Thursday, September 11, 2008

TechCrunch 50 - Session 8: Language & Communication Tools

Alfabetic: Click to watch their Demo Video at TC50
What's it about: They translate, localize and distribue content for websites in the 10 most popular languages and so it reaches an international audience.
What's cool: The Vertical Machine Translation System (i.e. Politics, Sports, etc)
What's the model: Alfabetic monetizes the additional ad inventory on the additional pages. This is shared with the content provider. They should consider charging additionally for the manual content editing bit and make it a part of their premium solution.
What's the challenge: Competes against Google's translation service. Scalability could be an issue in case of heavy manual editing.
Hot or Not: NOT

Postbox: Click to watch their Demo Video at TC50
What's it about: A desktop email application with some great new search and organization capabilities that help you find, organize and act upon emails.
What's cool: Ability to dig deeper into your email
What's the model: Its a desktop email application and its free. Revenue model non-existent. I doubt if they'd get an exit considering the fact that the technology being worked is specifically for their desktop client rather than a plugin like Xobni.
What's the challenge: Getting online email users to use a desktop app. Getting desktop email users to shift from existing desktop clients. Long-term relevance. What happens when these features get built into Gmail or Yahoo!?
Hot or Not: NOT

Swype: Click to watch their Demo Video at TC50
What's it about: A superior text input method that works across different devices.
What's cool: Increases your typing speed to 40-60 words per minute even on mobile devices.
What's the model: Just like T9 has become the standard pattern recognition technology for mobile inputs, Swype aims to the new standard for text input. And make tons of money from licensing deals once they find adoption.
What's the challenge: Adoption by mobile phone manufacturers and mobile operating systems.
Hot or Not: HOT

Dropbox: Click to watch their Demo Video at TC50
What's it about: Sync, store and share files in the cloud.
What's cool: Almost real-time collaboration in the cloud.
What's the model: Free 2GB account. Pay USD 9-10 per month and get a 50GB storage account. I foresee a high level of interest from Microsoft as this helps the longevity of Desktop Apps.
What's the challenge: Adoption levels at 2GB FREE. And then the infrastructure with scale.
Hot or Not: HOT

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