1. The Age of Context is Upon Us
The Nike+ Fuelband launched at SXSW12. The mountains of social data we generate combined with the rapidly evolving technology and devices we all own means we entering the age of context. How can social data make you and your phone smarter? How do apps such as Google Now (& Google Glass) easily take disparate data sources and help enhance your life? How does all this information make your life more efficient? This is a space to watch at SXSW this year to see any new product launches, emerging trends and discussions.
2. Gaming + Social = Mainstream Conversation
SXSW Gaming is the fast growing video game component of SXSW Interactive. It brings the world of video games to the mix in Austin, and is one to watch as the intersection between gaming and social connectivity spills over into the mainstream conversation at the event.
3. Social TV Strategy Expansion
Social TV is not a new topic but what is new is how TV shows have placed social at their core, and they appear aplenty in Austin this year. From Andy Cohen’s onsite episodes of Watch What Happens Live to panels from many in the ecosystem including the WWE, Conan, Deadliest Catch and TMZ, Austin 2013 is the place for the broadcast industry to get social.
4. Twitter and Innovation Lead the Charge
Twitter first blew up at SXSW in 2007 – could this be Twitter’s year again at SXSW13? With the recent launch of its advertising API, the latest Synch Tweet collaboration with AMEX (client) and new direct marketing tools for brands are among many recent innovations to the many panels featuring Twitter at their core this year, it feels like the bird is certainly having a moment in Austin this year.
5. The Sky is No Longer The Limit
Space ships are in vogue this year, appearing in everything from commercials (AXE) to branded content (RedBull) – and at SXSW that trend continues apace. Elon Musk the CEO and chief designer at SpaceX, will keynote in Austin this year alongside panel appearances from five-time NASA astronaut John Grunsfeld, who visited Hubble on three missions; as well as experts in astrophysics, Microsoft’s Worldwide Telescope project, and Webb prime contractor Northrop Grumman.