The main feature on Wednesday was the Innovator Showdown with its prize of $100,000 at stake. The 12 semi-finalists had been chosen from the 40 teams that entered, and today in front of 5 judges they presented the technology ideas they’ve come up with to the Judges and the audience in the room. Each contestant was given 2 minutes to make their pitch, and then faced a few minutes each of questioning by the Judges on matters such as how do they see their idea growing, how it might be scaleable, how it might make money.

There were some quite interesting ideas, although a number of them seemed to be all related around the theme of journaling and recording family history.

1 – famicity [website | presentation] – presented by a French developer as a way to preserve family pictures and legacies

2 – GenSoup [website | presentation] – presented by an Austrian development team as a way to research and document Central and Eastern European family history. (One tidbit from this was that Captain Von Trapp – yes, that one from The Sound of Music – was not Austrian, but was Italian?!)

3 – JRNL [website | presentation] – a way to bring together blog posts, twitter, Facebook posts into a curated environment where the user can choose what to put in to a journal that will record a person’s life

4 – Kindex [website | presentation] – a service that will offer scanning and transcription of a person’s memorabilia – photos, letters and other items with a view to creating a journal – family members can work together to create the journal, but Kindex does the scanning and transcription.

5 – Tap Genes [website | presentation] – Health legacy and family future can be analysed – the example given was the preventative surgery (double mastectomy) Angela had, where so many of her other family members have died of cancer.

6 – The History Project [website | presentation] – Connect, Inspire, Delight – another method of collecting and curating to publish the record of a person’s life.

7 – Ancestor Cloud [website | presentation] – a market place that will match people looking for information in distant places to those able to provide the information others are looking for. Not dis-similar to an entry last year called RootsBid.

8 – Legacy Scribes [website | presentation] – if you inherits a collection of journals from an ancestor Legacy Scribes will preserve and make relevant the contents of them by scanning, indexing and storing in the cloud.

9 – Scribbitt [website | presentation] – social media has changed how people record their lives – Facebook, Twitter, blogs. Scribbitt will help bring this all together in a subscription based service.

10 – Studio (by Legacy Republic) [website | presentation] – have developed a scanner and software capable of scanning album pages, including those under shiny plastic and being able to remove the glare and distortion as it goes automatically, taking 20 minutes to scan and clean up an album rather than many many hours it might currently take

11 – The Family History Guide [website | presentation] – a website offering a lot of resources to help with family history. Currently have users in 88 countries

12 – Twile [website | presentation] – creates a timeline of a person’s family history, or a timeline of your entire genealogy if you feed it a GEDCOM file of your family. Then along that timeline are shown the major events, as well as links to any images or other media you link (by date derived from metadata in images, or manually entered) to the timeline.

After today’s presentation and judging, the 6 finalists for Friday’s Showdown have been chosen. They are Ancestor Cloud, JRNL, Studio (by Legacy Republic), Tap Genes, The History Project and Twile.

My two favourite as Studio (by Legacy Republic) and Twile. If the album scanner is as good as it was said to be it will be some smart technology, and the presentation shown by Twile was very intriguing.

The Innovator Showdown is described on the RootsTech site

 

 

 

 

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