What You Shouldn't Miss at SXSW – 6 Major Trends

Scheduled March 8-12, the 2013 SXSW Interactive Festival will feature five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders, the SXSW Trade Show and an unbeatable lineup of special programs showcasing the best new digital works, video games and innovative ideas the international community has to offer. Follow us through the next days or meet me (@mtantow) at the show.

Twitter was invented here in 2007 – but actually didn’t become famous until 2009. That’s why people speak of a certain time lag from introduction (or invention) until a service or product actually hits the main market.

Typing these lines from the press room at the Austin Convention Center on Friday noon – it’s still early to predict the hot trends of 2013 – but I’ll try:

1) The Internet of Things – IoT (some call it Web 3.0)

We’ll actually report soon more on this topic – stay tuned. Majorly hyped – and right so, we believe. RFID tags were just the beginning. 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 increasing 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.

2) 3D Printing

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 3D printing revolution.

3) Big Data

Not necessarily new, Big Data will make big impact at SXSW Interactive. It’s time that Big Data gets mainstream – we’ve been reporting about it for years. An excellent reading is the current Harvard Business Review issue, covering Big Data in Advertising and how it initiates a management revolution. Sessions at SXSW will cover everything from “Big Data Democracy: The Rise of Analytics” to a more critical “Big Data: Is it Killing Creativity?

4) Space Technology

Elon Musk is one of the keynote speakers at the show – and probably 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.

5) Lifecasting and Do-It-Yourself

Many shows are tagged SXSW Create, which brings together local and international members of the SXSW community to share disruptive creations, innovative tools and unique fabrication methods. 3D Printing being an example, it is creating a new culture of “makers”.

6) Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is always a good topic for trends. Startups are now building robots and and create AI powered applications that: can give us information, keep us entertained, predict our preferences, and help us lose weight. And SXSWi will feature several sessions, like one on AI powered applications, covering search robots like Siri which turn mobile devices into our personal assistants. Also, how AI is enhancing user experience.

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