Tech updates, biz apps on display at Interactive Expedition

Attendees at the April installment of Interactive Expedition – it took place this morning, BTW, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. – got a postview of group founder Dave Barger’s recent trip to the SXSW tech fest in Austin, Texas, and a preview of his upcoming presentation to the Society of Entrepreneurs later this month.

It was a mashup, of sorts, of Barger’s technology discoveries in Austin and a glimpse of some business apps that he’ll share with SOE members in a couple weeks.

And if you missed it, then really now. What’s it gonna take for you to put this monthly event on your calendar and then show up?

OK, OK, I realize that not everyone can make these gatherings. And that’s why I’m going to share with you some of the really cool things shared this morning by Barger and some of the folks who participated in the program.

First of all, Barger said that spent more time this year at vendors’ exhibits than at presentations, the reason being that if the presentations would posted to YouTube, etc., than he’d check them out later at his convenience.

Smart move.

Unless, of course, he saw an energetic crowd heading to a specific program and then Barger said he’d take part in that group dynamic to get the full crowd effect.

So while he was checking out vendors from all over the world, Barger said his favorite app vendor was the booth by the folks at www.treeswing.com, which officially debuts online later this month. The site will allow folks to make investments with of as little as $1 in order to build up a portfolio. Check the site for more info and to get on their update list.

Another favorite? The demonstration by vendors at www.leapmotion.com – Barger showed how this worked by standing in front of a camera and having his image tranformed (as shown on a nearby flatscreen monitor) into a bear. The breakfast club saw Barger waving his arms around, but a quick glance at the monitor showed him with bear head and bear paws, swatting away honeybees. No cords or hookups necessary – kids will love this one.

As Barger said of many of the offerings, “There’s a depth component to emerging technology that creating multiple layers and changing the paradigm of how we interact with machines and what we do with them. It’s changing the space and there’s a lot of potential as we rush toward these technologies.”

Business apps recommended by Barger and others included http://izik.com (an intuitive search interface), http://flipboard.com (customizable online magazine), www.odesk.com (global site for hiring contract workers), and www.elance.com/ (find freelances from all over the world to work on your projects).

And attendee Shali Ledbetter Atkinson, who drove an hour just to get to Interactive Expedtion (and she arrived early) offered up her favorite, www.keyringapp.com (this app replaces all those loyalty cards that customers keep on their keyrings for discounts at grocery stores, retailers, etc.)

“The time I spent entering the information from those loyalty cards into the keyring app have paid off more than I could have expected,” Atkinson said. “I’m not a very technologically savvy person, but this was incredibly easy to use and it’s made my keyring lighter because I don’t have all those cards hanging on it and I still get deals because I always have the info with me stored in my smartphone for me to use in the checkout line.”

So that’s a taste of what you missed.

Make sure you don’t make that mistake next month.

To add the May 1 Interactive Expedition to your calendar (register early and you’ll get a reminder a few days beforehand), visit http://interactiveexpedition.com.

You’ll be glad you did.

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