One of the most exciting experiences at the SXSW festival in Austin is getting to see the new technologies companies have designed to make regular people's lives just a little bit easier.
And this year's finalists for the 2018 Innovation Awards did not disappoint, with many of the technologies already on the market.
Artificial Intelligence continues to be a large feature in a lot of the inventions that gain global attention.
In fact, an application by Pefin claims to be the world's first artificial intelligent financial advisor. It uses millions of data points about your financial life (credit score, income, amount of children etc.) to give you the best advice on how to save for your future and pay off debts.
"It shows you everything is interconnected in your life, and Pefin learns those relationships in your financial situation," Pefin CEO, Catherine Flax, told KVUE at the SXSW Innovation Awards Finalist Showcase.
So how long does it take for Pefin to gain a firm grasp on the intricacies of a user's financial background?
"When you first come on board to Pefin, onboarding doesn't take very long. It's probably a 15-minute exercise. But then it's going to learn you. And over the next couple of months, it's going to get smarter and smarter about understanding your spending behaviors... the way that your finances work. The longer you use it, the better it's going to be," Flax said.
Flax says one of the ways to get the most bang for your buck with Peflin is to have a goal in mind: buying a home, saving for college, changing your career, or retirement.
"We have financial planning and advice, and we will tell people, if it's appropriate for them, what their investment portfolio should be. But -- we'll also tell people if it's not appropriate to be in the markets at all," Flax said.
Pefin is nominated in the "New Economy" category at the Innovation Awards.
Not only are the inventions at SXSW helping consumers get their finances back on track, they're also improving the quality of life for people with debilitating diseases.
KVUE spoke with the CEO of the Center for Music Therapy, an Austin-based company, and their "Movement Tracks Project," which is nominated for an innovation award for Health, Med, and BioTech.
The project uses "brain-based" music technology to help stroke victims, people with Parkinson's disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and Cerebral Palsy learn to find their balance again and walk correctly. For 12 years, the treadmill that uses the technology has been available at top research facilities across the globe. But now, the Movement Tracks Project is putting the technology in wearable garments like ankle monitors and head wraps. The music technology will eventually connect to an app and will alert a person when they are unbalanced.
"Before you fall, the app kicks in, and kicks in your music to correct that," said CEO Hope Young.
It will allow people to feel like they can have some control of their balance outside of hospitals and rehabilitation centers.
"Now the music is helping you where you are. It's correcting your posture, correcting and preventing falls from where you are," Young said. "Whether you're in the bathroom -- where we don't want you to fall but most falls happen -- it corrects. It prevents the fall."
According to Cassie Shankman, the Lead Composer and R&D Specialist at the Center for Music Therapy, the music isn't "one size fits all."
"It's just fit for you and your needs, and what is good for you at that moment. And then say you get better or something's not working, and then you come in again and we fit you for another piece of music. It's constantly changing and integrating to get you better quicker," Shankman said.
In another way, Google's Jacquard technology also hopes to improve the quality of life for people who commute to and from work on a bicycle.
The Levi's commuter jacket, nominated in the "SciFi No Longer" category, let's you make a phone call or tell time with a tap or swipe of your sleeve.
"I have different gestures," said Google Business Representative, Michael Adelberg, as he demonstrated the technology to KVUE. "For example, I can double tap, and I can start my music playing."
It's a way for you to stay safe and present while out and about, Adelberg said.
"We see this very useful when your phone isn't in your hand, and maybe you're doing something like riding a bike -- having a conversation -- but you still want to be connected, you still want to do something, your jacket is there," Adelberg explained.
While Levi's is the main company utilizing the Jacquard technology right now, it's not exclusive to the jean's brand.
"Any apparel company that wants to put connectivity, interactivity into their garments can actually take our technology and put it into their product," said Adelberg.
This jacket is far from a prototype and is actually on the market right now for a discounted price using the code JACQAURD30 at checkout.
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The SXSW Innovation Awards presented by KPMG are Tuesday, March 13, 2018.