@SXSW 2015 Key Themes & Insights
Now in its 22nd year, SXSW is one of the worlds most important music, technology and film festivals. !In under two-weeks, the Texan capital welcomed 51,000 people to over 800 conferences, seminars and workshops, covering everything from emerging music acts to alien invasions and all thats in between. !With such a diverse programme, and so much information to be cultivated, we sent a crack team of Maxus employees to report back on the top trends and key findings from the festival, identifying what we can expect to be hot topics in technology and media in the year ahead.
Tech is adapting to fit our lives in more human, intelligent waysTechnology is developing at an alarming rate, but beyond basic consumerism, it is also being used as an overwhelming force for good. !Tracking murder cases amongst Native Americans; mapping deforestation in Brazil; keeping disparate communities of Hispanics connected; highlighting the plight of endangered species; making intelligent prosthetic limbs. Big, important, lasting stuff. Tom Dunn
Stand out sessionExtreme Bionics: The end of disability Hugh Herr, co-director of the Center for Extreme Bionics at MIT Media Lab, spoke of developments in electromechanics that by his predictions, could lead to the end of disability within the next 100 years.
Maxus Blog Post:That puts it all into perspective
No amount of technology is going to make a bad story good Developers have brought to life technologies that once seemed inconceivable, but its now time for them to hand it over to the creatives to decide what to do with it. !Designers, artists, musicians and producers were all equal participants in the conversation around tech advancements and how they are adapting them to make improvements in their field. !Where we previously saw a focus on the functionality and tech of wearables, we are now seeing marriages between tech and fashion brands, making wearables desirables.
See THEUNSEEN !The beautifully crafted garments and accessories from THEUNSEEN, a group out of London that blends biological and chemical matter into materials; combining science with art, design and performance.
Stand out session
Maxus Blog Post:Treat your consumers as protagonists in their own story
Virtual Reality is very ready
It featured in Samsung and Googles major activations and whole floors of the convention centre were dedicated to it. From 1980s sci-fi films to our living rooms, virtual reality is gearing up to enter the mainstream. !With accessible consumer & professional cameras/software, and Youtube 360 adding ease and scale, VR is now available to the masses and pioneering brands like Red Bull and Volvo have paved the road for others to follow close behind. !
Stand out sessionExplore the future of Virtual Reality with Oculus
VR helps us to create presence in a world of high-tech sensory overload. Tools like Oculus confine us to the here and now and allow us to experience it fully in hyper-reality.
Maxus Blog Post:On being present
Big brands vs Start-upsTraditionally, SXSW has focused on offering a platform for start-ups and pioneers to showcase their ideas, but with an audience of over 50,000 engaged media, technology and entertainment professionals, big brands have decided they want a piece of the action. !Our team noted that this years festival felt a shift from entrepreneurial to corporate, with the McDonalds food truck sitting among the authentic street food vendors a controversial arrival and poignant example of the increasing concentration of brands at the festival. !!!!
Playing Major when youre Minor
Maxus Blog Post:
Stand out sessionThe In-Stadium Fan Experience in MLS !As a relatively small player in the US sport scene, soccer and MLS have thrown down the gauntlet in sport with a David marketing mentality in an industry of Goliaths.
Bringing together, not breaking outUnlike other technology festivals, SXSW is not about the stand-out product launch or individual breakouts in technology, its a meeting of creativity and ideas. !Networking events and workshops are often more valuable than keynote speeches, its the conversations that happen around each topic that can inspire new ideas, offer feedback on current developments and reinstall passion for technology and how it affects our everyday lives. !!! Maxus Blog Post:
SXSW is about breaking in, not breaking out
Stand out session
There isnt one SXSW is not about what's breaking out - it is about ways of thinking, movements and point of views that are gaining traction, and breaking in. And for this reason it is exciting, inspiring and highly tangible. Angela Jones
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