SXSW 2013 summary and topline learnings

Richard Fitzgerald

Background

South by Southwest Interactive first ran in Austin, Texas in 1994, with one venue. Almost 20 years later it has expanded in proportion to the growth of the digital world itself to 10 venues that accommodate 27,000 people over 4 days. Attendees digest and spread the learning's around the world in real time. There is great appetite for it. Recent years saw Twitter launch (2007), Foursquare revealed (2008) and Nike's Fuelband (2013). So, what were the trends from SXSW 2013?

Hard wear

Wearable technology is in its infancy and a space where there is a lot of excitement. Although we didn't see an iWatch or Facebook phone being announced; we did see Makerbot reveal the 3D printable scanner; OUYA, an android based gaming device spoke about a console forming for a web based community; Google Glass (at what was the most in demand session of SXSW) they announced that the API was open and developers were encouraged to 'come up with stuff. There is a lot happening in this space but is this overlooking the smartphone as the most interactive 'wearable' product already on the market?