Demo host Chris Shipley called upon the tech industry to simplify, simplify, echoing Henry David Thoreau. "Personal computing has become much too complex…individuals are becoming overwhelmed…which has moved personal tech to point of diminishing returns." Chris contends that many people may just sit out the market, and that the complexity and overload may stop or slow down acquisition of new technology until applications, devices and services don't have a steep learning curve or require a permission slip from an IT department. Simplify--this is the challenge, how to make computer more simple for individual." She doesn't suggest dumbing down technology, but to simply bring it back from the "brink of diminishing returns."
She also noted that for many products, the line is blurred between professional and personal use. "The difference between business and consumer is fading…we have to smarten up technology to make sure the products we buy as individuals meet our needs as business executives," Chris said.
The first demo was a vending machine--MooBella--that makes ice cream. The machine creates the flavors (96 combinations) and flash freezes the ingredients (with a Linux-based software system), delivering scoops within 45 seconds. The vending machine can communicate sales data, track inventory and receive machine alerts. "It takes ice cream where no ice cream gone before," said company president Bruce Ginsberg. The company hopes that Starbucks will add MooBella machines to its stores, but for now the company is in test mode and looking for funding--beyond the $36 million already invested.