There’s always something at a startup conference that makes you smile; it’s not going to change the world, but it could be a lot of fun. At Demo Spring 2012, I’ll put two startups in this category, Fantasy Politics and Intuitive Motion.
Fantasy Politics presents political junkies with trading cards of politicians and pundits, lets them form teams, and play against their friends. I’m thinking the timing is great for Fantasy Football players, who can get going on this now and be wrapping it up when the football season kicks off.
Intuitive Motion demo’d the ZBoard, an electric skateboard that responds to shifts in weight much like a Segway does—shift forward and it speeds up, shift back and it brakes. The company, along with its basic $750 model, is planning an LA edition with an increased range, and a San Francisco model for higher powered hill climbs and a stepped up regenerative braking capacity. Unlike the Segway, company founder Ben Forman said, the ZBoard will “fit in the trunk of your Prius.”
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Tekla S. Perry is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., she's been covering the people, companies, and technology that make Silicon Valley a special place for more than 40 years. An IEEE member, she holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University.