Three Startups I met at Stream: Condition One, Kiosked and Chirp

One of the joys of attending the WPP Stream unconference is the glorious stew of participants. Agency and brand people join platform executives, hackers, tech media, artists, and entrepreneurs.

One of the joys of attending the WPP Stream unconference is the glorious stew of participants. Agency and brand people join platform executives, hackers, tech media, artists, and entrepreneurs. Among the latter this year were three startups that captured my attention as well as my imagination. While quite different, they are all concerned with digital content — which is one of the big things we help clients with at H+K.

Condition One

This technology company has created an immersive video player that wowed a pretty clued-in crowd when it was shown at the Stream Gadgethon show. Their software takes video that is shot and edited in the usual way and uses the gyroscopes and accelerometers of the iPad / iPhone to let the user swipe or tilt for a different view. While CEO Danfung Dennis, a photojournalist and documentary filmmaker, was motivated by society’s numbness to flat images of war, happier uses for our clients immediately sprang to mind. Watching video online has always been a fairly passive experience, so I love the idea of users being ‘hands-on’ as they experience brand content.

Kiosked

As brands get better at social media, they are finding that their fans, friends and followers have a voracious appetite for content. I predict companies will also get better at making sure their Buy Button is one (or less) click away. So I could immediately see the appeal of Kiosked, a Finnish startup (backed by Rovio chairman Kaj Hed) whose purpose is to turn online content into a storefront. Now any photograph, video, etc, that a brand (and their agencies) make can carry an embedded kiosk with it everywhere it gets shared on the net. It is activated on mouseover and the little blue K icon doesn’t interfere with the user’s enjoyment of the content. Simple idea with a sophisticated back end.

CEO Micke Paqvalén told me version 3 of Kiosked is launching on 5 Nov, so follow them to keep up as their platform grows. Wired named them one of Europe’s 100 hottest startups for 2012 and I can see why. I am delighted that Kiosked will be speaking at our next Demystifying Digital client conference on 15 November.

Chirp

As a SoundCloud fan, and just in general, I think sound has underexplored creative possibilities for brands. Chirp is an app that transmits data using sound. Currently only on iOs, ”Chirp ’sings’ information from one iPhone to another” in a fairly charming way. You can share pictures, text messages, urls. Read about the technology here.

Now there are lots of ways to share, but Chirp lets you send a link to people in the same room (who also have the app) without needing their email, Twitter handle or even being friends on any social network. And where Chirp is heading — from a lightweight app to a true platform — starts to open up the imagination. Patrick Bergel, CEO, says their mission is to “teach the machines to sing.” Can’t wait to hear the copier machine with the paper jam rap. Seriously, I think audio as a content type is due to get some brand love.

Candace Kuss

Hill & Knowlton Strategies Search