South by Southwest 2016: Pushing Innovation Beyond the Phone
About the Author

Product Mgr. Consumer Mobile Apps | Ram is an iPhone addict with no cure in the near-future. He is responsible for defining the mobile user experience at SanDisk. He recently launched the iXpand Sync app and is working on SanDisk Connect mobile apps. Prior to SanDisk, he was at Yahoo and worked on improving user experience on Yahoo Search App and Yahoo Answers Mobile web products.

This year at South by Southwest Interactive giants like IBM and Google showed off artificial intelligence and how we might travel to the moon. Tomorrow’s apps made their debuts, from Hooch, a subscription cocktail service to Ditty, which lays your texts over your favorite songs to take messaging to the next level. But two mobile products really caught our eye because they’re using the smartphone as homebase for linked devices that enhance life around you. A third app we loved simply because anything that creates music is a good thing.

In the case of Prynt, the company is reviving one of computing’s oldest functions: printing information. We store so many photos on our smartphones and other devices that often those special pictures get lost in the shuffle. We may even share the moment but really, unless we make them our phone’s background, few pictures linger longer than a few days. So why not print them out — right in the moment they’re taken?

Prynt essentially turns your camera into a Polaroid camera. The device goes over your iPhone like any case –– any very large case –– and links directly into the device, allowing users to generate a physical print on the spot. The company raised over $1.5 million in its Kickstarter campaign and has now opened up for preorders.

Another Kickstarter darling that caught our eye was Here, which raised over $630,000 and also has a waitlist. The company builds a very smart pair of wireless earbuds with omnidirectional microphones that give you control, via a smartphone app, over the sound that finally lands on your eardrums.

At a loud concert? Bad microphones at the work conference? Don’t want to hear the guy screaming in the subway? Here lets you control the volume, equalization, tone and effects –– bass boost, flange and reverb –– to customize your sonic experiences outside of listening to music. The world can be a noisy place. There’s no reason with today’s microphone and speaker technology, you shouldn’t be in control.

Or what if you want to be the one making noise? Samsung’s internal app-lab is working on Hum-On, which converts users’ hums –– or any kind of minimal singing –– into a basic song complete with musical notation and a MIDI version. Now you can record those melodic musings and have something to show for it. (Samsung hasn’t said when they’ll release the app — it was only demoed at SXSW.)

Smartphones’ greatest gifts is not that they are mobile but that they let us be mobile. Yet as we’re on the go, it’s still great to have devices that let us interact in new ways with the world around us. SanDisk will always be there to store those moments for you.

Photo credit: Paul Hudson © Paul Hudson - SXSW 2016 Day 2



About the Author

Product Mgr. Consumer Mobile Apps | Ram is an iPhone addict with no cure in the near-future. He is responsible for defining the mobile user experience at SanDisk. He recently launched the iXpand Sync app and is working on SanDisk Connect mobile apps. Prior to SanDisk, he was at Yahoo and worked on improving user experience on Yahoo Search App and Yahoo Answers Mobile web products.



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