Who says you ever grow out of playing with cool toys? South by Southwest Interactive provides the ultimate space to geek out over the latest gadgets at the Trade Show and beyond. Read on for some of the most useful (and just plain mind-blowing) things we saw:
You've probably never thought your light bulbs weren't working hard enough, but Sengled is looking to change that. Sengled bulbs, in addition to being energy-efficient dimming LED lights, can play music from a bluetooth speaker (no wires!), boost your Wi-Fi, or act as a security camera. Conveniently, lights and their features can be controlled via a slick app.
For those into craft beer and micro-breweries, Pico takes it to a whole new level. This tiny device (only 12 inches wide) can produce a five-liter pony keg of customized beer. Brewers choose among PicoPaks from the brew marketplace, and customize them to their liking on factors like bitterness and alcohol percentage.
n.thing, a South Korean startup, showed off the perfect planter for those with a black thumb. Planty’s sensors can detect when soil moisture is low, if more light is needed, or if the temperature isn't ideal through an app. Sure, this may be fancy for just one kitchen plant, but n.thing is working to bring these innovations into agriculture as well.
There were many gadgets designed to make your office more comfortable, but Focal Upright Furniture's seats were some of the best. Their options provide a middle ground between sitting and standing, which your body will thank you for, not to mention that it can help ease back pain and hip tension. The lightweight Mogo can also be taken anywhere for the ultimate convenience.
The Drop Scale and its accompanying app make baking a breeze: The app takes you through each ingredient step-by-step (with helpful videos), helps you measure each ingredient precisely on the scale, and adjusts the recipe if you don’t have the exact amount. Plus, the recipe advances automatically, so you won't have any more floury fingerprints on your tablet.
Possibly one of the coolest demonstrations among those showcased at the Trade Show was the Sony Future Lab tent, which showed off a prototype for an interactive tabletop still in its infancy. Using a projector and sensors, an ordinary tabletop can be transformed into a highly interactive and useful wonderland. For example, using a special book, you can drag illustrations off the page that can then walk around, you can highlight text, and new objects were automatically detected and measured on a grid. Sounds like the classroom might get a bit more exciting.