May 7th, 2013 NY Tech Meetup

On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, OLC attended yet another packed New York Tech Meetup’s event held at NYU Skirball Theater. Ten presenters were to demo their companies: Airdrum, Gitdown, IBM Research, IMRSV, PivotDesk, Rallyverse, RoboKeg, LaserTanks, The Muse and Videolicious.

IBM demoed their latest venture into the world of microscopic movies. Titled, A Boy and His Atom, it is the world’s smallest movie ever created. “Every one of these atmos were coaxed into position, which is hard to do,” the representative from IBM said. He called the procedure “Extreme Science in nanoscale.” He revealed that getting access to the atoms is an extremely difficult process. To manipulate the atoms, one needs to get to very low pressures—essentially a vacuum—with low temperatures nearing absolute zero and isolation from vibration. “We need to remove the atoms from electrical noise, vibration for the film to be captured perfectly,” he said. “This movie is attempting to expose children to science, music and math.”

From here, Chris Wiggins introduced the winners of Hack NY.

Gitdown was next to present. Their tag line was “don’t commit when you’re drunk.” Gitdown prevents developers and programmers from changing code or adding to the code when they are drunk. Git is a version central system and Gitdown was built on top of it. “Gitdown has a breathalyzer attached to it, which prevents you from changing your code when you’re drinking. We do have configuration files that have three modes: Normal Mode, Crunk Mode—which only lets you code when you’re drunk—and Baller Mode—which only lets you code with a .013 BAC.”

Eddie Zaneski and Ian Lozinski presented next. Airdrum is a virtual drum set using HTML5. It uses location on the phone to determine where the drum is hit. It uses websockets and HTML5 accelerometer data to let users play drums with their phones.

Manuel Lopez demoed LaserTanks. “I like games and coding,” Lopez said. “So I combined the two to make LaserTanks.” The tanks are controlled by a remote and the goal is to hit the opponent’s photo sensor using the lasers installed on the tanks. “When the laser hits the sensor, it gets registered and the health bar depletes,” Lopez said.

PivotDesk “finds the right place for right now.” They help startups find room to grow. Startups need flexible room to grow their business and PivotDesk helps them by leasing space in other companies. On the platforms, pictures show the culture of the business, the space, the employees and allow potential leasees to ask questions to determine if they are a good match. PivotDesk handles every logistics possible in regards to finance. “Focus on building your business. We provide tools to maximize space.”

Rallyverse helps brands and companies find content through social media. “For most people, social media is really tough,” Gabe Bevilacqua, co-founder and VP of Business Development said. “Rallyverse is focused on making that easy. Basically we get more done in a lot less time.” To use Rallyverse, all the user needs to do is sign in using either

Twitter or Facebook and from there, relevant topics are extracted from the Rallyverse database to define the user. “Each file is a new social media topic that we think is relevant to the user and the user’s interests,” he said.

Matt Singer presented Videolicious, which allows any user to create professional videos in just seconds. "Video has always been expensive and time consuming to produce. Now it's possible to create high-quality, professional videos in no time at all," Singer said. The first step to use Videolicious is to choose a shot, second step is to tap and talk, where the app automatically adds logos and external video footage and adds it into the video that the user has created. The third step is to add filters or background music—if the user chooses to do so. Videolicious boasts easy customization, making video as easy as creating text.

The hack of the month was introduced by Brendan Diamond, which was Robokeg. The creators of Robokeg admitted that they were sick of waiting on line to get alcohol at concerts, so they came up with an automated beer dispensing machine that takes payment virtually and can quickly identify your age. It can even suggest what beer to get in relation to the weather. Robokeg was built using Makerbot and it uses a Twilio API for payment. The developers also have Robokeg Tweet every time the user gets a drink.

Katherine Minshew presented The Muse, which helps companies hire. On the platform, users can see photos of offices, the tradition of the office and the people that work there. It comes complete with videos and testimonials from the employees, describing the culture of the company. The Muse also has options to search job listings using Entry to Mid to Senior level positions. Its dashboard shows what jobs the user has applied to. Minshew revealed that The Muse also had a new graduates page to help them transition into the work force with articles that detail career paths and entry level positions.

IMRSV, a project demoed by Jason Sosa, is software that turns any camera into an intelligent sensor. “Cara is a new way to measure the world,” he said. It uses a computer vision algorithm to pull in real-time data from the environment. “It’s not facial recognition,” Sosa said. “It’s gathering data instead. There’s no images saved, no videos are recorded. All of the data pulled is available on a website and they’re broken down into demographics to make it easy for analysis and location-analysis.”