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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

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

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?