ITEXPO West: StartupCamp round 1, AdelaVoice

This is a cross post from gagagadget contributing writer Grant Roe, who was lucky enough to attend StartupCamp at ITEXPO West on Monday, October 4. Following his introductory post, this is the next article in the StartupCamp series. First up, Boston-based AdelaVoice had five minutes to impress the audience which includes conference attendees, potential investors, and media analysts.

At the StartupCamp seminar during the ITEXPO West in Los Angeles, five fledgling communication companies presented their visions to change the industry. The catch: They had five minutes to wow us. The first company to strut their stuff was Adela Voice, a mobile application company focused on voice recognition.

John Nogrady took the floor and spent most of his five minutes talking about the dangers of texting while driving, and how his StartTalking software will effectively eliminate the issue.

StartTalking offers a natural, two-way conversation between a person on their device.

Calling it the first hands-and-eyes-free texting platform, Nogrady explained that 84% of teens text while driving, despite admitting that they know the dangers involved, and that his product is the solution. After talking some more about the dangers of text-driving, John rolled a short promo video. The video showed a woman getting into her car, clipping her phone into a dock on her visor, and taking off. While driving, she remembered that she wouldn’t be able to make an important appointment. She said, “Operator, text John.” A female robot voice from her phone confirmed the request and the woman dictated her message and told the phone to send it. And just as soon as it began, the presentation was over.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one a little put off by the lack of an actual demo. The panel of judges made no qualms about telling John how they felt about his presentation. Keynote speaker Jeff Bonforte was the most vocal (no surprise here) telling Nogrady flat out that his presentation sucked and quoting some statistic about how talking is just as dangerous as texting when it comes to driving distractions.

That being said, StartTalking by Adela Voice looks like an interesting service. It’s currently in free, open beta on various Android platforms and will be coming to others in the near future. Visit the StartTalking site for the app download as well as more info.


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