TechCrunch Disrupt's main draw is the competition between startups. Sure, the speakers are top-notch and this year there was the Michael Arrington news thread to follow, but pitting hungry startups against one another is good, techy drama.
This year's winner, Shaker, takes Facebook users, with their profile data, and puts them in a real-time bar setting. It looks like a social game, but the only game aspect would be hunting to meet and greet strangers.
In their pitch presentation to the judges, Second Life and Turntable.fm were referenced. In Shaker, you can listen to the tunes you want and buy people drinks.
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The startup has raised $3 million so far, according to TechCrunch, and is out of private beta and acquiring users. The founders told the judges their time-spent during beta was at 24 minutes -- that's YouTube-esque.
Shaker is open for business, if you want to buy that player a Manhattan.
The runner up was Prism Skylabs -- a cloud-based business service around video feeds, data- and screen-capture and dissemination of that.
Leena Rao has it boiled down best: "Similar to the way you can pull images from videos using a video editing software, Prism Skylabs pulls relevant images of your establishment and builds insightful visualizations from these photos, while protecting customer privacy"
The Audience Choice Winner is Vocre. The startup uses a phone's accelerometer to aid in verbal language translation. Users speak into the phone vertically, then flip it to horizontal and it renders a translation. Then users hand the phone to the other person and speak, flip, rinse, repeat.