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PC World - If you had any lingering doubts about the influence mobile holds over the tech world, all you had to do was spend a few minutes walking around the Startup Debut at this year's International CES on Sunday. While not every company showcasing its wares at the Bali Hai Country Club just south of the Las Vegas Strip had a mobile offering on display, the companies that caught our eye were largely ones embracing mobile platforms.
Here's a closer look at seven standouts from the Startup Debut event and how they might influence what winds up on your smartphone in 2013.
Most of us shudder when a single drop of water lands on our mobile devices, so it was quite a sight to see representatives of Liquipel happily dropping an iPhone 5 into a tank of water. The phone emerged from its plunge in working order, however, because it had been covered with the company's self-named nano coating, protecting the device from whatever damage water could wrought.
Hold a Liquipel-coated gadget in your hand, and you'd be hard pressed to feel any difference between it and an untreated device. That iPhone 5 Liquipel was showing off felt about the same as any one of Apple's smartphones, if a bit more moist than usual. Liquipel representatives told us on Sunday that's because their coating is 1000 times thinner than human hair.
This isn't the sort of coating you can apply yourself. Instead, you send your device into Liquipel, and for $60, the company adds its layer of protection for you. The company's website says it currently can treat select devices from Apple, Asus, HTC, Motorola, and Samsung; supported devices include MP3 players, phones, and tablets, including the iPad, assorted iPhone models, and many different Android offerings.
This year's CES isn't TourWrist's first go-round at a trade show. The company has shown off its mobile panoramic app before, even winning Best of Show honors at last year's Macworld | iWorld. But TourWrist has some news about its app to discuss on Sunday: It's coming to Android devices very shortly. And CEO Charles Armstrong calls the Android version of TourWrist "very robust... [it] makes our iOS app look like child's play."es do,"
Those are pretty strong words if you've seen TourWrist in action. The app provides 360-degree panoramic views that let you capture and share the whole picture of what's around you. (Armstrong contrasts that with the panorama feature supported by Apple's iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, which stitches together images by having you pan across, but really doesn't fill in the top and bottom of your images for a full 360-degree effect.) The app has a definite appeal for travelers and the companies that cater to them: "People want to show off when they've gone some place cool," Armstrong said. "And brands want people to show off their places."
Look for an Android version of TourWrist to arrive within a month, as the company works to add support for more Android devices. The company plans to support eight devices running version 4.0 and later of the Android OS when the new version debuts.
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