TechCrunch Disrupt 2014: A Quick Look At Some Highlights

 @theabigailelise on May 08 2014 4:33 PM
meyer-techdisrupt-2014
Marissa Mayer at TechCrunch Disrupt. Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for TechCrunch)

TechCrunch Disrupt, which took place in New York City Monday through Wednesday, featured speeches from CEOs like Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, a 24-hour “hackathon” and showcases by several startup companies. Entrepreneurs and companies from all over the world congregated in hopes of wowing investors and fellow Disrupt participants.

IBTimes also attended the three-day event, and here’s a rundown of some of its most important highlights.

Scientist, entrepreneur and author Astro Teller

Teller, 43, discussed his role of director at Google X, a somewhat secret lab created with the purpose of finding “science fiction solutions” that dramatically improve technologies that already exist.

“There is no law of physics that says just because we’re connected, there has to be this schism between our physical lives and our digital lives,” Teller announced to a crowd of entrepreneurs and journalists during the event, as reported by IBTimes' Ryan Neal.

“We’re excited about how tech can be used to get tech out of the way,” he said. Technology “needs to be more like anti-lock brake systems in cars, which do exactly what we need them to do, when we need them, without us realizing they are even present. [It can] make us feel more human, not less human, more in the moment, not disconnected.”

Teller claimed Google Glass was modeled around this very idea – that a smartphone would be work best if a person didn’t have to physically carry one or use their hands to control the device.

“A 10x improvement in energy density would change the world so radically we can’t even see where that would be,” Teller explained.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer

During her speech at Disrupt, Mayer discussed the company’s latest forays into media with the launch of Yahoo Magazines, Yahoo News Digest and original content. She also stated that Yahoo, the multinational corporation founded in 1994, is now more efficient than ever, as reported by Neal.

“I do think we have created value,” Mayer told the crowd, adding that she felt the brand is “undervalued.”

Mayer also told the crowd there were only 60 Yahoo employees working on mobile capabilities when she started at the company – and that now there are more 500. Mayer portrayed Yahoo as a mobile-first company.

Innovative Start-ups

A number of startup companies set up shop on the main floor of the Manhattan Center on West 34 Street, hoping to get the public interested in their services. We were impressed by more than a few, like Parking Panda, a site that locates and reserves parking spots in various cities online. The company currently can find parking spots in more than 40 cities, including New York, Pittsburgh and San Francisco.

We were also impressed with Kapitall, a company that teaches online investing and trading to people new to the realm of finance. The site even allows users to engage in practice trades before investing real cash.

IBTimes received a demo from Mela, a video app that allows users to string seconds-long videos together by grouping separate clips of content together by subject, helping users view video clips about any desired subject. For example, if you want to find some video content about TechCrunch Disrupt, you can search for that content and watch a string of videos from various users put together in one clip.

Did you attend Disrupt? What were some of your favorite features? What do you want to see more of next year? Comment below.

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