After a tour of the SXSW trade show floor, here are some of the companies we'll be profiling in the coming weeks. Of course, there's always a mix of companies at SXSW: some film, some music, many web services -- but far fewer social media companies than last year.
We've covered RedLaser and LaCie in the past, and while LaCie has new products (more hard drives, surprise!) and RedLaser has gone local, I'm going to focus on a few mobile apps and accessories you might not have heard of yet.
On the hardware front, there's a portable second monitor solution called CINQ on display. The CINQ attaches to your laptop screen with a sort of clamp, and it only needs a USB port to get video and power. It supports 1280x720 resolution and weighs a mere 15 oz. For a 10.1" secondary screen, that's not bad. I felt the backlight was a bit weak, but as someone who often enjoys working with two screens, it might be a portable solution for frequent travelers. Then again, at US$249 (and not available until a few months from now), it won't be cheap.
Perhaps the most intriguing and useful product I saw was from a company launched a couple of weeks ago. LifeProof enters a shockingly small market of durable, water-and-dirt-proof iPhone cases. Nowhere near as bulky as similar offerings from OtterBox and Griffin, the LifeProof case is shockproof (tested to 2 meters), waterproof down to 6 feet and keeps sand, mud and grit away. Based on the demo units sealed in with various elements, and my examination of the case, I would say this is an excellent "every day" use case for people who work outside. It also looks ideal if you climb, mountain bike or swim regularly. Shipping in a few weeks, the LifeProof case will cost $69.95.
I also had a quick chat with one of the three indie developers of TapCity, what looks to be a fun game
coming soon available now on the App Store. You're able to "take over" locations, earn "rent" as people check in, or conduct battles for locations -- all with cute cartoon graphics of real places around you. No word on how many cities will be supported at launch, but we'll try to get a look at it soon.