By Amanda Hechinger and Rachel Lowenstein, Managers, Strategic Innovation, Life+, Mindshare NA
Day four with lots to explore! Rachel and Amanda here. While many panels were still in session, we decided to hit the Trade Show floor to discover what up-and-coming technologies and concepts we can bring back to our Mindshare clients.
The Trade Show today had hundreds of emerging tech start-ups, ranging from software companies and physical hardware to retail innovations. The showroom was laid out according to country and region, Japan having the most quirky products including an augmented reality experience that mimicked the Star Wars’ “force,” exploding a pile of foam blocks with the flick of your hand several feet away via motion sense.
We saw lots of eco-friendly organizations looking to revolutionize the food, agriculture, and energy industries. In line with current healthcare reform conversations, we saw many health tech start-ups; one in particular manufactured gilded tattoos that function as biometric data collectors to monitor and improve a participant’s health. The tattoos themselves were designed in an aesthetically pleasing way, certain to attract a fashion-first consumer. We see this as a potentially new foray into the wearable landscape, directly competing with FitBit and Apple Watch.
Entertainment was a hot button with numerous smart audio speakers, mixed reality games, sports, and lifestyle experiences featured on the floor. In true Black Mirror style, one vendor boasted a new form of exercise where users rode a stationary bike while collecting coins in a virtual reality setting. Multi-sensorial gadgets like this were consistently featured throughout the Trade Show.
One thing we didn’t see much of was fintech start-ups, which was surprising considering the presence of fintech panels at SXSWi.
We engaged in tons of conversations with these vendors and are looking forward to following up with our clients regarding first-to-market brand activations with these emerging tech start-ups! Over and out.