Take Your Business to the Next Level: SXSW Edition

April 8th, 2016

Each March, thousands flock to Austin, Texas for the annual South By Southwest Festival (SXSW). If images of crazy partygoers crowding Sixth Street are instantly coming to your mind, we’re here to let you in on a little secret: it’s so much more than that!

Contrary to public opinion, SXSW serves as one of the most inspirational, game changing festivals out there. Featuring film, interactive media, music and insightful panels, SXSW is the perfect place to go to if you’re an entrepreneur looking to take your business to the next level.

To illustrate this point a little better, this season, SXSW 2016 brought out the likes of speakers ranging from Barack and Michelle Obama to some of the world’s most inspirational voices in technology, business and fashion.

Topics discussed at this year’s festival ranged from high-tech movie making and artificial intelligence to how start-up companies can secure funding. If you’re getting the urge to purchase passes for SXSW 2017, we don’t blame you!

In our day and age, it’s so important for business owners to be innovative; at Cobalt Digital Marketing, we believe in the power of pushing the boundaries and going off in directions that have yet to be traveled. To get you and your business fired up for what lies ahead, here’s a look at the top five tech trends seen at SXSW 2016:

  1. All Ears


We’ve all heard of Kickstarter before. Known as the platform that has the potential to give rise to tomorrow’s greatest innovations, it’s no surprise that the winner of Best of Show at the SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards got its start on the site. So, exactly what is this new revolution? Doppler Labs has created a remarkable set of wireless earbuds that allow you to tailor the way you hear the world around you. Sounds incredible, right?

Whether you’re tired of hearing so much commotion when you’re at Starbucks or would like complete silence at the end of your work day, the app’s preset filters give you the power to drown out the unwanted sounds in your environment using its equalizer settings. If you’re up for it, you can also use the app to apply fun sound effects and adjust the volume of your surroundings. The Here Active Listening System currently does not have a release date; you can join the waitlist for $199.

  1. Hello Holograms


We knew it would only be a matter of time till our world was evolved enough to pursue this technological advancement. Featured at Sony’s Future Lab, there was one prototype in particular that was driving tech lovers wild: the Interactive Tabletop. Essentially, it’s a top-down holographic projector that uses augmented reality, gesture sensors, and motion tracking; in other words, it puts digital information into the real world (literally) while allowing you to control the content. The demo at SXSW featured animated characters from Alice in Wonderland springing from the tablet’s screen onto real-life tables and so forth. At this time, there’s no information if the Tabletop will be released commercially.

  1. Camera From Up Above


Awards like the “coolest scientific achievement or discovery that before 2015 was only possible in science fiction” only exist at SXSW. This year’s winner, the Lily Camera, has taken the world of photography to a whole other level. Known as the world’s first true flying camera, this small drone features a 1080p HD camera and microphone that can be thrown in the air and follow along on your shenanigans via a wrist-mounted tracker. It’s a solo-flyer and will use its GPS and computer vision to follow you around for as long as you see fit. The Lily Camera will be released this summer, but you can pre-order it for $899. The possibilities are endless with this device that can fly up to 25 miles per hour!

  1. Money Talks



As our technological world continues to revolutionize, it’s no surprise that Amazon and Capital One have now come out with the first-ever voice activated mobile banking feature. Made for Alexa-enabled devices (Amazon Echo, Amazon Tap, etc.), customers can say something as simple as “Alexa, how much money do I have in my bank account?” for comprehensive insight into all their banking needs. Now, you can have your cake and know exactly how much damage it’s causing your pocketbook!

  1. Happily Ever After


So this one may be purely for inspiration purposes, but Groove Jones created the first-ever virtual reality Happy Meal! Yes—you read that correctly. At the SXSW McDonald’s loft, guests sported HTC Vive Glasses and soon stepped into a life-size Happy Meal. In this virtual reality experience, they were able to customize the box and unleash their inner fast-food fanatic.

Just like the great minds featured at SXSW 2016, our Cobalt Catalysts are looking to take the path less traveled and pursue new and innovative ways to help your business reach its full potential.

Learn how your business can stay ahead of the technological curve by contacting our Cobalt Digital Marketing today.