The idea for Shaker sounded kinda dumb to me when I first heard about it at TechCrunch Disrupt so I didn’t give it a try at first. Once I saw that they won the whole thing, I tried it out and its definitely cool. It’s one of those ideas that is much better in practice than it sounds in theory. Give it a try at www.atshaker.com before their invites run out.
Three days and 31 startup pitches later, the winner of TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2011 has been determined. Out of the 29 startups and two audience choice winners, we whittled the list down to seven finalists, which included Bitcasa, Cake Health, Farmigo, Prism Skylabs, Shaker,TalkTo, and Trello. The winner from this group receives the Disrupt Cup and $50,000, taking over possession from Disrupt New York winner Getaround. Without further ado, the runners-up is Prism Skylabs. And the winner is…Shaker!
Israeli startup Shaker essentially aims to turn Facebook into a bar via a social game. As we wrote in our review of the startup, Shaker is a mixture of Second Life, The Sims, and Turntable.fm all mixed together using your Facebook data and connections. Your Facebook profile becomes a walking avatar, your pictures are placed on an virtual wall, you can choose what music is playing in the room for everyone to hear and you can even buy people drinks.
Shaker takes basic social gaming a step further by allowing users to meet new people (as opposed to playing the game with existing friends), which replicates the experience of being in an actual bar. Shaker looks at profile information to show what else you may have in common with seemingly random people in the room. For example, you may have the same birthday as someone. Or you may both like the same movie or band. Other elements include proximity based chat, a Tweet wall, and a “smart phone” social discovery tool to look up information about people in the room.