AUSTIN, Texas —This past week 30,000 marketers, entrepreneurs, and conference goers flocked to the eccentric streets of Austin to attend the annual South by Southwest festival. Every year, Silicon Valley migrates to this festival where they have a chance to intermingle with the worlds of music, film, and pop culture. This event is the beacon of hope for small tech companies to make big waves and possibly find a place in the spotlight. In this year’s case, Meerkat a live-stream video app stole the show. Read on to find out what went down at SXSW Interactive.
Google Glass Failure
Astro Teller from Google X explained in his keynote address that the failure of Google Glass was regarded as a success. Read on.
New Trend: Live-Streaming Video Apps
Launched two weeks ago, Meerkat, a live-streaming platform, was all anyone could talk about at SXSW. Journalists and attendees used the app to broadcast their experiences at the festival for wishful viewers wanting to experience SXSW vicariously. The app ended up surpassing 100,000users over the weekend. Meerkat is not the only platform in the live-streaming space. Apps like Teleparty, Stre-am, and Periscope all aim to provide a similar service.
Word association: When I say Texas, you say barbecue
It wouldn’t be SXSW without some awesome Texas barbecue. GE paired delicious food with science at their Barbecue Research Center, showing diners how their brains reacted to barbecue.
One of the noticeable trends related to wearables at SXSW included technology pushing the limits of fashion. For example, the world’s first “smart band-aid” was unveiled at the conference; it is aimed at helping the fight against Ebola. http://mashable.com/2015/03/14/smart-band-aid-ebola/
Women in Tech
This year at the conference, there were a greater number of women speakers and attendees than in years past. Actress Jessica Alba and founder of Honest Co., which makes non-toxic baby and household products, summed up the mood of SXSW in a panel, “The Millennial generation is very powerful when it comes to women, and I think what we want goes.”
Female execs from start-ups such as Chegg, Birchbox, Wickr, and Intuit were featured speakers and panelists as well. MIT professor Cynthia Breazal spoke about the personal side of robots, and keynote speaker Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia spoke about “empowering women” in her country and different driving and employment laws for men and women. Moreover, many of the panels with female speakers were not solely about gender issues. Rather, they discussed innovation in the tech industry and their experiences building startups.
Contributor: Ricky Rajani