Anybots, DrChrono, TRUSTe Join Lineup for Beyond Mobile on May 17; How to Win Free Tickets on Twitter

5/3/11Follow @wroush

The big IT event we’re running this spring, Beyond Mobile, is now just two weeks away. We’ve got a trio of big thinkers from big organizations coming in to help us grapple with our big question—namely, what comes after the current wave of smartphones and tablets? What will our computers look like, and how will they act, in the year 2021?

Today, though, we want to announce some exciting additions to the program—the leaders of three Bay Area companies who’ll give us a look at what the future holds in the three specific areas of privacy, robotics, and healthcare. And we’re also kicking off a fun Twitter contest where you, dear reader, get to be the futurist. More details on that below.

First, just as a reminder, the main dish at Beyond Mobile will be an on-stage conversation with three leading thinkers from the West Coast information technology community, including Bill Mark, vice president of the Information and Computing Sciences Division at SRI International (which is hosting the event); Dan Reed, the leader of the eXtreme Computing Group at Microsoft Research and vice president of technology policy and strategy for Microsoft overall; and Larry Smarr, the director of the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Techology, better known as Calit2.

The organizations that these distinguished speakers lead are each charged, in their own way, with mapping the way from today’s information environments to the smarter, faster, cheaper, more pervasive forms of computing that are surely over the horizon. I got just a taste of what may be coming in an interview last week with Bill Mark, whose own research focuses on “smart spaces” where embedded sensors and processors may take over many of the communications, information-retrieval, and advisory functions mobile devices now provide (and offer many more in addition). SRI is studying how government and military leaders, educators, and businesspeople might make use of such technology, and we’ll go deeper into that—as well as similar ideas being explored at Microsoft and Calit2—at the event.

Then, as a kind of dessert after that hearty meal, we’ll hear the following short “burst” presentations:

Chris Babel, CEO of San Francisco-based TRUSTe, will talk about his organization’s efforts to ensure that publishers, software makers, and advertisers respect consumer privacy on the Web—and about the mounting privacy concerns that will need to be addressed in an era of pervasive mobile and cloud-based computing.

Trevor Blackwell, the founder of Mountain View, CA-based Anybots (and a partner at the Y Combinator venture incubator), will share his vision of the role robots will play in remote presence, teleworking, and collaboration.

Michael Nusimow, CEO and co-founder of the Y Combinator-backed startup DrChrono, will demonstrate his company’s iPad-based electronic medical record platform system for doctors, and will talk about the ways our interactions with doctors may change in a future where most health information will be cloud-based and mobile-accessible.

And we’ll be sure to leave time—as we always do at Xconomy events—for lots of audience questions and networking.

We’re doing our best to make this event affordable for all. Students can register for $10, employees of startups under three years old can register for $30, and others can register at the early-bird rate for $60 (that rate expires tonight, so act fast). But starting today, there’s an even cheaper way to attend.

We’ll be giving away three pairs of tickets to Beyond Mobile to the winners of a special contest on Twitter. All you have to do is tweet your zaniest ideas about the future of computing over the next 10 years and append the hash tag #XconPredicts. For example:

“By 2021 even robots will be collecting unemployment #XconPredicts”

We’ll keep an eye on all of the predictions you share, and we’ll pick the best ones in three separate contest sessions ending Friday May 6, Tuesday May 10, and Friday May 13. Remember, the idea here is to have a little fun and come up with futuristic predictions that include a dose of humor or hilarity, sarcasm or schadenfreude. Have at it, good luck, and see you on May 17!

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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