Edmonton’s 22nd DemoCamp took place tonight at the Telus Centre on the University of Alberta campus. DemoCamp is “an event that brings together developers, creatives, entrepreneurs and investors to share what they’ve been working on and to find others in the community interested in similar topics.” You can read my recap of our last DemoCamp here. While it was still a good turnout, the crowd did seem smaller tonight than it has recently. Maybe the frost warning scared everyone back into their homes!
We had six demos tonight. In order of appearance:
- Our first demo came from 9-year-old Ella, the youngest person to demo here in Edmonton! She was a participant in CodeCamp over the summer that Startup Edmonton hosted with Junior Achievement. Ella learned how to create a game using Scratch, a creative learning community from MIT. Ella’s game, pacman 2, is pretty cool and not as easy as it looks! Ella said she wants to be a programmer one day, and with more time she’d add more levels to her game and would make it more challenging. Great work Ella!
- The second demo was SAM, which stands for Social Asset Management. James walked us through the app’s features. SAM helps media professionals curate and manage content, which they can then use in their storytelling. So I could search for and save a bunch of tweets, then using a WordPress plugin, I could insert them into a blog post. It looks pretty feature-rich already, though SAM is still in beta.
- Next up was Galen who showed us a couple of the digital storytelling projects he’s working on. One was an app that lets you pin stories atop a map. The other was Novorapid, an interactive short film being produced by the National Film Board. Directed by Tyler Enfield, the film “uses dynamic split screens to allow the viewer to experience the film from multiple perspectives.” It looked like a really cool approach.
- The fourth demo was Spatialtree from Ajay and James. The basic idea is that you can create a cluster of online profiles that Spatialtree will then analyze and generate reports for. So you could see who’s getting the most interactions, or how you compare to the competition. The tool has a pretty nice interface, though I’m a little unclear on practical applications for this aside from social media marketing.
- Grant was up next to show us a game he and his team are building called Bardbarian. The protagonist, Brad, has grown tired of life as a barbarian and uses a makeshift axe-lute to “shred lute and collect loot”. It looks pretty fun, and the development team have been blogging as they progress. Here’s some preview footage:
- The final demo tonight was Meerkat, a social network analysis application developed at AICML. Matt showed us how the tool can be used to visualize Twitter data, and to answer questions about that data such as who is most influential but not necessarily most popular. The team behind it have something pretty powerful, and are looking for interesting use cases for it. Financial analysis sounds like it has been a successful early sector to use the tool.
It was funny that so many of the demos tonight featured Twitter, leading Cam to joke that “Twitter is a thing” and “you should buy some stock!” (Twitter recently announced it is planning an IPO.) Given that I have been known to dabble in Twitter analytics and digital storytelling, I found tonight’s lineup pretty compelling! It’s hard to top an energetic, young programmer like Ella, especially when she kicks off the show with a great demo, so I’m going to pick hers as my favorite tonight. I could certainly see myself using SAM though, so I’ll be keeping an eye on that one! Well done to all the demoers.
There were a few announcements tonight:
- Startup Edmonton’s Preflight Pre-Accelerator Program returns in October. The deadline to apply is September 20.
- The 4th Launch Party is slated to take place on November 21. Have something to launch? Get in touch with Startup Edmonton.
- The Software Engineering Capstone Design program at the U of A is looking for project suggestions! Get in touch with professor Scott Dick if you have one.
Here are some of the upcoming tech events you might consider checking out:
- UX Edmonton’s next meeting is on September 24.
- The next Physical Computing Meetup takes place on October 2.
- If web programming is your thing, don’t miss the Exchange.js Meetup on October 3.
- The Edmonton Python User Group’s next meeting is on October 7.
- Also coming up in October is the GameCamp Meetup on October 9, and the YEGRB Meetup on October 15.
Keep an eye on the Startup Edmonton Meetup group for more upcoming tech events.
See you at DemoCamp Edmonton 23!