At times it feels like SXSW has become a mini-CES, with all the hot innovations popping up. Wearables combined with health and well-being are definitely where it’s at and this year Philips are hosting a Dragon’s Den-style Digital Innovation Challenge, with three companies pitching their tech for a week’s advice and guidance at Philip’s High Tech Campus in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
First up are Atlas Wearables, pitching their fitness tracker for the serious workout enthusiast. The Atlas “measures your heart rate, calculates the calories you burned and tracks your body on the x-, y- and z-axes, so it knows how many laps you swam and if you did push-ups or triangle push-ups. It’s preloaded with the most popular exercises and can learn new exercises you teach it so you can instantly see your progress, analyze your form, anticipate plateaus and find what makes you stronger, faster.” Definitely for the hardcore fitness fanatic.
Incomparable Things is very much softer – they’re building an app to bring together the myriad of data sources – “In our app, people scrapbook the stories of their adventures. We collect all the media people already create when they’re being active – from photos to location data, NikeFuel to tweets – and weave them together to tell visual, personal and complete stories that others can collect and aspire to. They are more memorable than a photo album and more inspiring than an activity data score. It is used by everyone from daily walkers to training triathletes, neighborhood arborists to polar expeditionists.” Sounds a bit like Field Trip meets Pose! I love the idea of these apps but I simply don’t have the time to curate the photos and tweets.
Finally, Push is back to circuits and training with another fitness tracker that seems very similar to the Atlas one. “Rugged and durable, PUSH straps comfortably to your arm. It communicates with your phone, transmitting movement feedback that’s too fast for the human eye to capture. The data is displayed on the PUSH App, providing you with crucial, scientifically-validated metrics about each and every rep, helping you optimize your training.” It’s kind of symptomatic of the space that there’s going to very similar devices competing for attention. Push’s USP is that it can measure strength, not simply calories burned.
If you want to see these three companies pitch, you need to get yourself round to the Next Stage in the Convention Centre at 12.30 CDT today.
Memoto is a Swedish startup company that began as a Kickstarter project in 2012. They are the creators of the Memoto Lifelogging Camera. It is a tiny device that allows users to not only capture, but also share, whatever special moments of their life that they choose to. The idea was to make a camera that was small enough so that it wouldn’t get in the way. The camera allows people to organically capture the small, but important, moments of their lives.
The Memoto Lifelogging Camera takes 5 megapixel pictures. It comes in Memoto Orange, Graphite Gray, and Arctic White. Clip the camera onto your clothing, and it will start taking pictures for you at a rate of 2 photos per minute. When you want to stop taking photos, just put the camera down or put it into your pocket.
Those photos are then safely stored on Memoto’s storage service. There are Memoto apps for both iPhone and Android that will automatically organize the photos on a timeline for you. The Memoto Lifelogging Camera has GPS and records time data, so you won’t have to remember the name of the restaurant you went to while using the camera. It will have the name recorded for you. From there, you can easily share your photos on Facebook. Memoto is currently in the pre-launch phase. Their first edition is expected to ship in April of 2013.
The Memoto Lifelogging Camera has been selected as a finalist in the Innovative Web Technologies category for the 5th Annual SXSW Accelerator competition. The SXSW event takes place from March 11th – 13th, 2013. On March 12th, judges will announce a winner to each of the categories. Their decision will be revealed on March 13th at 6:00 p.m. in the Austin Convention Center in Room 10A/B. Memoto will be presenting in the Accelerator competition in the Innovative Web Technologies at 3:30 on the fourth floor of the Downtown Austin Hilton.
Had a great first day here in Silicon Valley. Had some really good meeting plus one additional meeting here at the hotel that really could open up distribution of this shows and those of our content creators at RawVoice.
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The buzz is spreading about a marketing firm’s unique attempt to draw attention (and contributions) to the homeless population in Austin during the annual tech portion of SXSW.
BBH Labs, with offices in NYC and London, is the brains (some would argue otherwise) behind this publicity stunt where homeless folks are outfitted with a wireless internet transmitter and dispatched around the popular tech start-up conference. For a PayPal donation, you can “buy” Internet access for as long as you need. The donations, according to BBH, go to the homeless person, er….hosting the hotspot. The marketing firm teamed up with an Austin-area homeless advocacy group to create the attention-grabbing project.
The reaction has been largely been one of disgust. Get on Twitter and search #homelesshotspots to take a peek at what people are saying.
My take? Advocacy efforts aren’t always popular and sometimes the execution can appear misguided. This seems like an interesting way to put the issue of homelessness square in the middle of an environment created to showcase how advanced we’ve gotten (technologically, anyway). The contrast is striking to say the least. What’s the worst thing that happens? People get Internet access; homeless folks get donations without begging; and everyone walks away feeling good.
It seems like a knee-jerk reaction to call this an outrage and ignore the underlying issue of creating a tech-savvy way to get those who are “haves” to help those who are “have nots.”
If you want to get one of those iPad2 tablets, you might want to go to your local Best Buy. They have been getting ready to push another wave of iPad2’s But if you really want one on Sunday, head down to Toys R Us.
Toys R Us and Best Buy will be pushing the 16 GB and 32 GB tablets (WiFi only models) starting Sunday, April 17. Check with each store before you go out to make sure there is stock. Best Buy states they have ample supply, but you still want to check before you head out.
Apple launched the iPad2 last month nation-wide, even opened a temporary store at SXSW. This will be the first new surge of iPad2 tablets since then.
So if you were planning to pay $700 on ebay, you might want to hold off for a day or two and check with your local Toys R Us or Best Buy store.
I spend some time at the beginning of the show tonight talking about the tragic loss of life and issues facing Japan. I will be participating in a 24hr podcast that will be a fund raiser for the tragedy in Japan. I will have more details on Fridays show. I have an absolute metric ton of tech to go over with you tonight as well hold on its a fast ride. All Family members in Japan are safe, we have not heard from friends in Sendai yet but seeing the communication issues we are not getting nervous yet.
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First of all they need to rename the Interactive portion of SXSW to Waste of Time. What I expected from SXSW was a social experience where you met a lot of people, network and get a lot out of the conference tracks. The conference tracks last year where 50% pitch, 25% the person had no clue and 25% awesome. The evening events for the most part are so loud that if you want to talk to someone you have to yell, terrible food and bottom shelf liquor. Meeting new people is ok sp long as you self initiate a 100% of the time, 90% of the time people had their heads buried in their phones and laptops not a lot of interaction. Be prepared for a lot of looks of why are you invading my space.
If your going to cover CES as press, here is my suggestion, bring your DSLR that can record video and interview some of the upper echelon celebrities that go, do not focus on vendors or many of the unknown session speakers. You should be prepared to deal with attendees that are rude, and interrupt interviews just so they can say hello to someone they admire. The best press thing I attended was a SXSW sponsored 10 minute pitch session where 6 vendors pitched the press for 10 minutes each.
They had an exhibitor area at the show, which I was able to walk through it in about 30 minutes. From that walk through I think I stopped to talk to one company, who today is not even on the radar map. Everyone says it is the place to be, well everyone else can go, and I will read the self centered blog posts from the comfort of warm and sunny Honolulu.
My experience with SXSW last year was not worth the money spent. SXSW is very expensive from a attendee standpoint, and hotel accommodations are simply grossly too expensive as compared to standard Austin pricing. Does SXSW have some good points, sure, but overall my experience in attending the interactive portion sucked.