This year’s edition of SXSW interactive is coming to an end today. The festival, which has taken place in Austin from March 9, has become one of the de facto events in the technology industry. We’ve selected some of the highlights from the talks and keynotes that have been held during the conference.
Android version of Instagram
Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom announced on Sunday that the Android version of Instagram is really close to release. The photo app has already reached 27 million iPhone users and expects to highly increase that number after the new version is finalised.
Instagram was launched in 2010 and the app is currently free for iPhone users. Kevin Systrom also talked about the business model and the future of the application.
“We have a visual platform and advertisers like visual mediums. They like TV and magazines, but attention is moving online and they want to switch,” he said. “I do believe that Instagram has put a stake in the ground and we’re growing more quickly than anyone. Is there something in there we could do to make it a multi-billion dollar business? I think we can figure out something along the way.”
Social discovery apps
The launch of new versions for Highlight and Glancee apps will help to define the concept of ambient social marketing. Hugh Forrest, director of SXSW interactive, has shown his interest in this new idea during this year’s edition.
“The whole idea of ambient social marketing is (that) your phone will tell you the person next to you is a Yankees fan, and if you are a Yankees fan, you should strike up a conversation with him or her.”
Highlight is a people search app that automatically shares basic information to other users nearby when they have things in common such as friends or interests. The introduction of the ability to “highlight” someone will allow users to bookmark people that they consider interesting without the need of messaging them.
The concept behind Glancee is similar to Highlight, the app notifies you when somebody with mutual interests is near you. It looks like social discovery will be hot in the next few months, other apps such as Mingle, Kismet and Banjo offer similar features to the ones of Glancee and Highlights.
Clik is an app for iPhone and Android that lets you turn any screen with a browser into your own screen just by scanning a QR code. The creators of the app highlight the ability of using your smartphone as a remote controller.
“Okay, say you’re at a party and you’ve found a couple videos or songs from Youtube to show off to your friends. Instead of gathering around your tiny little phone screen, you simply scan your iPhone or Android across the TV and – Clik! – your friend’s TV has been taken over and you’re holding the remote. And if you feel like sharing the power, your friends can Clik in using multi-player mode. It’s that easy.”
Nike’s FuelBand API
FuelBand is a waterproof wristband designed by Nike and introduced last January that measures a user’s movements and synchronises these with an iPhone or iPod touch. The application programming interface will allow third party music developers to use NikeFuel features into their apps.
Digitally enhanced comic line by Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics are entering the digital marketing with the launch of a digitally enhanced comic line and an augmented-reality app for iOS and Android devices. The app unlocks extra content from the printed versions of the comics and will be included in Avengers vs. X-Men #01, which is out on April 4.
What’s your favourite announcement from SXSW Interactive 2012? Are you already using any of the apps mentioned in this post? Let us know in the comments section below!