I’m from Texas, graduated UT, and have a couple of awesome sisters that still live in Austin. And although I’m an Socal transplant, I’ve lived vicariously through their SXSW experiences for years. I’ve also been a technology writer for nearly 15 years. So I consider it nearly impossible that I have never heard of SXSW Interactive, which launched in 1994, until this year. Either I haven’t been paying close enough attention, am not as connected as I thought I was, or they have a new PR team.
Austin’s hippest music festival’s sub-conference and trade show is an “incubator of cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity.” This year it looks like there will be some intriguing sessions happening at SXSW, like the future of computing from MIT professors, the future of the networked human, consumer robots, and how smart apps will revolutionize computing.
There is also a thriving trade show component, including a Gaming Expo, Music Gear Expo, an intriguing Renegade Craft Fair, and more. Traditional tech exhibitors like Velodyne, Sennheiser and Espon will be displaying their wares, in addition to trendier media and entertainment companies. Just take a look at the exhibitor roster, the names on which (Ghostery, CoolNerd, Chitter, MusicPunk, etc) will give you an idea of the sheer coolness to be peeped. SXSW will also host a “Startup Village” that consolidates all the entrepreneur-related programming to one venue and serves as home of pitch competition SXSW Accelerator, which has produced some very interesting home-tech ideas, like a wearable baby monitor, a vizualizer that lets you see how furniture would look in your home, Plum smartphone connected lighting (incidentally headed up by the former head of CEDIA, Utz Baldwin), and home-monitoring sensor technology.
Here are the details:
Austin Convention Center
Exhibit Halls 3 & 4
Dates and Hours:
Sunday, March 9 | 11:00am-6:00pm
Monday, March 10 | 11:00am-6:00pm
Tuesday, March 11 | 11:00am-6:00pm
Wednesday, March 12 | 11:00am-4:00pm
If you’re in Austin for SXSW and want to see something innovative, check it out. While it might be hard to tear yourself away from Los Lonely Boys, knowing my fellow Texans, there is sure to be live music and a few cold Shiner Bock brews involved, and a good time will certainly be had by all. We’ll report back on developments.