January 07, 2013, 1:38 PM — 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,"