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MindMeld App Anticipates What You Want

November 12, 2012 | Telepresence Options
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Ari Levy , SFGate
   
After earning a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab in 1997, Timothy Tuttle never imagined it would take nearly 15 years for his education to find real-world relevance.

Two years ago, he co-founded Expect Labs in San Francisco to build software for a time when humans no longer hunt down information by typing queries into a text box on a computer. Instead, Tuttle sees the day coming when searches take place automatically based on things people are saying and doing.

This fall, Expect Labs is releasing MindMeld, a free app that adds the company's voice-powered search technology to the iPad's videoconferencing capability. During a conversation among as many as eight people, the app picks up keywords and uses GPS to provide relevant, location-based information in an onscreen panel.

"We're attempting to glean insight by seeing where you are, seeing who you're talking to, and listening to what you say," Tuttle said, "We then use all that information to try and find stuff in advance of you actually needing to ask for it."

For example, if a group is planning to meet for sushi in Las Vegas, the panel will list restaurants, reviews and reservation options. Or if an executive is conducting a job interview by videoconference, the candidate's LinkedIn profile and related Web links would fill the screen.

Tuttle decided against a career in academia and started his first company, Bang Networks, which made high-performance networking devices, in 1999. When that company fizzled, he co-founded video-search company Truveo, which was acquired by AOL in 2006. He left two years later to plot his next act.

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