App developers swarmed Austin in an effort to catch the eyes and ears of technology lovers and VC's attending SXSW, the Austin Texas-based technology, music and film conference. For these developers, SXSW is THE PLACE to get feedback from a highly concentrated crowd of early adopters.
The most intriguing apps are those that enable users to find friends and friends of friends when they are nearby. Better yet, the apps are merging two features into a single service that helps users meet someone they should know. In effect, smart phones have become the new icebreaker/introduction tool for users. Below are some interesting apps that merit a look see.
Kismet helps users meet friends through friends by creating spontaneous pop-up events. The app also enables them options of passive sharing and check-ins.
Glomper is a new app that allows users to get pertinent details about an event with photos, conversations, and interactions. The interface feels like Pinterest (a personal favorite of mine) with streaming photos from events aligning down the center of the page. Users click on an event to see full details -- pictures, attendees and comments. Users can "heart" something by clicking the outline of a heart.
Glancee looks for people nearby who have friends in common with you and who share the same interests. The app features a new diary feature which enables users to record past connections and log them in diaries for future reference.
Banjo has developed one of the most robust location technologies that integrates with key social networks to provide an on the ground view of what's happening anyplace, anytime.
Highlight allows users to bookmark people they met and automatically reminds them of the interaction the next time they meet.
Ask.com the search engine, launched a new mobile polling app for iOS called Poll Roll. The app allows users to create polls and ask people nearby for their opinions. Poll Roll also lets users create visual polls in which they can attach their own pictures to their questions. It provides the ability to filter responses and leave comments about a poll.
So how do you harness these apps for your business challenges? Privacy issues aside, these apps offer intriguing possibilities. For example, customized messaging in retail environments targeted at the users who've signed up for the app and other persons who share common interests and friends.