SXSW Day 1 Recap

If you’re wondering how I’m doing this from Los Angeles and Seattle, go back and read my kickoff report. If not, lets get into what I’m seeing:

  • SXSW, much like Westworld is only for the very rich
  • Cinnabon is trying to relate to millennials
  • Google’s got piñatas
  • People are still holding on to the VR dream (see: Ready Player One)

Trending Topics

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 10.07.23 AM.pngBlockchain and AI

What did I tell you? #blockchain #crypto #machinelearning #bigdata. Its here, its happening. IBM and Etherum are leading the conversation in Blockchain and crypto currencies. Kinda glad the focus is more on blockchain tech rather than how bitcoin is going to change the world. Honestly though, looking through these tweets, people still have no idea what’s going on. Its just trendy to talk about blockchain.

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 10.15.22 AM.png

Westworld

I am low-key mad I’m not at SX if only for the Westworld activation. It kinda looks like Tombstone, AZ but it still looks pretty cool. I wondered if it could live up to the hype and so far it seems like it is.

Bar_Flame

Cinnabon

So, I give credit to Amanda Novak for sending this to me, but since I saw it trending at the very bottom of the list, I’m gonna call it out.

Nothing says feminism and innovation like a warm Cinnabon. Amanda had a good point, someone probably wanted to go to SX and was like “what a great way to target millennials and stay relevant.” Honestly, I’m kind of shocked in the #girlslounge it wasn’t white wine and skinny pop.

In reality though, their strategy kind of worked. I found myself in John Wayne Airport looking for a Cinnabon. Just because they aren’t cool anymore doesn’t mean they’re not delicious.

Cinnabon if you’re reading this, just get out of malls. We don’t want to go there.

Google

People are conflicted about Google’s SX slogan “Make Google Do It.” What does that even mean? Is Google going to solve all of our workplace harassment and wage gap problems? But, people are pretty into all the piñatas onsite at their activation. Maybe the piñata stores on East Cesar Chavez said “I wish someone would help keep us in business and buy our piñatas!” and someone, somewhere said “Make Google Do It” AND THEY DID.

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 10.46.04 AM

Virtual Reality

So I thought we all agreed Virtual Reality makes us nauseous and we were gonna slowly send it along with Google Glass, but apparently not. Sony’s whole activation this year is around VR and music. They got Khalid to play a show, and honestly I’m hoping people are just interested in Khalid and not VR. Would anyone come to a show where they had to wear a headset to watch it? Probably not. And tbh Sony is kind of falling behind Samsung in this vein.

Bose is also on this train, showing off their new AR glasses with built in sound. They think people could use this to re-enact historical scenes or give you directions when you get to an airport. Coming to a museum near you.

For those of you who are like “uh AR is different from VR.” I know, and I don’t care.

In the ultimate “please let VR be a thing” fantasy, Spielberg’s Ready Player One is premiering at SXSW Film.

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