station, seeing as how their product is very interactive. Their app allowed users to virtually “try on” Ray Bans® and project animated images of themselves on a projector screen!

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CyPOP is a uniquely designed online destination where meaningful content, engaging conversation, and vibrant images are all centered on like-minded people with similar interests. The co-founder and CEO were on-hand to show guests their site and walk them through how one would utilize it.

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Slim Surveys is a micro survey tool that allows users to quickly take a survey in 30 seconds or less. Mobile optimized and perfect for anyone that needs an effective survey tool. They explained how their surveys work, why they work and why their product is a better option than their current competitors. They showed test surveys so guests could experience it firsthand.

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The LA Demos & Drinks event was great fun and a huge success! If you missed out, check back soon for our next one. And of course, join to stay up-to-date on all the cool events happening in YOUR city!