Co-Founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger were able to launch Instagram without being computer science graduates. Krieger is proud of this fact, as it shows students from other disciplines can start companies in the technology space. He recalls his most valuable Stanford courses as the ones that taught him to define questions and then allowed him the freedom to seek the answers. In this clip, fellow Co-Founder Kevin Systrom also talks about the importance of connecting with other members of the entrepreneurial community. (via ecorner)
Facts and data around mobile internet and mobile applications that I researched and prepared a couple month ago.
News today, FWA is pleased to announce the upcoming release of: The App and Mobile Case Study Book (by TASCHEN) pre-order at http://www.thefwa.com/book/tamcsb.html
It doesn’t look pretty but it will definitely find it’s followers. VuHunt, a rewards-based location game that uses the technology on Android phones.
With VuHunt, users can duel with their friends to conquer territory in the real world, as they can with popular mobile check-in service Foursquare. But while users simply check in at a place in order to take it over in Foursquare, the process is more complex with VuHunt.
You can, for instance, take over your friend’s castle at a particular real-world location via long distance means. You can answer a trivia question correctly or solve a puzzle in order to dislodge someone. Or you may have to upload a picture of a physical location, such as a lake, or upload a few seconds of video of a car, in order to dislodge the person. The game capitalizes on location, artificial intelligence, and internet connectivity.
Your friends, meanwhile, can defend their castles by fulfilling their own challenges. If they do so, you may be forced to execute several challenges before you can take over the location.
Each action you take tells VuFind something about your behavior, and the company hopes to target ads from brands to you based on your interests.
The photos you upload can be geotagged. You can go to someone’s castle simply to find out more about that location by viewing the pictures that have been uploaded there.
“We appeal to people who want to use and see photos,” Rashad said. “It’s like a next-generation Foursquare.”
The technology uploads a photo to VuFind’s servers, which use algorithms to decipher what the image is. Then it sends a response back in near real-time, depending on whether the image is accepted or not. If it doesn’t recognize the photo, it says so and the user has to try again. Over time, the recognition should get better and better.
The company is designing more levels where users will be able to purchase virtual currency and use them to buy items in the game. The game has a news feed where you can watch what your friends are uploading. Rashad believes that players can get into pitched battles for control of castles in certain locations. Some of the tougher challenges require users to be at the actual location and check in. A leaderboard will show which users are winning.
Over time, Rashad said he hopes that advertisers will be able to put their ads into the various castles and other locations. But the company is only beginning to engage with advertisers now.
Rashad started working on the technology in 2007. He started VuFind last year and raised $420,000 from angel investors. VuFind first started to create an augmented reality social network based on the ability to recognize places in photos. But that business wasn’t easy to monetize. So the company morphed its plan and entered the game space instead. It now has seven employees and a few more consultants.
Besides Foursquare, rivals include Pixlogic, Digitalsmiths, Scvngr, Gowalla and Booyah. (via VentureBeat)
More on this and a short video at vufind.com
I know not exactly comparable options but both landed in my inbox today. Noisey is having a launch Party tonight in Berlin and Music Beta is handing out invitations (U.S. only).
Noisey is a new video-based platform from Vice for showcasing the most essential new music by emerging talents from all corners of the globe. Tonight is the official launch of Noisey in Germany, and one of Berlin’s own stages for new music, Tape.
Music Beta by Google. “You can get to your personal music collection at home or on the go. Listen from the web or any enabled device with the Music app available from Android Market. Not online? No problem. The songs you’ve recently played will automatically be available offline. You can also select the specific albums, artists and playlists you want to have available when you’re not connected.”
- An Island in the Cloud (gizmodo.com)
- A First Look At Google Music Beta (techcrunch.com)
- Google officially launches its music service, Google Music Beta (mashable.com)
The success of downloadable smartphone apps will continue at least through the next five years. A new study from ABI Research estimates that app industry will achieve 44 billion cumulative downloads by 2016.
If the forecast is correct, it means that native apps will still rule over HTML5 and other new web programming technologies for websites in the browser. At least in the near future.
- What 44 Billion Mobile App Downloads by 2016 Means (gigaom.com)
Thanks to Made by Many for this great new App. Very effective and fun to use. Not only at keynotes, not only at SXSW. This is the future of getting peoples opinion, attention and stats.
You know how sometimes during a keynote or pitch you would really want to say something back to the speaker? So you wait until the speaker is done and put your hand up. Well, unless you are Robert Scoble of course. Or unless you have an iPad with Holler Gram installed. Or pick any of the pre-formatted shoutouts or make your own using your choice of fonts and colors.
You can even tweet your shout right from the app.
Holler Gram was made for SXSW specifically but I can totally imagine it will be popular at all events this year. As the author explains “You can even rate sessions by holding up a giant number display to become the ultimate armchair critic”. How awesome is that? (via thenextweb.com)
According to IDC, smartphone manufacturers shipped 100.9 million devices in the fourth quarter of 2010, while PC manufacturers shipped 92.1 million units worldwide. Or, more simply put, smartphones just outsold PCs for the first time ever.
The number of smartphones sold in Q4 2010 was up 87.2% from the 53.9 million sold in Q4 2009. For the year, vendors shipped 302.6 million smartphones – an increase of 74.4% from the 173.5 million in 2009.
PC sales were up in Q4, too, but just barely. From Q4 2009 to Q4 2010, the increase was only 5.5%. When looking at the yearly totals, however, PCs were still king. Manufacturers shipped 346.2 million units during 2010, compared with the 302.6 million mentioned above from smartphone makers. (via readwriteweb)