The Hot Apps At SXSW: Highlight And Lanyrd

Filed in Cloud Industry Insights by Larry Meyer | March 15, 2012 3:46 pm

Every year, new categories of social interaction emerge at SXSW. This year, Highlight and Lanyrd seem to be two that got a lot of buzz and use.

Both are about discovering people who are close by — people you might want to meet.

Highlight[1] is billed as “a fun and simple way to learn about the people around you.” Available in the Apple App Store[2], Highlight uses Facebook login information to surface the names and photos of nearby people and then helps you remember them. It also presents what you have in common with them. One important note: it runs in the background using GPS, which its developers say “can significantly affect battery life.” Some early adopters had to make an early trip to charging stations at SXSW. Highlight says it’s working on the issue and new updates will bring improvements.

Lanyrd[3] focuses on finding out more information about who is attending what events based on your Twitter ID. Called a “social conference directory,” it sets up a simple way to navigate events like SXSW and tells you who is planning to attend what sessions. After the event, it works to archive info presented, including videos, notes and presentations. For example, Lanyrd’s unofficial SXSW conference guide allowed us to quickly drill down through all 1,560 sessions by date and topic and shows how many people are currently interested in attending each session. That conveniently makes it a way to judge in advance what the hot panels are likely to be at any convention it covers. It’s also available in the Apple App Store[4].

Both Lanyard and Highlight came up Monday in a panel discussion called “Events are Now Platforms.” Panelists Brian Duggan[5] of Building Alliances, Loic Le Meur[6] of LeWeb[7] and Robert Scoble of Rackspace. After the panel we caught up with Scoble, Le Meur and Lanyrd Co-Founder Simon Willison[8] for a video.

Let us know what you think of Highlight and Lanyrd and what other hot apps you found in Austin!

  1. Highlight:
  2. Apple App Store:
  3. Lanyrd:
  4. Apple App Store:
  5. Brian Duggan:
  6. Loic Le Meur:
  7. LeWeb:
  8. Simon Willison:

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