Microsoft reels in a Kiwi Snapr for SXSW

At any given moment we can log on to Facebook or Twitter and tell our friends what we have been up to without actually having to talk to them. Ah, technology. Bless. But for those who want more precision, two clever Kiwis have come up with a snappy wee iPhone and web-based application that blends maps and photos to instantly enable you to show your friends not only what you’ve been up to, but where you were when you got up to whatever it is you were up to. Got it?

The aptly named ‘Snapr’ is the brainchild of Auckland-based Rowan Wernham and Edward Talbot. Their invention has garnered international attention with the duo being the only New Zealand Company selected (out of over 200 entries) to present their idea at the popular South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas, in March as part of the Microsoft BizSpark Accelerator prize.

Just snap your picture and it will instantly upload and attach to a map accessible online, showing exactly where you were when the picture was taken.

One of only eight finalists in their category, Wernham says it is the ease in which the app allows people to broadcast what is happening and where it is happening, that got it to SXSW.

“The concept behind Snapr is something that many people in the tech world have been anticipating, so we must have impressed the selectors with the capability to execute the idea well, and also to build a brand around the idea that would stick,” he says.

Wernham and Talbot know it won’t be easy, though. To wow the panel, which consists of investors and prominent opinion makers, the duo must first pass the Dragons Den-esque grand inquisition, comprising of two parts. The first is to present a two-minute slideshow, while part two consists of a 10-minute grilling by the panel.

And what’s up for grabs should they win? Well, Wernham’s not too sure actually. Some attention would be nice though.

“What’s most important is not to win, but the fact that it will bring us into contact with US investors. America is quite a closed industry so for us to even get over there puts us into the sphere of US investors.”

Wernham anticipates some prominent bloggers will be present at the event (perhaps even on the panel) and hopes to gain exposure via their blogs.

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