Tempo, the smart calendar startup that spun out of Siri birthplace SRI International, is beginning its international expansion today by launching in Canada.
The app tries to enhance the events in your calendar with additional information based on the type of event. It can show you relevant documents, social network profiles, and directions to a meeting. It can also send automatic messages if you’re running late and handle dialing in for conference calls. Because Tempo tries to understand each event, founder and CEO Raj Singh told me it needs to adjust to local phone numbers, addresses, and so on when it launches in new countries (and it’ll be even tougher when Tempo moves to non-English-speaking regions).
Singh acknowledged that there were some difficulties when Tempo launched in the United States back in February. For one thing, it’s particularly challenging to support Microsoft Exchange (in fact, Singh said Tempo is the only smart calendar app to do so) and some of the “extreme user scenarios” that go along with it, like people who have 80,000 contacts. He also said there were some DNS issues, because Tempo uses a .ai domain.
Despite those problems, Singh said Tempo has processed 50 million events — that doesn’t count calendar items where the app doesn’t have anything to add, like birthdays. He also said active users are opening Tempo an average of five times per day, suggesting that they’re treating it as their main calendar.
“The calendar space, as you are aware, has gotten very very noisy in the last few weeks,” Singh said, later adding, “the key thing is, in the vast majority of the calendar apps I’m looking at, some of them are very pretty, some of them are very fluid, some of them do one thing really well. What I have found, for the most part, is they don’t meet my definition of smart.”
By that he means that that they aren’t “semantic” and don’t truly understand the calendar. For example, he said that by looking at your events, Tempo knows where you spend money and what kind of restaurants you like to visit for dinner, and it will be rolling out more personal assistant features over the next few months to take advantage of that understanding.
By the way, even though Tempo is launching internationally, you still need to sign up through its reservation system and wait in line to use the app. However, Singh said that as of today, Tempo will double the pace at which it admits users, so it should only take a day or two to reach the front of the line.
“Just to be clear, we don’t like the reservation line, and we’re very close to being able to eliminate it,” he said.
Plus, the first 500 TechCrunch readers to use the code “TC500″ when signing up will get fast-tracked. You can download Tempo here.
Update: Oops, I misunderstood the instructions. If you want to be fast-tracked, go to this link (not the App Store link above) and use the promo code “TC500″.