Researchers from our consultancy division Joanna and Bella went to SXSW earlier this month to sample delights and bring back the insights, here’s what they discovered:
After returning from Austin, Texas and sifting through our collection of promotional goodies, technological t-shirts and stickers, we have rounded up our best bits from SXSW Interactive. The four days were inspiring, engaging and exciting, full of inspirational talks and discussions, and a great place to talk to some fascinating people.
Ideas that came out of the talks reflected some of the trends we have reported here at The Future Laboratory, and it was great to hear other opinions and analysis too.
Here are some of the best things we saw :
: A full-scale model of the James Webb Space Telescope was on display, which is due to be launched in 2018 as the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, 100 times more powerful and able to scan planet atmospheres for signs of life. Demonstrations of Microsoft’s interactive World Wide Telescope also showed how Webb will inspire to push the boundaries of science and technology.
For more information on how science is inspiring consumers, see our Re-Enlightenment Rising trend, explored at this month’s Trend Briefing event
: Ed Hunsinger presented report-creating software Splunkstorm and showed its ability to create reports of all the data you collect on mobile health-tracking apps including RunKeeper, Zeo, LastFM and Fitbit all in one place.
To read more about Self-Quantifiers see our Personal Information Economy trend
: Toby Shapshak and Gareth Knight discussed how innovation is born out of necessity in Africa, and the strength of its mobile payment industry. A Focus on East Africa showed that the region accounts for about 80% of the world’s mobile money transactions, and these are projected to grow to $617bn by 2016. First used in Kenya, text messaging is used to send digital money through the M-Pesa payment system, which has led to half of Kenya’s GDP now moving through mobile money.
Read more about Africa’s mobile banking revolution here .
: Founder of MakerBot Bre Pettis launched the Digitizer, a 3D scanner that turns objects into a digital CAD file that can then be modified and replicated on a 3D printer – bringing product design to the general public.
For more on domestic 3D printing see our Home Factory trend
: Douglas Rushkoff discussed Present Shock, the idea that we no longer have a sense of a future, goals or direction as we live in an always-on culture ‘where the priorities of this moment seem to be everything’. This is the concept covered in his latest book, alongside the idea that information overload is not too much information or too much stuff, it is having multiple instances of ourselves across social platforms.
To read more about information overload, read our New Sublimity trend