Tag Archives: SXSW 2013

The future of retail is mobile

I was a little taken aback by the lack of mobile hype at this year’s South by South West conference in Texas. Reading the tweets from last year, it seemed that mobile was the topic on everybody’s lips. While there are numerous mobile talks and panels taking place, it almost seems like it is being downplayed. Perhaps that’s because mobile isn’t shiny anymore, it’s the norm.

There are more iPhones sold every year than babies born. We are living in a world where for a significant number of people, mobile devices are the primary device. Developing countries don’t have legacy desktop machines, they are going straight to mobile and tablet based computing. Read More »

SXSW – Brands need to avoid the digital temptation: don’t try to do too much

The convention center in Austin - home of SXSW 2013Sunday at South By South West (SXSW) left me with one overriding thought more than any other; the next five years will require brands to fight temptation.

Chris Risdon of Adaptive Path set the scene with some great examples of the burgeoning range of products sold not as tools for you but as a means to change your life.  From Nike Fuel to connected toothbrushes and in checkout charity donations, the power and potential of ‘persuasive technology’ was clear.  Read More »

Ready your brand for the next industrial revolution: 4 things to consider when it comes to 3D printing

Something weird has happened to the agency folk at SXSW. No one seems to notice the deep irony that we are all here to discuss interactivity and all things digital yet all we seem to be talking about is making stuff in the real world. Out of atoms not bits.  From bar to bar, coffee house to coffee house, the words on everyone’s lips are 3D printing, maker culture and hardware as the new software. Read More »

‘Ask any start-up – advertising has an image problem.’

Walking through the exhibit hall fills me with a strange mix of excitement and despair. There is so much energy and enthusiasm in this huge room of wall to wall start-ups. Each of them has such conviction, such belief that they have the next big thing at their stalls.

I’d conservatively say about a third of these young companies seem to have been sold a formula for creating new products – simply take something we already do and make it more “social”. Do you like taking photos? Now you can take photos in a more social way. Do you go to gigs? Now you can go to gigs in a more social way. Chores? More social. You get the idea. Read More »

SXSW: Facebook Graph Search: next big thing or next big flop?

Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook Graph Search launchI honestly can’t work out if Facebook’s Graph Search is an interesting experiment or something that could actually change the way we search. During a session at SXSW, I enjoyed the fact that the panel opened by asking the attendees to raise their hands if they had used the tool. About half had. That’s half of a room full of people who had come explicitly to hear about Graph Search. The second question was even more telling – how many of those who have used it actually found it useful? Less than half again. Not particularly promising. Read More »

SXSW: A roundup of Day 1 – Making 3D, searching and finding little bits of joy

The Austin Convention Center in downtown Austin, Texas hosts SXSW each spring.The single biggest thing that people have been talking about is 3D printing. Bre Pettis, the founder of Makerbot, arguably the single company that has done the most to make 3D printing affordable for the masses yesterday revealed a new product. A product that Pettis modestly claims will help bring about a new industrial revolution.

It’s called the Digitizer, and it’s essentially a 3D scanner. The Digitizer paired with the Makerbot are potentially the most disruptive combination of products the world has seen. Now you can scan any object and print out a duplicate, cut and paste for the real world. Conversations in the bar afterwards tended to put it another, slightly more cynical way, now you can steal anything and make unlimited copies. Piracy for real objects. Read More »

SXSW – a fantastic opportunity for brands but will any take advantage? [infographic]

SXSW in Austin TexasLanding in Austin, Texas, you get the feeling everything about this city is dedicated to SXSW. For a few short weeks the city is transformed into a Mecca for all things film, music and technology, teeming with enthusiasts from across the globe. But there’s also something else in the air, a different kind of invasion is happening, the invasion of the advertisers.

Entering the registration hall was like having logo LSD injected straight into your eyeballs. From the sponsored bags and free T-shirts to the young start-ups hastily taping posters to every available bit of wall space and sheepishly handing out flyers. Read More »

SXSW: innovation, inspiration and the beauty of contradiction

With nearly 30,000 people descending on a few blocks in Austin, Texas, SXSW may have some major problems – mainly the challenge to get into oversubscribed talks and the variable quality of the talks themselves – but with a fair few launches and innovations, being here is like stepping into the future and you can’t help but be inspired.

The new product launches are diverse and the ones that caught the zeitgeist for me yesterday include Makerbot’s digitiser, a very cool device which allows you to scan an object and print it off in 3D; the first ever 3D mobile phone printer; LevelUp’s mobile phone scanner; and Cheil’s beta of our very own Mubbl app (http://mubbl.com) , which lets event attendees capture the event together to create a richer, collective  digital memory. Read More »