Last week, Austin Texas transformed into the largest playground for creative talent around the world during the 22nd Annual SXSW Festival. Every year there is an overwhelming turnout of musicians, technologists, film makers, sponsors, exhibits, speakers, parties… and more parties. However, it seems that every year something from the Interactive portion of the event finds it’s way into the spotlight. In the past Twitter, GroupMe and FourSquare all took center stage, launching into success at SXSW. This year everyone was talking about the live streaming app, Meerkat.
SXSW is an incubator for cutting edge technology and creativity. Everyone wants to know the ideas of tomorrow. The thing is, speakers couldn’t keep themselves from discussing the future of mobile. From mobile influence, engagement, wearables and mobile payments there is always a special place in SXSW’s heart for mobile – especially during the contests.
Jumping into the contests, there was a generous amount of tech submitted to the 2015 Interactive Innovation Awards. Here are some of our mobile picks from the batch of winners:
FireChat (Free iOS, Android) – As the winners of the ‘Innovation in Connecting People’ category, FireChat is a mobile application that allows users to communicate or chat off the the grid without access to internet.
Freewavz – Designed by Dr. Eric Hensen, FreeWavz are wireless earphones that received praise because they adhere to the fit-tracking needs of wearable users. More specifically, they allow users to track and hear updates on their heart rate, calories burned, distance, steps and exertion when they want. This made them the 2015 winner of the ‘Wearable Tech’ category.
Guide Dots (Free iOS, Android) – Lastly, Guide Dots won the ‘Transportation Advancements’ category. This app is particularly interesting because it uses proprietary crowd-sourced GPS location data from Google Places and Facebook Nearby. Using this data it can call out locations and intersections to users so that they can receive nearby promotional offers and find friends who have checked in nearby. Guide Dots mainly hopes to provide an optimized user experience for the visually impaired.
We predict mobile will be an even bigger discussion next year at SXSW 2016, with Virtual Reality tech and the Internet of Things making waves in the mobile sphere. Granted, we look forward to being apart of the journey and seeing what next years talent has to bring.