We all know that Silicon Valley can’t be the only place where tech innovation is taking place right? Yes, yes…I know it’s a bit blasphemous of me to say such things, but have you heard of Silicon Beach, Silicon Alley, and other fun nicknames for tech hubs around the United States? Innovation is happening all around this country and even in places where you might not think it exists. But today, I’d like to share with you a story of one innovation hub in Hawaii that has produced a brand new product that looks to help make your event a bit more interactive.
Through the efforts of The Greenhouse Innovation Hub in Hawaii, they’ve devised a new service called Screenfuse, which is designed to host all your event’s conversations in one place. It’s designed to work with your live events, restaurants, venues, and retail properties. By their description, Screenfuse is a service that “provides intelligent social interactive displays for events, venues, restaurants, and retail. Leveraging social media networks such as Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, and others, a Screenfuse display will increase onsite customer sharing and brand engagement and will encourage customers to promote your brand to their friends and family.”
If this sounds a bit familiar, then you’re right. Screenfuse is another incarnation of the proverbial “back channel” that everyone refers to when they’re at a conference or event. It’s the place where side conversations, criticisms, praise, and other social media shenanigans take place while others are attempting to pay attention to what’s happening in real life. There have been many different attempts at creating the back channel, including tools like Twitterfall, but there’s not a “one size fits all” service that also incorporates the myriad of social networks where people could be having conversations. They are all currently subjected to one particular social network. What Screenfuse looks to do is to integrate the most popular networks to give attendees and organizers a really great view of what people are thinking.
Screenfuse does not require any specific hardware to run. It’ll work fine with any computer or device, including iPad, PC, or Mac. All you need is an Internet connection. Each display can be fully customized to your brand and location and if you’re in a live venue, your aesthetic changes can be made in real-time. The service also includes some detailed analytics that you will be able to discern and provide to whomever you want that will show memorable results on brand engagement and social media impressions.
In the above image, you can see an example of Screenfuse right from an implementation at this month’s Social Media Seminar in Hawaii. The team put together a branded display that displays attendee’s tweets and their photos as published to Instagram. In addition, not only will streaming tweets be included using the designated hashtag (#hisms), but any other media leveraging that designator will be pulled in, including content from Instagram and maybe even other networks like Google+ or Facebook.
To me, Screenfuse seems like a very useful tool for businesses to use in case they wish to monitor what is being said in the back channel, but it’s definitely not going to be the next Radian6 or ScoutLabs. Quite the contrary, it’s a display of the content that people are sending out as long as they use the hashtag. At initial glance, it seems almost akin to what Echo is doing with their ActivityStream by having the social data and content embedded into a central location, but after further review, Screenfuse is more about the here and now–what are people saying live. In fact, Screenfuse’s tagline on their site is that it’s “social interactions. one place. live.” and if you look at what they’re offering, it’s true. Imagine the potential at large scale events like South by Southwest or the Consumer Electronics Show or any of the massive auto shows or ComicCons that take place. Screenfuse would allow anybody to share what content they have live and walk around with a device that would stream the data in real-time without them needing to go to multiple places. And for sponsors or businesses who wish to promote what they’re doing or wish to advertise, Screenfuse looks to also have a space to showcase that.
At the Social Media Seminar in Hawaii, Mike Prasad presents Screenfuse at its debut launchNo word yet on the pricing structure for Screenfuse and they’re only getting started. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can visit their website and shoot them an email asking for early access (although it’s strange that it’s not automated using a service like LaunchRock or something like that to help automate it).
The service was developed by an all-Hawaii team consisting of developer Evan Nagle, designer John Garcia, along with a California-tie, entrepreneur Mike Prasad. Oh, and it was all done in a month’s time! More features are expected to be added, including, according to the Hawaii Star, live-streaming video, custom data feeds, interactive polling, and much more. Mr. Prasad told the Hawaii Star:
Businesses spend a lot of time and money reaching out to potential customers online through ads, social postings and other outreach…They often overlook a better way of marketing by activating existing customers that have already had a positive experience with their business. The praise of a happy customer has much more weight than the business promoting themselves.
We’ll just have to wait and see if businesses will use it, but I suppose that with more conventions/conferences and events eager to want to adapt social media to get their attendees more involved, Screenfuse might have a good chance of snagging a niche market pretty quickly.
Photo Credit: Introduction of Screenfuse by John Garcia and Mike Prasad taken by Esme Infante Nii via Instagram
About the Author:
Editor-in-Chief of Bub.blicio.us and an accomplished interactive producer in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley area interested in all things in tech and marketing. Whether its gadgets or startups or related issues, he's eager to learn about it. From attending local and national conferences to appearing at events, parties, and other meetups, Ken is interested in sharing what he sees. Oh, and he's an accomplished photographer too, having been commissioned by Mashable, TechCrunch, TechSet, SXSW, BlogWorld, and many more.
Visit Ken's page at http://www.thelettertwo.com