By Patrick Burke
Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.
If you’re into the latest technology, tunes or independent films, Austin is the epicenter of all things fresh and innovative, as the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) 2013 Conferences & Festivals went underway in the Lone Star State.
In terms of technology, the event, which ran from March 8-17, featured five days of presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, hundreds of networking events hosted by industry leaders, the SXSW Trade Show and a lineup of special programs showcasing the best new digital works, video games and innovative ideas from the international community.
CloudTimes.org compiled a list of what drew some attention at SXSW:
RFID tags are just the beginning, writes CloudTimes.org’s Martin Tantow. If all objects and people in daily life were equipped with radio tags, they could be identified and inventoried by computers. ”Whether it’s for personal devices, a social network, a humanitarian effort or for business resource optimization, a key characteristic of the Internet of Things is its massive scale and self-organizing nature. As sensor prices drop and cloud makes sharing data across the Internet increasingly easy, smart devices are getting woven into the fabric of our daily lives and enabling global connectedness and the opportunity for new technologies to make everyone’s lives better.” Check the Man meet Machine Meetup by Kat Mandelstein on Monday.
Machines that can form three-dimension objects from digital renderings are erasing manufacturing barriers-to-entry – and carrying the potential to disrupt everything from intellectual property rights to public safety. 3-D printing will be featured in the Opening Remark by Bre Pettis, Makerbot co-founder and CEO, when he talks about the present and the future of the ongoing 3-D printing revolution.
Big data made a big impact at SXSW Interactive. Sessions at SXSW covered everything from “Big Data Democracy: The Rise of Analytics” to a more critical “Big Data: Is it Killing Creativity?
Elon Musk is one of the keynote speakers at the show – and one of the highlights of the whole event. Elon is the CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors and the CEO/CTO of SpaceX. He will be interviewed by Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More.
Lifecasting and Do-It-Yourself
Many shows were tagged SXSW Create, which brings together local and international members of the SXSW community to share disruptive creations, innovative tools and unique fabrication methods. 3-D printing being an example, it is creating a new culture of “makers.”
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is always a good topic for trends. Startups are now building robots and creating AI-powered applications that can give us information, keep us entertained, predict our preferences, and help us lose weight. And SXSWi featured several sessions, like one on AI powered applications, covering search robots like Siri which turn mobile devices into our personal assistants.