Mar 13, 2013

SXSW Interactive 2013: five key themes

I just got back from SXSW Interactive. Five main themes bubbled up from the sessions I attended:

1) How to make "big data" more relevant and more useful for companies and consumers from a product/service, communications and experience standpoint...and the growth of data that's user-generated vs. collected (the "self-trackers" or "quantified self).

2) The movement of "computing" from a fixed device (desktop, laptop, phone) to something you wear or interact in physical space: Leap Motion, Basis/Fitbit, smart appliances, sensors, 3D projections, augmented reality, machines the communicate to you or other machines.

3) Profound changes to what constitutes the "network": a) device to device communication (Tesco's ordering billboard in South Korea, smart appliances), 2) ambient/background presence that's always on and working...connected to your life vs. just your devices, 3) expansion to home appliances (Nest thermostat, iGrill, Withings scale), and 4) the network that travels with you, wherever you go.

4) Huge movement toward making services/devices that help us change ourselves and our care, personal finance specifically. This includes both smart product design and behavioral systems design (many PHds work on these projects as consultants) to make change possible via small steps, appropriate triggers and contextual reminders.

5) Responsive design, meaning platform-agnostic content delivery that's dynamic and predictive. Also a lot of chatter about behavioral design...which seems to involve greater integration into a person's lifestyle, habits and activities.

More to come.

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