The first 5 companies have presented. I will update this post with details on the next 5 companies after they present. Check back here for the update. You can also follow online at Techcrunch, and of course at TechMeme. Here is a little more detail about the companies.
Search and Discovery
Powerset - semantic Natural Language Processing search - "We parse the web" They literally parse web pages in a linguistic sense by breaking things down to predicate, subject, and verb. Most people think they parse the querey you enter. They do, but the real power is in parsing all the web pages and content to find contextual results. Users can vote "thumbs up or thumbs down" on search results. The votes are factored into future search results. Today they announced Powerset Labs where anyone can engage in search projects...sort of like sourceforge. I wrote an earlier post about Powerset here.
Cognitive Code - Artificial Intelligence for Natural Language Processing (NLP) of speech commands. You can actually carry on a conversation with Silvia. Silvia is an avatar that anwsers your questions. It feels a lot like HAL in the movie, or a conversation with Spock on StarTrek. It is truly amazing. The responses from Silivia are intelligent and contextual, not just one or two words, but complete sentences. Could be used for call centers, smart phones, voice search, or many other voice related applications. They only have 8 minutes on stage, but the demo is mind blowing. You would have to see it to believe it. I will try to spend more time with them after the show to get more details. I have seen lots of voice recognition and IVR Interactive Voice Response systems, but CognitiveCode is way beyond anything I have seen before. Amazing.
Cast.tv - video search for any video across the web. They find movies, news, clips, and video from any source. I am not real clear on what their competitive advantage is. Perhaps it is that they focus only on video, and keep their index up to the minute so you get the latest videos. In the demo they showed clips from an NFL game that happened yesterday afternoon.
Faroo - distributed P2P web search. It involves a client download to get the P2P client. Each client becomes a server and is used to index web pages. It appears to be a way to use the power of the masses to index the web. Presumably as the number of Faroo clients grows they can cover the web in a fast and complete way for much lower cost. No information on their business model or any details about their ranking/relevance algorithms. This is sort of like the SETI project that uses idle compute cycles on millions of laptops to crunch scientific data. In this case the power is focused on search.
Viewdle - video indexing/search. This is search within video, not the easier search for video. Searching within video requires face recognition, voice recognition, and sophisticated indexing of metadata. They seem to be focused on high productin value video from movies, news clips, TV shows, etc. They can find people within a video and provide results that take you to the exact point in the video where they appear.
Mobile and Communications
Cubic Telecom - Wi-Fi for cell phones - sort of like Skype. Based in Ireland. They will make it possible to make calls from anywhere, to anywhere, for really cheap prices. The market for this is really for international calls where the traditional prices can be $10 a minute or more. I don't know how large that market is. I don't make many international calls so I don't have this pain. But, I can see the huge cost savings for anyone who has family members in distant countries and would like to call more often.
Yap - Speech enabled User Interface for SMS, texting, and web apps. Does accurate voice to text translation. Speak into your phone and it is translated into text and appears as a traditional text message on the other end. The demo was tough because they couldn't get Wi-Fi connectivity. Jason Calacanis jumped in and saved the day by explaining how it really works. One use case is people talking on their phone while driving a car, speaking into the phone, and converting that to a text message. I really don't like that idea, but the technology could be used in lots of different ways.
Trutap - Cell phone UI to connect social networking sites to your phone. One UI on your phone for all your social network sites. Do group conversations through IM, but on the phone. In beta now. Going live in about 6 weeks.
Ceedo - Virtualization platform for application mobility - Take PC apps and put them on the flash memory of your mobile phone. Make a blog post from your phone and publish to the web. Put a full browsing environment on your phone.
Loudtalks - like an Internet walkie-talkie. Push-To-Talk from your phone or PC, over the Internet. The audio was hard to hear in the demo but they were talking from San Francisco to Moscow in real time.
Ten more companies coming up after lunch. I will be on the expert panel this afternoon, so it will be hard to listen and post at the same time. I will give it a try.