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Be More Efficient in 2012 Thanks To 8 Local Startups

It may not seem all that sexy, but much of the most significant innovation in digital technology is devoted to helping us get things done more efficiently.

Here are eight local startups that are leading the way in that regard as we enter the new year:

Diffbot, the "Visual Learning Robot," Helps Web Content Go Mobile

Diffbot is one of those applications (and companies) you probably are not even aware of when you use it, but that's not necessarily a problem for the company's co-founder and CEO Michael Tung.

That's because his product is a "visual learning robot," that hundreds of developers are using to translate web content into better mobile apps, and as such it stays pretty much under the hood.

"We've invented this visual ID algorithm," says Tung. One of our core insights is that the entire web can be classified down to 30 page types. There are product pages, event pages, news pages -- we can identify them visually with 99.999 accuracy."

Diffbot technology identifies each page's components, such as nav bars, footers, etc., as part of its identification process. Design standards are such that there is a high degree of similarity between the various page types grouped by category.

One customer using Diffbot at present is AOL's recently launched Editions, which is a personalized daily magazine for the tablet.

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