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SXSW Interactive Festival 2012: New mobile apps make a breakthrough.

Posted by admin on Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rain and thunder covered Texas skies on Friday morning, the startup of Austin’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival. But a few showers was not going to keep the thousands of techies from lining up outside the convention center to take a first sneak-peek at the next big thing in tech savvy world.

According to the SXSW Interactive website, the five-day festival (which ended Tuesday, March 13) featured “compelling presentation from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders and unbeatable line up of special programs showcasing the best new websites, video games and startup ideas the community has to offer.â€

In simpler terms, SXSW is about innovation, bringing new creative ideas to the table and showcasing what these new technologies have to offer.

Ever year SXSW delegates are looking for a breakout product that will “ooh†and “ahh†its audience and also make an impact in mainstream social media. Back in 2007, Twitter took the crown at South-by, and Foursquare ruled in 2010.

This year’s star and buzz of it all was Highlight, “an iOS-only app that hooks into user’s Facebook  accounts to let them find others who've installed the app.†The app is pretty simple; if someone is standing near you and they also have the Highlight app, their profile will show up on your phone and you will be able to see everything they have chosen to share. You will be able to see their name, photos, mutual friends, and basic information.

 Tracking your ex on Highlight?

According to developer Math Camp, the app “gives you a sixth sense about the world around you, showing you hidden connections and making your day more fun.†The app may be appealing to some people or just plain creepy knowing that someone around you will know all your information in just a matter of seconds. Users have been advised that the app requires constant background data usage which can affect the life span of your battery.

Highlight took the spotlight, but other innovations also made a breakthrough. Mashable reported Pixable as runner-up in the competition of must-have apps. During SXSW, Pixable functioned as a daily news feed, pulling photos from Twitter and Instagram with hashtag #SXSW to stream what was happening in real time. The app categorizes photos being collected and organizes them into different feeds to let you know the most popular photos being viewed that day.  Pixable is currently only available for iPhones.

A "look" at Pixable 

Lucky for iPhone users, they get to download most of these savvy apps featured in South-by before any other smart phone.  Grandstand (iPhone compatible only, of course) is another app that made headlines at SXSW Interactive. “Grandstand is a web platform that transforms Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter, and SMS into games, instant rewards and eye-popping visualizations.†This interesting tool is used to help brand socialize events and increase social interactions.

After every year, SXSW yields a number of discoveries in the world of technology and seems to amaze us all. People today live in their smart phones, and a few new app inventions will only make our lives easier; plus finding people would no longer be a problem thanks to apps like Highlighter. Tech-savvy or not, SXSW Interactive spills the beans on what’s buzzing and what the future in technology has in store for us.

What apps excite you? Or which ones do you think are completely bogus?

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