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TechCrunch 50 Winner: FitBit is my Prediction

I spent the last few days at TechCrunch 50 and, while I won't be present at the 'award ceremony', I'd like to predict the winner... both of which are not traditional Web 2.0 companies. In fact, the highlights of the conference for me were around mobile and where innovation appears to be happening faster and more interestingly. There were great presentations and launches for .com sites (ie Hangout, VideoSurf) - but top to bottom, the mobile space was really impressive... and this will be a continuing trend as the mobile web becomes more efficient, more widespread and more usable thanks to new mediums and devices. FitBit, Swype, MyTopia and others were all standouts.

With that out of the way, my TechCrunch 50 winner was FitBit. Outstanding little device with amazing form factor: it can be worn anywhere and at any point (unlike the Nike Plus gadgets). It's also available at an unbeatable price point: $99. Better yet, it syncs wirelessly and has a full web interface to track your progress, health and friends. Awesome. This will be *the* holiday gift of 2008 (assuming it ships on time). It's also an important product for a serious issue: health.

My only critique: the website offers relatively little information about the product despite offering pre-orders.... I assume this is a consequence of remaining quiet until their TC50 launch. It's tough to ask for $99 without any meaty information. Also, this image is clearly photoshopped... badly:

TechCrunch 50: VideoSurf "A Website that Doesn't Suck" According to Robert Scoble

VideoSurf: Scoble is blogging and video taping from the panel... very funny. The user interface really is impressive and allows for immediate search and browsing of moments and characters within a video (or set of videos). Panelists: Bradley Horowitz Joi Ito Sheryl Sandberg Robert Scoble

Bradley: It reminds me of Flickr and I've spent years writing algorithms to try to detect and tag videos and images. People are better than algorithms at this... I didn't see any social capabilities here - is this coming? Answer: we are going frame by frame to understand entire videos; people can tag videos but it is not scalable to tag frames.

Joi: How accurate is it?

Scoble: How long does it take to index the videos? Can this be done for streaming video? (Qik, Kyte). Answer: working on solutions.

Sheryl: I like it. Very excciting. I look at this as an exciting development for video and the appllications that follow. I think that startnig out with a consumer facing website is the right approach to build your business.

Scoble: My thought when watching this was "finally a website that doesn't suck."