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DemoCamp 3 breaks out

Yesterday’s Ottawa DemoCamp 3 was a raging success.  Held in the downstairs games room at the ClockTower Pub on Bank Street,  it was an opportunity to show new products and product ideas and network with others in the Ottawa tech community over a pint of beer. 

I arrived last night to a standing room only crowd of local tech folks including entrepreneurs, job-seekers, contractors and even three local VCs.  “Backstage” the organizers had covered two pool tables with sheets of plywood.  Six demonstrators, including myself, were busily setting up hardware and software.  There was a wireless network hub, power cords everywhere, and the mayhem of everyone trying to make sure that their products would be shown to their best advantage.

The DemoCamp format is pretty simple.  Stand-up, answer three questions for the crowd — who are you, what are you going to show us, and what do you hope to achieve — then demo for 10 minutes, and answer questions for 5.  Bam bam bam!  No powerpoint allowed. 

iotum Talk-Now went fifth.  I was supposed to be second, but problems getting our Project-A-Phone overhead projector to work with my PC delayed me.  As a result, I heard, but missed most of the other demonstrators.  Very disappointing for me, personally, but there will be a video posted to the web shortly.  The demo I heard with the most “pizazz” was Thintropy’s Misha Nossik who showed a thin-client systems capable of displaying full motion video.  With this technology you could build very inexpensive consumer devices, and deliver all of the content as a stream of bits — any content, today and in the future.  No decoder or apps required on the client.  Just the browser.

When I finally did the Talk-Now demo, the Project-A-Phone unit worked beautifully.  My three blackberries showed up, six feet wide, so everyone could see what I was doing.  The audience laughed at my geeky “John” character asking Blackberry user “Jill” for a date using Talk-Now, but they all got the message about how Talk-Now would improve their productivity by making it easier for them to see who was available.  Out of a crowd of 50+, probably 1/3 were Blackberry users.  Lots of people said they would try it, and invite 10 of their friends to try it too.

Keep your eyes open for future Ottawa “Camp” events at http://www.ottawacamps.org.  It’s a great opportunity to participate in the local tech community, or if you’re an entrepreneur, to showcase your solutions. 

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