For almost two weeks every year, Austin, Texas buzzes with energy around SxSW and SxSWedu. Among all of the amazing talent in film, music, education and technology, I observed many synergies between the tech advances at the conference and the tech we at Mindgrub have been leveraging on projects this year. Those synergies include advances in the following areas: mobile technology, gaming, augmented, virtual and mixed realities and robotics.
Innovations in mobile technology have reached new heights in the last year as was evident with some of the tech solutions at SxSW this year. From tiny smart homes to smart collars to monitor a dog’s health, the trend in mobile tech this year is solving everyday problems that once seemed immune to technological advances.
The SxSW Gaming Expo becomes the epicenter of activity for all gamers at the conference. This year, highlights at the Gaming Expo spanned from the traditional Tabletop Experience to breakthroughs in ESports at the ESports Tournament Stage for an interactive physical and virtual experience. There were also Open Play Areas for gamers to demo new games, Student Showcases and a Pitch Competition for game developers to connect with gaming industry veterans.
AR, VR + Mixed Reality
Although Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality were the hottest topic at SxSW this year, Mixed Reality attracted a lot of curiosities. A highlight in Mixed Reality at SxSW was Sony’s Mixed Reality Cave at The Wow Factory, which featured touch screen technology that allowed users to play a song using different shapes to activate different sound patterns. The experience was completely interactive and immersive as the users were in a four walled room powered by projections.
In the past year, the world of robotics has been disrupting the tech scene with new and innovative hardware. At the SxSW Conference, robotics subject matter experts presented on how to design better robot software to communicate emotions and intentions like humans. Taking into account gender, voice, sounds gestures and eye contact, some experts believe that robotics software should be more than human to over communicate trust and understanding.