Teleconferencing has changed the way business is conducted. Small companies can hire talent in another city, large corporations can save money by having international meetings in a conference room, and managers can keep tabs on off-site workers through services like Lua. But as technology never rests, neither does the teleconference industry, and Y Combinator-backed Double Robotics proves it.
The company has built an incredibly creative iPad stand that works as a robotic body double for you.
Social media sites like Facebook have become a central part of the lives of many families, letting them keep tabs on each other’s lives through pictures. But they’re not for everyone. My mom and dad, who live in the U.S., have no interest in joining Facebook. They are okay with email, and my dad will even video Skype if his wife, my stepmom (a computer scientist, as it happens), sorts it out for him. But you know what? They still really love it most of all when I send them a real letter with photos of me, my husband and our two kids. And you know what else? I’ve really fallen off the wagon where letters are concerned. I’m terrible at finding time to sit down and write them, and then getting around to sending them.
So I was especially excited to hear about HiMom, a YC-backed mobile app, part of the current class, that lets you create postcards from pictures you’ve taken on your phone, and then send them to your parents — or anyone else you’d like to keep in touch with on a regular basis. To me, it seemed like the perfect union: it takes something I am already doing to record and create things (using my phone) and matches it up with how my parents like to get their content (in a physical form).
Y Combinator Summer 2012 graduate Data Nitro (formerly known as IronSpread) has a simple proposition: it enables you to to use the popular programming language Python in Microsoft Excel. The plugin is free for individual non-commercial and enterprises will pay for the privilege. So far it’s only available for the Excel 2007 and 2010 for Windows.
Backed by Y Combinator, 500 Startups and SV Angel, Scoutzie launches today to give people looking for great mobile designers an online place to find the best of the best.
Because good design comes through a series of quality checks, the Scoutzie community vets all potential designers, either through a formal portfolio review or through a members-only invite process. This review process has resulted in 500 top notch members of the Scoutzie community and around 1,500 applicants who didn’t make the cut.
Many businesses begin with a simple, and then nagging, frustration. For Christian Yang and Neil Joglekar, it began with Entourage. Well, after Entourage. In college, as big fans of the show, they found themselves continually searching for clips of their favorite one-liners or the best scenes so that they could share them with friends. Naturally, after numerous fruitless searches, they quickly grew frustrated by the inability to find and share their favorite clips.
So, in 2008, Yang and Joglekar founded ReelSurfer out of their Stanford dorm room, developing technology to allow people to sift through the mountains of video content on the Web to find that elusive 30-second clip. Today, ReelSurfer is officially launching in public beta and, in turn, the startup is announcing that it has joined the summer batch of Y Combinator startups.
Noodle Labs, the mobile development startup that’s part of Y Combinator’s summer batch, launches today with its newest product: An iPhone and web app called Everyday.me. Co-founders Yu-Kuan Lin (a former Googler who worked on Maps, specifically for China) and Weiting Liu (already a YC alum) describe their new app as “Evernote for your life.”
In other words, Everyday.me is a mobile and web-based notebook, with bells and whistles, which allows you to record your life and save those updates indefinitely. It’s a bit like Facebook Timeline were it plugged into all of your social networks and were it tailored to be a personal journal in one timeline.
To that point, an even bigger differentiator and likely a point of appeal for many, is that Everyday.me is a private, personal journal. Users can plug in their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter profiles so that each feed is funneled into the app (with Foursquare, Tumblr next up for integration as well as life-logging apps like Nike+ and Fitbit) and can then tag using Twitter-style hashtags to organize and group posts so they’re easier to digest.
You know that frustrating feeling when you order clothes online and they fit really poorly, like the target demographic is some weird mix of Kim Kardashian and Yao Ming?
You can go on Vastrm’s site and take a short quiz, entering height, weight, body type and waste size, to “optimize size selection.” Vastrm has an algorithm that recommends 2-3 of their fit types (slim, sport and relaxed) to suit your body type. The company then ships you a few sample polos for free to try on.
Mobile video. Hot space, right? Viddy just raised $30 million, Socialcam just sold for $60 million. But most of the big mobile video apps seem to be more focused on video consumption and building their user base than actually, you know, letting people shoot video. TapIn.tv wants to change that, with a new app that will let users instantly create and share live and on-demand video streams from their mobile phones.
Mobile video streaming is nothing really new — not even live mobile video streaming. As soon as the iPhone had a camera, there were apps out there that were hacking it to let users stream from their phones. But those apps generally required users to sign in if they wanted to share video, name the channel or stream that they’re shooting, and provide a description. With today’s generation of on-demand mobile video apps, users also have the option of adding filters, title cards, and other crap before posting video.
TapIn.tv strips that all down to just the bare necessities. You download and open the app and BOOM! you can instantly start shooting. Streams are tied to the location of the user, and immediately get posted to the TapIn.tv website.
Download the TapIn.tv app now for iOS
Popular wisdom has it that tablets are great for consuming content but aren’t that useful for creating it. Don’t tell that to Josh Leong, though. His Y Combinator-backed startup, Grid, is based around the idea that a tablet should be a great place for spreadsheets. Indeed, as Leong told me earlier this week, his idea is to reinvent the spreadsheet around touch, all the tools and sensors available on mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad, and the way normal people (as opposed to Excel power users) actually use them.
Grid is launching in beta for iPhone and iPad today and you can sign up for an invite here. There are still some features missing in this beta, but you can already use Grid’s collaboration tools and get a feel for its ingenious “Maestro” user interface.
An in-browser web design app, Easel, has just launched. The WYSIWYG web design tool aims to make web design and development easier for teams who want to quickly get their ideas online without having to hire a designer.
The most important features are speed and collaboration. Documents can be edited by multiple users in real time and changes are automatically synchronized like Google Docs.
Try Easel now