Well, it looks like Tim Tuttle is doing pretty well for himself. His last company, the video search platform Truveo, was acquired by AOL in early 2006 for an undisclosed (but reportedly hefty) sum, and now his latest venture has just gotten a considerable financial shot in the arm.
Expect Labs, a TechCrunch Disrupt SF Battlefield startup that Tuttle co-founded with Moninder Jheeta, announced earlier today that it has locked up a $2.4 million investment from KPG Ventures, Google Ventures, and Greylock Partners (among others).
Expect Labs’ big draw is what it calls its Anticipatory Computing Engine, a system that aims to analyze “multi-party conversations” and provide contextual information in real-time without requiring input from the user. Tuttle aims to get that system up and running on a whole host of devices, but the vanguard of that push is an iPad app called Mindmeld, which the team showed off at this year’s Disrupt SF Battlefield.
On the surface, it seems like a bog-standard video or audio chat application — yawn. As those long-distance conversations unfold though, the real magic is going on just out of sight. If you’re having a video chat about, say, Doctor Who for instance, the ACE can interpret the meat of that conversation and surface related pictures, videos, and articles, as well as dig for new things when the conversation meanders into different subjects. One swipe of the finger is all it takes to access that information, which effectively acts not only as a primer to topics you’re not terribly familiar with but as a log of what you chatted about.
Of course, Tuttle (and his cadre of investors) expect that the technology that powers MindMeld is meant for greater things than just facilitating tremendously dorky discussions. Now that Expect Labs is flush with capital, it plans to use that money to bring its Developer Platform to life at some point next year in hopes that people will fold support for its Anticipatory Computer Engine into enterprise apps (think video conferencing, call center support, etc.) and consumer-facing apps (I’d love to see a MindMeld-powered distance learning service) alike.