WebInno Takes on the Laws of MOtion

Uncategorized Posted Dec 7, 2012 by Kevin Kosh


For the past three plus years, WebInno has provided a fantastic snapshot of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Boston area.  Typically a wide open and all inclusive discussion that covers a broad range of markets and technologies, the December 3 WebInno aligned with MobileMonday to give us WebInnoMobile

And as with Newton’s laws, the innovations on display were about action and reaction, and giving smartphone users a reMOte control (I’ll stop with the puns now) aimed at their fandom, fun and even fastidiousness.

WebInno’s M.O. (ok so I lied, will stop NOW) is to highlight three “main dish” companies with momentum and buzz, and a number of “side dish” companies at varying levels of funding and development stages.  Three companies – two main, one side ­– stuck out to me as most interesting for different reasons. 

  • directr – some described as an “Instagram” for video.  They make personal moviemaking easy with pre-defined (and at some point, crowdsourced) storyboards to help you piece your video together, combine it with music and titles, and voila…movie magic!  As a parent with loads of disconnected video, the tool looks easy, cool and very addictive.
  • Fancred – A mix of Facebook, Google+ and a dash of Klout, Fancred gives you a content engine for your sports fanaticism.  You can filter streams by teams, discover news and views, and earn status and potentially some rewards for your level of engagement and knowledge.
  • Physical Apps – TheO is a “uniquely designed soft-foam ball that safely holds your smart device to let you play fun games and activities.”  The ball holds the device (so at least when my kids throw iPods at each other anyway, it’s in a padded container) and interacts with online games like bowling, etc.  As one of the founders pointed out, it’s the Wii, except “1/10th the price and 10x the market.”  It’s so interesting in its simplicity that I was amazed that no one had done it before – to the extent that Physical Apps has patented the act of putting a smart device in a container for a physical game.  It has created enough buzz that one org called it one of the worst toys of the year before the product has even become available.  Calling it “oppressive and destructive to young children” because “little ones no longer have to choose between exercise and excessive screen time!”  Strikes me of the church condemning Harry Potter because it’s sure to breed a generation of godless wizards and witches.  This is one Catholic school-raised muggle father who thinks TheO is a pretty cool idea.  Altho maybe it’s like Happy Fun Ball?

The Dangerous O in the Wild…

The other participants shouldn’t be overlooked either, as they show great ideas and promise including:

  • Mobee – Rewards for Business Reviews. Points and prizes for just answering a few questions about businesses like Dunkin Donuts that you already go to every day.
  • Bare Tree Media – Fan-based communities for brands like The Three Stooges to engage through branded mobile apps, branded virtual goods, and other online experiences
  • Spogo – Their tagline says it best “Watch Football, Predict Plays, Win Rewards” Spogo poses predictive questions throughout each game and if you get it right you get points to put toward prizes like Local Sports Bar Appetizers and the like.
  • Thumbs Up ­– A real time, community rating system for TV shows and events. 

And I cant make a Happy Fun Ball reference without including the video.  Do not taunt, Happy Fun Friday!