One of the parts of the South By Southwest Interactive show that we like the best is the trade show. It’s a spattering of apps, music companies, accessory companies and general technology. What’s even better is that South By Southwest also has international aisles so the wares of England, Canada, Germany, Asia, and Ireland can be featured at the festival.
While perusing the Germany aisle I found a company called vinylrecorder.com. Vinyl Recorder is a machine that makes actual vinyl records at home. All you need is their starter kit and a Technics 1200 turntable and you’re in business.
Forget USB turntables to get your record collection onto the computer. Now you can take your favorite mp3 and other audio files and get them onto a record.
When we were turned on to Trover just days before South By Southwest we knew they had something special. Trover didn’t get any of the Mashable mentions prior to or during SXSW yet they were still all over the place.
Discovery was the hotest app category at SXSW this year. Last year group apps were very popular but in 2009 and 2010 discovery was hot as well with FourSquare and the now defunct (because they were bought by AOL), GoWalla.
While people discovery apps like Highlight, Glancee and Sonar got most of the pre sxsw buzz this year, Trover was making it’s own headway. Trover is a place discovery app, connecting you with actual things you can go find out for yourself, like discovery hidden treasure troves. Trover connects you with the coolest places, coolest food, prettiest art work, etc. They do it in a very appealing UI with very little hiccups.
On Tuesday at South By Southwest Interactive Rdio introduced and announced new features to both their web based and mobile apps. The features include drag and drop playlist creation, more personalization and private playlists.
They’ve also made Rdio more social by allowing users to view music, playlists and other user’s networks. Now all users can see what other users are listening to from the new people side bar. All you have to do is hover over album art and you can see who in your network is listening to it. Likewise, you can elect to not share that information.
Rdio expects the new features to roll out soon to all devices however those with the unlimited subscription are ready to rock now.
There’s a lot of buzz about the marketing project “Homeless Hotspots” this year at South By South West Interactive. In the project, seen in the above Mashable video, 13 homeless men were charged with the task of recruiting passerbys to use their wifi for a nominal donation. The average donation was $2.00 for 15 minutes. Of course that’s relatively close to what you would pay at a pay as you go internet cafe, however it was a donation and could be whatever you wanted.
The small donation gets back to the homeless person after collected by the marketing agency BBH that is putting out the promotion and awareness about Austin’s homeless population.
The promotion has been met with ire around the internet. Call me strange but I don’t get the objection at all. As BBH’s Saneel Randia pointed out in a blog post, this Homeless Hotspot initiative is much like the homeless providing street newspapers, which happens regularly in New York City.
The Tweets, Google Plus messages, Facebook Status’ and even Instagr.am photos are echoing the same theme; at South By Southwest smartphone and tablet batteries aren’t keeping up.
We’ve seen pictures of people bringing multiple power strips to the Austin Convention Center. Samsung has stationed several of their “airport” charging stations all over the convention center and Austin. FedEx is running around with charging vests, and every party is pimping Free Food, Free Beer and Free Charge Up.
Yup Austin, people need phone power. That’s where thedroidguy and Powerbag have come in all week long. Since last Thursday we’ve been giving away Powerbags to people from Austin Texas, and around the country here celebrating and attending South By Southwest (SXSW).
For those of you familiar with the Pulse news reader app for Android you are well aware of the awesome interface and easy reading ability of your RSS feeds via Pulse. Well Pulse was on hand at South By Southwest in Austin Texas this weekend to announce new local features.
Local news has become an important category for app developers. While there are several different sources popping up in the form of apps, for local news, Pulse has the knowledge and experience behind them from their RSS reader app that lays your news out across the page with easy access to the news that matters most.
Anyone who’s familiar with Cyanogen Mod, and Team Douche, knows K-Mobs. If you know K-Mobs he’s one busy dude. K-Mobs is busy studying to be a doctor, working on cyanogenmod, being a resident tech guru and riding his bike around the streets of Austin Texas. That’s why he tweeted @thedroidguy and @mypowerbag with his location and the hash tag #sxswPowerup and won a full sized Powerbag back pack instantly. It’s that easy.
So far the contest has been great we’ve given away Powerbags to iPhone owners, Blackberry owners, and Android owners, of course, from around the country, and down the street.
We’ve got two days to go so hurry and try to win yourself a Powerbag at South By Southwest.
While this story doesn’t center around an Android app or any app for that matter it’s incredibly cool. Threads for thought has teamed with Junk Food, Promo Jam, and Rock The Vote to produce a really cool t-shirt to promote registering to vote, but wait there’s more.
This unique t-shirt has a qr code embedded in the design. That QR code, when scanned with a mobile phone, allows you to register to vote from your mobile device. Essentially if you’re walking through the mall, park, or even South By Southwest, you can scan someone’s “Scan To Vote” t-shirt and register to vote. Really this couldn’t get much easier. No app to download, just scan and register.
The QR code will take you to a customized mobile experience designed by Promo Jam. From there you can watch videos about voting and the Rock The Vote campaign, take social actions like “Likeing” the Rock the vote page, and fill out the voter registration card.
Excluding Colorado, you still must sign the form and mail it in. The Scan To Vote T-shirt will take you to a page where you complete 90% of the information. Once completed the website will forward you a pdf of your completed form that you can print out and mail in. It’s that easy.
Glomper is an exciting new app with a funny name that debuted here at SXSW Interactive in Austin Texas this week. Once the weather cleared we started seeing Glomper peope everywhere with shirts on that say “Hug me I’m awesome”. Apparently Glomper mean hug. However this app is not the hugging app.
Glomper Events is the perfect app for anyone with an active social life to discovery and share events through social media and photos. It combines already existing social media ideas like for instance, Facebook events, flickr, and any one of the many discovery apps released at SXSW this year and rolls them into one.
With Glomper Events, there’s an interface that looks somewhat like Pinterest. From the interface users can view an event, find an event, heart (like) an event and then share and comment on photos taken at the event. More, including video, after the break (more…)
If you haven’t heard of the travel website mygola.com then you’re missing a great bit of information. If you’re a frequent traveller you may want to check out the site which puts a different spin on travel.
What separates Mygola from other travel sites is that the site does more than just hook you up through api’s to other travel related sites. Mygola employs several travel advisors who are either from an area that users are looking to travel to or they’ve visited the area a lot. As founder (and former Googler) Anshuman Bapna told thedroidguy at south by southwest, visitors to the site get information from people who live in a location like best restaurants, and local tips and tips form advisors who have visited the area for things like the best hotels to stay at.
Bapna also sources niche sites like Room77 which tells users when they are staying at certain hotels which rooms are the best by view, noise, amenities etc.
Last night’s Mashable party at South By Southwest was as usual, off the chain, libations were flowing, people were dancing it was the place to be seen. We heard that Danny DeVito, Justin Long and Ryan Gosling may or may not have been there. We didn’t see Long nor Gosling and we thought we’d recognize DeVito but Mashable’s SXSW parties are usually high caliber celeb events and last night was no different.
What we didn’t realize as press last night was that we may be celebrating the last of the Mashable throw downs at SXSW. There are hot and heavy rumors that Time Warner via their CNN outlet is in high level talks to purchase Mashable for $200 million dollars.
The deal makes sense at Mashable would provide a nice balance/mix for the newscentric CNN. CNN does have a great presence too in the CNN cafe which hosts parties, rock shows and more throughout the entire SXSW festival. It’s just not as raw as the Mashable parties.
Monstro is a cool new app for Android that aggregates what’s popular and trending musically on Twitter. It’s the first music site that unleashes the full potential of Twitter when it comes to music search, sharing and discovery. Once the music is aggregated Monstro links the user to where they can buy it, or stream it instantly.
With the SXSW music festival happening this week in Austin, Monstro has created a specific chart app for just SXSW music. Like the original Monstro, it will aggregate what’s hot at SXSW in terms of musicians, shows, and performances. The Monstro SXSW will crowd source those on Twitter who are at shows, showcases and performances and link users to the artists.
Monstro SXSW charts is a perfect way for people attending the music portion of SXSW to see whats hot and where they need to be to hear the best music. More than that though, it’s great for people at home that can’t make it to SXSW this year so they can hear the cutting edge new music.
We’ve written quite a bit about Meshin the past few months. Meshin is an exciting app/project/development company out of Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center in Palo Alto California. Meshin is headed up by Chris Holmes and Kristen Galliani.
We had a chance to sit down with the Meshin team (a few times) at South By Southwest to find out what Meshin is all about. Meshin has two apps available in the Android Market, the original Meshin beta and Meshin recall. Both apps focus on symantics and bringing context to your mobile life, where it counts, in communicating and in your calendar.
Meshin is pushing Meshin Recall heavily. Recall is an app that is added on top of your Evernote account. It’s such a simple concept that makes a whole lot of sense and focuses on making people more productive. Recall allows you to add your Evernote notes to your calendar entries. Say you have a meeting on your calendar, the notes you take on Evernote are directly linked to the calendar entry for eternity. There is also talk of making recall even more intuitive with a very natural progression in the near future.
The smart and connected tv box market has really grown in the last year. It’s become a very crowded space and after the flop of the original Google TV launch many people backed off the technology. It seemed that the connected TV or Smart TV may have been just a tad before it’s time. So that’s why we were surprised that Angel Investor, and Venture Capitalist Fred Wilson had praised something new in the smart tv space, called Clik.
Click is a mobile app and web app combination that allows your Android or other smartphone to control the content of any connected screen. Clik will work with a tv connected to the internet, a tv connected to a set top box and to the internet, a computer screen or any screen that is connected to the internet.