SXSW's best new tech: NFC flash tattoos, VR drum kits, and more

The South by Southwest Interactive Innovation Awards show off some of the best projects the show has to offer. Here's a look at the coolest ones.

South by Southwest was the birthplace of Twitter, Foursquare, and Meerkat, the now-defunct app that kicked off the social livestreaming phenomenon. That’s why creators flock to Austin every year with hopes of striking it rich, and a handful of startups are selected to compete in the South by Southwest Interactive Innovation Awards. Before the winners are announced at the end of the conference, showgoers get to check out live demos during the Finalist Showcase.

We won’t know who is named the best-of-the-best until late Tuesday, but if we were judging, we know what our top lineup would be. And the nominees are…

Link AKC Smart Dog Collar

There are a few “Fitbit for dog” devices on the market already, but the Link Collar offers more than just health and activity tracking. Yes, it does track your dog’s activity so you can see what she’s up to when you’re not at home, but it also has a built-in temperature sensor that notifies you if an area is too hot or too cold for your dog to handle. It taps into the American Kennel Club’s database to give you health tips for your dog based on her size, breed, and age.

The Music Room

Musicians know how tough it can be to squeeze in some practice time, especially if your home isn’t sound-proofed or if you can only practice late at night. The Music Room is a MIDI controller that, when paired with an HTC Vive headset, lets you play music without having to even touch an instrument. The software will mimic an instrument’s sound as you go through the motion of playing, which you’ll hear through a set of headphones. We watched a drumming demo, and thanks to VR, musicians can see the virtual instruments they’re playing, even if they’re not real.

DuoSkin

The most creative demo we saw, DuoSkin, is a research project between MIT and Microsoft. DuoSkins are essentially tricked-out flash tats, those trendy metallic temporary tattoos, but they pack touch-based sensors to bring wearable technology to your skin. We saw them work as an NFC chip, activate a phone’s swipe-to-unlock feature, and act as a mini trackpad paired to a mobile device. DuoSkins are made from an inexpensive metallic gold foil, making them a cool way to bring wearable tech into the DIY space.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags NFCHTC ViveSXSW 2017

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Leah Yamshon

Macworld.com
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?