South by Southwest draws businesses and creatives from across the world, and while their ideas may be different, their strategy is the same—to use technology to leave potential customers with a lasting impression.
From farming to film production, technology was at the forefront of SXSW conversation—how it’s being used now and how it can solve problems and delight consumers in the future.
For the Royal Shakespeare Company, which was established in the late 19th century, attracting audiences means honoring literary classics while innovating their presentation. The company co-hosted a panel at SXSW called “Brave New World: The Future of Theatre and Tech” that focused on VR and AR in theatre performances.
“Audiences are attracted to quality and interesting experiences, and I think they definitely converge across music, film and interactive,” Sarah Ellis, director of digital development at the Royal Shakespeare Company told AlistDaily. “We’re definitely seeing a much more meaningful curated architected space now [around VR and AR].”
Upgrading familiar products with new technology was a common strategy this year at SXSW, as well. High-end audio equipment manufacturer Bose arrived at SXSW not with its latest stereo system, but wearable tech that combined AR and audio in a single pair of glasses.
Bose AR glasses have speakers built into the arms that allow its user to hear without broadcasting the sound out into the world. Using accelerometers and other sensors, the glasses track where users are looking and display relevant information on its lenses. For example, tapping on the arm while looking at a restaurant displays hours and menu information.
Technology may be exciting, but it can also be confusing—especially when it’s brand new. For this reason, blockchain software technology company ConsenSys felt it was important to be at SXSW with answers.
“Blockchain was a very hot topic this year. However, there can be a lot of misconceptions around the technology and what it’s actually used for,” Ariana Fowler, ConsenSys impact analyst on blockchain, told AListDaily. “We were attempting to enlighten people as to the variety of use cases from social impact to music to journalism—not just cryptocurrency or financial sector services.”