New Breakout Interactive Tool at SXSW – Sporknife
Ever since the news of Twitter and Foursquare’s success got tied to launches at SXSW, hundreds of hopeful startups descend on SXSW each March, hoping to garner the attention of the influential crowd of attendees.
While Highlight and Banjo were early favorites, sentiment seemed to sour on them as the festival progressed. Most people seemed to agree that there was no clear winner. But I was lucky enough to stumble across a new interactive tool that is poised to change personal connections and relationships in some new and inventive ways.
Behold, the Sporknife.
We’ve all seen apps that allow you to find new restaurants, rate food, and meet friends. The sporknife brings that activity to the next level. It actually allows real-world interaction with your food and friends directly.
How do I know it’s the buzz-winner of SXSW? Clearly – only 2 hrs after I discovered it, it had gone viral. 3 users! Check out the digital engagement that it created in my comments!
That’s right, folks. Three comments, from two people, other than me. Let me put it this way, compared to other SXSW launches, you could take this to the bank.
This product has two clear things going for it:
- In convergence tools in this space previously, we’ve only seen products that attempted to serve 2 inputs – the Spork is the most widely known of these. While the name is well known, it never really caught on as a user-side engagement platform, and was relegated to packaged product integrations at chain fried chicken establishments. The Sporknife provides utility across the 3 main nutritional input schemes, which have been widely accepted as industry standards – Fork, Spoon, and Knife.
- Branded Integration: I’m sick of seeing startups with no monetization strategy. They take seed money and ride it, hoping to get bought out. Check out the hot, branded integration on the product. As you can see, I picked this up at the Today Show food truck, and they had branded their own white-labeled sporknife platform.
I hear they’ve made an API available, but clearly, the white-labeled version is the most attractive for brands really looking to attach themselves to the “breaking bread” experience. Kudos to the Today Show for jumping in and helping this product get to market with a brand partner.
This tool is going to be a total game changer… it’s reinventing the way we meet and dine with friends. It will enable people to put down their phones, and actually talk, face to face, in to network and communicate. “Finally, we’re moving beyond the text-based social networking experience on our mobile devices,” said Doug Morse, CEO of Rabid Jackelope Industries, creator of the Sporknife, “This is beyond Augmented Reality. It is Reality. This tool allows you to sit down and enjoy a meal with friends, almost anywhere. It frees you from the shackles of our digital devices, and allows you to actually engage in eye-contact, while carrying on a conversation, something our ancestors used to do regularly.”
In fact, judging by the nervous glances of many people seen with this new device, it’s a skill that many people are going to have to put some work into developing. Here’s hoping they do, because I think there’s never been a product that needed to catch on more than this one.