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Beer and satellites: Our favorite Demo Mobile 2013 products

Armando Rodriguez | April 19, 2013
Demo Mobile may not be as big as E3 or CES, but the mobile-focused event attracts startups and companies looking to share their latest wares and ideas. While many of the products and services on display at this week's conference in San Francisco are still in the early stages of development, they paint an interesting portrait of what to expect in the mobile world in the not too distant future.

Demo Mobile may not be as big as E3 or CES, but the mobile-focused event attracts startups and companies looking to share their latest wares and ideas. While many of the products and services on display at this week's conference in San Francisco are still in the early stages of development, they paint an interesting portrait of what to expect in the mobile world in the not too distant future.

I spent some time at Demo Mobile this week and found four products and services worth watching in the coming year. Some of them may never make it to market, but they are just too cool not to share.

Paging Dr. Smartphone

If I had the Kinsa Smart Thermometer, then maybe I could have avoided unleashing the plague upon the TechHive a few weeks back. The thermometer plugs into your smartphone and uses an app to take your temperature. The app keeps track of any symptoms you're feeling and will show you maps of the surrounding areas so you know what illnesses have been making the rounds. You'll also be able create private groups to track illnesses within certain circles--something that Kinsa hopes will appeal to parents who might be worried their kids will catch something from their classmates.

The thermometer accessory is currently making its way through the FDA, and the app will initially only be available for iOS. (The company plans to expand to other devices shortly after launch.) Kinsa currently has an IndieGogo page set up for additional funding and hopes to launch both the thermometer and app sometime this fall.

Program like a pro

What if you could control your tablet from your Fitbit fitness gadget? Or set your smartphone to tweet every time you played with your Sphero? Normally these types of interactions would require you to have a degree in software engineering and a few hours of free time to get going. But MakerSwarm, one of the nerdier products featured at Demo Mobile is an app that lets you program these sort of interactions between connected devices without knowing a lick of code.

Developed by research agency Maya, the app (which is still in alpha) runs on Android and takes advantage of the OS's intents framework to access the features of the particular device you're connecting to. So if you're hooking up your Sphero to your phone, you can have the Sphero activate the phone's camera every time the remote-controlled orb moves a certain way. Connecting devices is as easy as drag-and-drop, and there seems to be no limit to the number of devices you can connect together. Maya introduced MakerSwarm by using a Sphero to launch three remote-control AR Drones that were steered by an employee wearing a fitness tracker. Pretty awesome stuff.

 

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