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Brief Published: 22 Jan 2015

SXSW Accelerator Finalists

Waverly Labs' smart earpiece

SXSW Interactive, the emerging-tech segment of the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, has revealed the finalists and runners-up in its Accelerator competition. We've picked three to keep an eye on.

  • In-Ear Assistant: A Wearable Technologies finalist, New York-based start-up Waverly Labs is developing a wireless smart earpiece for workers. The earpiece, which features a real-time language translator, is designed to be a personal assistant and communication device. 'Hearables' are emerging as a strong sub-category in wearable tech – see Beyond Wearables for more.

  • Mobile Gaming Levels Up: Digital gaming gets off the couch and into the physical world with LyteShot, a Chicago-made mobile gaming platform and runner-up in the Entertainment and Content Technologies category. Users wear smartphone-connected sensors and gun-like controllers to play with friends. The system also works with augmented-reality (AR) glasses. For our latest trends in play, see Play It Forward.

  • Safer Plastic: Another noteworthy runner-up is a new type of credit card that aims to give consumers complete control over their payments. Created in California, Final generates unique card numbers for every merchant, allowing users to shut down fraudulent transactions without having to cancel the card. Limits and alerts can be set to prevent accidental or unsolicited payments from going through. An accompanying app shows spending habits and budget at a glance. Read Bite-Size Banking for more on the future of mobile banking.

See the full list of finalists and runners-up here.