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Stay aHead: MindMeld, YourMechanic and Memstash

by Eric Kramer on 18 September 2012

Impress your colleagues, your boss and even your friends with our roundup of social hotness.

 

MindMeld

As applications become increasingly sophisticated, they will begin to identify much more than our routines or habits. Eventually, they will get to know us so well that they’ll be able to anticipate what we need before we even think to ask for it. Over the last two years, Expect Labs has been developing an ambitious platform looking to shift the way we interact with computing.

Planned for an initial release next month, the first to leverage this technology will be a voice and video calling app for the iPad known as MindMeld. Think Skype meets Siri’s strong silent cousin who also happens to be a fortune teller. Based on continuous predictive modeling, the app can essentially comprehend everything we see and hear. It analyzes any concepts, people, and locations that are being mentioned in conversation and displays relevant information about them in a shared space within the app for all participants to see. Unlike other semantic approaches that analyze usage history, MindMeld looks at the past 10 minutes to anticipate what sort of information a user may need in the next 10 seconds.

Keep in mind that MindMeld is more of an exploration than a finished product. The team aim to ultimately  release an API to help developers power a new wave of “Anticipatory Computing” applications. Expect to see plenty of brilliant use cases of this underlying technology, particularly when it comes to the enterprise.

YourMechanic

Getting your car fixed or serviced can be an aggravating process. This year’s Startup Battlefield winner at TechCrunch Disrupt SF, YourMechanic, is looking to put an end to many of these common issues.

Described as the “Uber or Airbnb of car maintenance”, this peer-to-peer car repair marketplace enables certified mechanics to fix users’ cars right at their home or office. By offering mechanic profiles, customer reviews and even a fair price calculator, YourMechanic helps to create an experience that is both convenient and cost-effective. Charging small fixed rates for the work in addition to the repair fees, it allows mechanics to make more money while consumers pay around 30-50% less than they would at auto shops or dealers. After raising a strong seed round of funding, expect to see the team build off of this initial momentum and quickly extend the disruptive model far beyond the Bay Area.

Memstash

Despite having information at our fingertips, there are always tidbits that we struggle to remember. After its own Hackathon debut, Memstash has launched as an incredibly simple app to help you memorize anything from useful quotes to the names of people you just met.

Based on the spaced repetition learning technique, users highlight text in their browser and click on the Memstash bookmarklet to receive SMS or email alerts after 10 minutes, 24 hours, and once again after 7 days. Spacing out the item in intervals like this helps to commit it to your long-term memory. Users are also able to link the service to an Evernote account for additional safe keeping. Far from extraordinary, but this free tool requires no download and provides some useful assistance to the memorization process.

Now where did I put my keys…?

 

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