On balance, we’re a group who wants what we want, when we want it. There are even times when we’re willing to get out there and fight for what we want. And the presenters at October’s New York Tech Meetup had something for everyone this time around.
Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, outspoken opponent of SOPA and PIPA and just generally a guy making the world suck less, was the first presenter. “I spent two years in San Francisco.” he said. “Yes, the burritos were great, but I didn’t see them protesting SOPA and PIPA the way you all did.” He was there hawking his new book, Without Their Permission.
Zady is a shopping platform and lifestyle destination for people who care about the origins and artisanal quality of the clothes they buy. “We’re battling fast fashion, said co-founder Soraya Darabi, who was also co-founder of Foodspotting. This marked her third appearance on stage at the NYTM. “We want to be the Whole Foods of fashion,” Darabi explained. Zady is about ‘slow fashion,’ made with care and with quality raw materials. The products all have a story, which are conveyed via text, visuals, videos and, on mobile, location-based information about where the materials were sourced, and the products designed and created.
YPlan. Feeling spontaneous? YPlan is tonight’s going out app. Browse through a curated shortlist of the best events every night and book in just two taps. No need to print anything: it’s 100% mobile and fills you in on what’s available last minute, with events going on in your area within the next 48 hours. Events include music, theater, wine- and cigar-tastings, chess boxing and more. We didn’t know that chess boxing was so popular or what it even is. YPlan is currently available in New York and London.
Cover allows diners to pay their restaurant bill without having to wait for the check. So if you’re tired of waiting for the waiter to come around with the bill, or back with your change, Cover automatically pays the bill with your registered credit card. iOS only. The Android version is coming soon.
Days is the first visual diary that lets you capture your life as it really is. When your mom calls and asks what you did all day, you don’t have to wrack your brain thanks to this app. You can tell her with pictures! Twitter gives you 140 characters. Vine gives you six seconds. According to founder Jeremy Fisher, 24 hours is the next big thing. The countdown starts at 5 am, when most of us start our days. Yeah.
Skedge.me is a smart, simple online scheduling application built for businesses. The idea is to get potential customers off the computer and into the stores – the OpenTable for everything else. At Sephora, one of Skedge.Me’s customers, the application allows customers to schedule appointments for makeovers, beauty consultations, special events, and classes. It’s currently implemented at 150 Sephora locations – white-labeled for the brand. Of course, it also captures customer data so that it also serves as a great marketing tool for driving customers into retail locations.
Truth For Humanity. These guys were the Comedy Hack winners, and according to the founders, the site is like Wikipedia, but only true things are on it. It’s true that comedy is in the eyes of the beholder. Funny, but our takeaway was that TFH is proof positive that not all sites need to go live.
Hack of the month: redux.fm. Patrick Lemiuex demonstrated his home build quadcopter with off-the-shelf parts. The full list of parts you’ll need to build your own are available on his site. And yes, we did have lift-off. Barely, but Lemiuex did mention that he’d forgotten to charge all of the batteries beforehand. And the room was rather packed, after all, so all good.
Trolling Effects. Patent trolls cost industry $29 billion in 2011. Apple and Google spend more on patents than they do on R&D. Trolling Effects (presented by EFF attorney Julie Samuels) is a site with the information you need to help you defend yourself and your assets from patent trolls, who do tend to wait until you’re at your most vulnerable before they strike, meaning, when you’re about to get funding, or about to go public. A number of groups came together to support the site. The ultimate goal: to get patents out of the way of innovation. “The source of the problem is the hundreds of thousands of crappy patents out there,” said Samuels. Someone has to fight the good fight – and disseminate the information for the rest of us.
Kinsa is the world’s smartest smartphone-connected thermometer that’s helping to create the first real-time health map to track and stop the spread of disease. “Imagine what we can do as a society if we can control disease in real time?” asked founder Inder Singh. The interface is child-friendly – and designed to be fun and engaging, because we know how young children just love to have their temperature’s taken. The information is then uploaded, so that you can see if there are illnesses going around in the school or local area. Kinsa will be launching in 60 days, and happens to be one of the least expensive thermometers ever made.