Tech innovators network in Silicon Valley

November 12, 2011 5:07:16 PM PST
Silicon Valley is the place for technological innovation, which makes it attractive for 50 of this year's hottest innovators who are all in one place in search of the all-important venture capital.

Ren Ng is one of the "FasTech Fifty" -- innovators hand-picked to spend two days networking with Silicon Valey's heavyweights and venture capitalists. At the conference, Ng showed off a camera that can focus in and out of an image after it's captured.

"This is kind of the next big thing," said VentureWire editor Scott Austin, "so we want to bring the venture capital community together to really showcase what is next in technology five years from now."

Austin helped pick the startups from a list of thousands. Among those startups include an institute from Taiwan that's developing a replacement for paper.

"This is not really paper," said Austin. "It's really a liquid crystal display technology."

John Chien showed us how the display rolls up and bends just like paper, but with one key difference: You can instantly erase what shows up on the screen by applying an electrical charge, then print a new image using a cheap thermal printer.

"There's no ink, no paper required," Chien said. "So it's basically heat, and then this electronic paper. You can write it, rewrite it, use it, and reuse it."

Kwin Kramer's company Oblong is all about what you can do with your hands.

"If you've seen the movie Minority Report, you've seen our systems -- Tom Cruise pointing at the screen in Minority Report was using Oblong's technology," said Kramer.

That technology replaces keyboards and mice with your own hands and fingers. That technology from the movies could soon make its way into movie editing.

"You could point your hand at the screen, or both hands if you want," said Kramer. "You can grab a clip out of a movie and bring it down to a table that's in front of you."

Though Silicon Valley can be a guessing game, FasTech organizers tend to guess right. Last year, the company featured Dropbox, which was a small file-sharing service. Dropbox has since grown to be worth over $4 billion.

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