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Top Trends from SXSW Interactive 2014. The Big Roundup.

  1. SXSW INTERACTIVE 2014 the roundup
  2. Content Intro Digital Disruption Data Privacy Personal devices Omnichannel retail Healthcare Storytelling & content Virtual reality Food technology Robot wars Social good Trends cheat sheet Thanks & references p2 p4 p7 p11 p17 p25 p33 p37 p44 p48 p53 p56 p59 p60
  3. SXSW Interactive 2014 This year’s SXSW wasn’t just about one or two shiny pieces of new tech. More than this, it was a peek at our lives in the future, one that’s so much closer than we realised. Technology we may have already heard of is starting to grow up – wearables, 3D printing, data and mobile continue to be key. Trends are converging and cross-pollinating at an ever-accelerating pace. This year, retail and healthcare were highlighted as the industries facing the most disruption. And talk about privacy issues is a topic none of us can afford to ignore. The future’s both incredibly exciting and scarily intruisive. The decisions we make today, not just as agencies, brands, or technologists but as people, will shape the world we inhabit tomorrow. Ashika Chauhan, @ashikachauhan | @wearebig
  4. DIGITAL DISRUPTION _ A revolution in the very fabric of society.
  5. Technology has the power to disrupt the way society functions – freeing people to think, act and change with greater effect than ever before. Wearable tech, robotics, the internet of things, privacy concerns and innovation in healthcare are all ways in which disruption manifested itself at this year’s conference – making it an underlying theme throughout.
  7. DATA _ Me. My data. And I. And a few thousand branded messages.
  8. Online and real world personalisation Imagine airline seats that adjust to your specific requirements before you board. Air stewards knowing that you’re dehydrated because your wearable has notified them. Driving the ‘industrial internet’ and the ‘internet of things’ Machine to machine communication allows for real-time control. Driverless cars and internet enabled jet engines are examples. Know yourself better than ever before 23andMe allow you to trace your lineage back 10,000 years and discover your history from over 750 maternal lineages and over 500 paternal lineages. Data and personalisation continue to be a big theme this year. So far we’ve seen data being used to count calories on your Fitbit to controlling your heating via Nest. So what’s next?
  9. Data vs personalisation = the value exchange Brands will need to justify requesting personal data with rewarding consumers with helpful personalisation. As consumers we’ll question whether what we’re being offered is valuable to us.
  11. PRIVACY _ Snowdon. Assange. Google.
  12. A concern for all of us Where is the line drawn between what should be considered private and what should be monitored by governments for public safety or state control? At the moment, software we use on a daily basis – for browsing the web, sending emails and interacting on social networks, fail to deliver privacy and security, whilst other more technical programs available may cover these off, they are cumbersome and unintuitive to use. There is such a density of tech businesses in Sillicon Valley, it means that we’re all sending our data to the US. The NSA’s access to data is therefore a global issue. Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Google’s Eric Schmidt all spoke at SXSW about the NSA and the privacy of our data.
  13. “How is it that the internet that everyone looked upon as perhaps the greatest tool of human emancipation there had ever been, had been co-opted and was now involved in the most aggressive form of state surveillance ever seen?” Wikileaks’ are going after organisations that accumulate knowledge and “putting it back into our common intellectual record, our common history… and that empowers us”. Julian Assange
  14. “The NSA is setting fire to the future of the Internet”. The tech community are the firefighters. So many of the services we all rely on are not secure by default. Services need to be secure out of the box. The next WhatsApp and the next Twitter should have end- to-end encrypted communication. Call for a new business model? The likes of Google want access to your email content, so that they can provide you with ‘relevant’ advertising. Data doesn’t need to be stored indefinitely however. Edward Snowdon
  15. “The new model for a dictator is to infiltrate and try to manipulate it (the internet). You’re seeing this in China, and in many other countries.” “Countries like Iran also want to separate themselves from the net. They want their own intranet... People are currently working on encryption tools that are so powerful that this won’t be possible.” “We’re pretty sure right now that the information that’s inside of Google is safe from any government’s prying eyes, including the US government’s...” Google’s Eric Schmidt
  17. PERSONAL DEVICES _ In a few months time there will be more mobiles on the planet than desktops.
  18. Mobile is more important now than ever before. Brands are experiencing the ‘mobile moment’ 50% of Facebook ad spend is mobile, essentially saving their IPO. We see this trend through the analytics for our own clients too, hence our recent investment in apps and our continued commitment to responsive design of websites so that they’re accessible on mobile. Mobile is becoming core to how brands are communicating with consumers. People gravitate to content on mobile. Instagram and Vine feeds are seen as compelling entertainment, rather than advertising. This is where brands need to be investing vs display advertising.
  19. CRM is really important Most apps typically die within a 3 month period, so if you’re launching a new app, it’s important to know what you’ll be doing moving forwards to keep users engaged. “Its about having a customer engagement strategy in a digital world, not just a digital strategy.” Steve Haro, Director, Brand Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
  20. Instagram Whatsapp Tinder Uber Nike+ Mobile is disrupting industries
  21. Focus on: Jelly Co-founder of Twitter Biz Stone talked about his new platform, Jelly. Here’s a roundup of his thoughts. Smartphones are huge hyperlinks between people. Humanity is moving towards being the most connected it’s ever been, and it’s questionable why we are. The true promise of a connected society must be people helping each other. Jelly is essentially the human-powered search engine. “There is an expressed intent when you ask something through Jelly... Google has made a lot of money introducing people to something they are looking for... If you can help people on Jelly really well then you can give us money.” Stone on monetisation Find out more at Brands have already jumped on the bandwagon, ASOS’ star spotting is shown on the left.
  22. The very definition of mobile is in flux. It’s no longer just phones – wearable tech and sensors are fast becoming a big deal. These platforms create a deeper connection with consumers. Owlet (baby care) Glass (eyewear) Jawbone UP (fitness) Koubachi (plant health) Motorola Moto 360 (smartwatch)
  23. Post-screen design Wired led an interesting session talking about post-screen design and UX, here are some of the points that caught our attention. Interaction design is moving beyond the screen. Good UX is immediacy. More context leads to less complexity. It is about the anticipation of an experience as much as the experience itself. A great example of post-screen design is Cone. Cone is the music player that learns your tastes and seamlessly streams the songs you want to hear. Find out more at
  25. OMNICHANNEL RETAIL _ Everything. All the time. At the same time.
  26. What is ‘omnichannel retail’? Consumers want to use all channels simultaneously, or in conjuction with one another. Browsing online before heading into store, or checking out options on their phones and tablets whilst instore. For this to work we need one database of consumers, products, prices and offers that all collerate regardless of channel. So what are the challenges for retailers and consumers? The following are some highlights from an open table discussion with retailers at SXSW.
  27. The issues Separate P&Ls for online and physical stores results in ecommerce vs brick and mortar. Legacy systems make it hard for instore to integrate with online. Physical stores receiving returned goods from online shoppers feel that their bottom line is being affected. Are third-party discounts negatively affecting brand image or sales? How do we track social ROI?
  28. Potential solutions Maybe both channels should be getting 50/50 credit? Many consumers browse online and then shop instore. Rolling out iPads to staff, allowing them to order online when a consumer can’t find what they’re looking for instore. Specific store/staff codes could be used for attribution of the sale if commission is an issue. Social monitoring and reviewing site referrals can give us some idea of how social is playing its part in commerce. Not every piece of content is a straight forward sales tool and can therefore typically be split into the following types: A. Acquisition B. Monetisation C. Engagement
  29. Potential solutions If selling through 3rd party channels as well as your own physical and online stores, make sure you keep and highlight some lines as exclusive to your owned channels. This gives consumers a reason to buy directly from you as they’re getting something they can’t get elsewhere, whilst keeping your 3rd party revenue stream alive. Consumers are looking for: 1. Value (not necessarily price) 2. Convenience 3. Emotional engagement We’re moving towards providing consumers with a personalised experience of the above.
  30. Focus on: iBeacon Tiny sensors placed in physical spaces like retail stores Consumers need to download retailer specific apps and switch on their Bluetooth. Consumers will receive location-based information and offers. Check out the video to see it in action
  31. Omnichannel is as much something that needs to be achieved internally in business as well as externally to improve the consumer’s experience. If your retail team is segmented from your ecommerce team, omnichannel experiences will be a lot harder to achieve. Those retailers ready to develop a new culture will reap the rewards.
  33. HEALTHCARE _ The big industry about to face disruption
  34. Wearables like Fitbit, Fuelband and Jawbone are empowering consumers to look after their own fitness better. Scandu allows you to monitor your temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, Oximetry, ECG, HRV, Stress levels and urine. allows people in the US to access medical advice from their smartphones.
  35. The very question of us needing doctors’ offices came into question in one session, with people self-diagnosing or data pre-empting illness, what did that mean for the role of the doctor moving forwards? A two-year-old of the future whose health is tracked in detail “will have more medical data in the cloud than any adult alive today,” Dr. Leslie Saxon, University of Southern California’s Center for Body Computing.
  37. STORYTELLING & CONTENT _ Make me care.
  38. People gravitate towards content and can be blind to display ads. The internet offers the first, global interactive medium for storytelling. Stories can have a 2 way narrative that includes, or is driven by the consumer. User-generated content can form the story. People are creating their own stories, through their social channels.
  39. Ridley Scott Asssociates (RSA) Whilst it’s not the end of TV advertising, online audiences have exploded. Instead of gatecrashing the party, online content is the kind that is invited in. Jaguar: Desire RSA produced a mini-move funded by Jaguar to promote the new F-Type. Golden Globe winner Damian Lewis starred, with a soundtrack by Lana Del Ray. Adam Smith and Casper Delaney talk about the planning, shooting and distributing of the short: View the trailer: Prometheus RSA produced a series of viral videos, which included a 2023 TED talk, a real telephone line providing unsuspecting consumers with exclusive content, product ads on Mashable and outreach to technical experts on LinkedIn. They won a Gold Lion for Best Integrated Campaign, in the Branded Content & Entertainment category. Case study:
  40. Scott Free Films Life in a day. Christmas in a day. Britain in a day. Japan in a day. To date, these are the biggest crowd-sourced films of their kind. Life in a day People around the world were asked to film their lives and answer a few simple questions. The film looks to capture a specific day in history for future generations and is the first of what led to a series. They received 4,500 hours of video from 192 countries. All of it shot on a single day. Produced by Ridley Scott and Directed by Kevin Macdonald. Watch the film: Christmas in a day Life in a day’s popularity led to Sainsbury’s commissioning their seasonal campaign – Christmas in a day with Scott Free. The film was an experiment to reveal how Britain really celebrates Christmas. Sainsbury’s let Scott Free have creative control and what was initially only intended for online audiences, ended up being used for their TV advertising also. Watch the film:
  41. This is the Whole Foods’ online magazine, whereby unbranded insightful and inspirational videos and articles about everyday people living interesting lives are broadcast. Dark Rye boasts it’s own team of full time directors and producers. Copy and art direction of the site delivers real personality, drawing the consumer in. Check out the site
  42. A subscription based sampling service for beauty and cosmetics products, Birchbox uses editorial content to draw in new audiences and keep current customers interested. 10 facts from Birchbox Editorial Director, Mollie Chen 01. Birchbox has 600,000 subscribers. 02. 16% of all traffic comes via content. 03. 18 editors in New York and others scattered around the globe. 04. They see content as a way to empower business, 04. create engagement and add value to products. 05. They produce 12 videos a month and 5 blogs a day. 06. Content is split into the following categories: informational, 06. utility, insider tips and entertainment. 07. Their team internally is curated to reflect the range in their consumer base. 08. Content shouldn’t have a dead end and should deepen your 08. relationship with your audience. 09. Birchbox regards itself as an ecommerce business, however 09. has the approach of a friend who recommends 09. and provides samples. 10. The Birchbox editorial team also write all the shop site copy. Check out the site |
  43. what’s your story?
  44. VIRTUAL REALITY _ Not just gaming. Film, education and communication are all about to change.
  45. Oculus Rift The vision: Immersive virtual reality technology that’s wearable and affordable. $2.4 million in funding was raised via Kickstarter, with enthusiasts as well as game studios getting their hands on DK1. DK2 has just been opened up for pre-order, boasting some great improvements for gameplay. Oculus now belongs to the Facebook family. Find out more on the Oculus site: Project Morpheus Sony are also trying to get in on the action with their own headset. Find out more on their blog: introducing-project-morpheus/
  46. Tesco goes virtual Despite the gaming world being most openly excited about this, there are lots of future opportunities for film, education, architecture, retail and communication in general. Developers specialising in all of the above are currently working on VR projects.
  48. FOOD TECHNOLOGY _ You are what you 3D print.
  49. “Your dinner’s in the printer” Maybe this is what we’ll be saying someday soon. 3D printing’s making an impact in every industry including food. Here are a few examples of brands experimenting with the tech. Oreo Oreo tapped into the trend and used 3D printing tech alongside a bunch of other key trends such as customisation to produce their Trending Vending experience at SXSW. Check out the tech behind-the-scenes in the video below. #eatthetweet ChefJet One of the largest makers of 3D printers, 3D Systems were handing out multi-coloured sweets printed by their line of “ChefJet” printers at SXSW. ChefJets are due to be available from the second half of the year, priced below $5,000 USD. The printers are designed for bakeries, cake shops and events. The company had previously announced a collaborative partnership with Hershey.
  50. Food technology We hear it all the time – one day in the near future we won’t be able to produce enough food to feed the world’s population. SXSW gave a platform to food technologists passionate about biochemistry, food processing and biotechnology, in a bid to improve our food beyond its natural state. This will have fundamental implications on all of our health and work towards combatting food shortages globally. Modern Meadow Developing new ways to grow meat and leather, no need for animal slaughter and much lower inputs of land, water, energy and chemicals. Beyond Meat Focused on perfectly replacing animal protein with plant protein. Their vision intends to change the future of “meat”. Investors include Bill Gates and the founders of Twitter. Hampton Creek Foods Taking eggs out of the equation, their first product is a mayo made from yellow peas. They also want to ensure products cost less than their egg-based equivalents. Again, BIll Gates is an investor.
  51. Eating’s cheating So who was it that told us we needed to eat at all? Soylent For some people food is a hassle, especially if you’re trying to eat well. Soylent is a liquid formula personalised for different body types and customised for individual goals. You’re able to experience the health benefits at a low cost.
  53. ROBOT WARS _ A threat to society?
  54. They’re coming! Humanoid robotics are currently expensive but robots that serve a real purpose in everyday life do not have to be. A useful robot is affordable and easy to use, so maybe it won’t be so long until we’ve all got robots at home and in the workplace. Finch and Reactive presented ‘The Most Powerful Arm Ever Invented.’ Aimed at making technology emotional and innovative-cool at the same time. The interactive robot arm was fueled by Facebook for the non-profit organization Save Our Sons. Needing to bring more attention to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, they wanted the Australian government to make research a priority. With over 32,000 Australians ultimately signing their petition, The Most Powerful Arm has become the most successful health-related petition in Australian history. Check out the case study here: “People who embrace robots will see their salaries increase, whereas those that don’t will see their salaries drastically decrease.” Google’s Director of Ideas, Jared Cohen
  55. SOCIAL GOOD _ One for all and all for one.
  56. More connected than ever before With the advent of social networks, we’ve become more connected to each other than we’ve ever been, so it makes you wonder, what can be achieved now that wasn’t previously possible. Chelsea Clinton on “Harnessing the Power of Tech and Data for Development.” Clinton challenged us to improve the use of tech to do good. She highlighted organisations like M-Pesa, a mobile banking startup based in Africa and Sproxil who work to check that drugs are legitimate – who are actually funded by the Clinton Foundation. She also went on to talk about how all innovation doesn’t necessarily have to be brand new, we should embrace technology we already understand to make positive changes – an example being if all money was tracked by RFID, it would have a significant impact on corruption. She finished by encouraging us all to use our online networks to have a voice and make a positive impact on the world. Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS – the One for One company. For every pair of shoes TOMS sell, they also donate a pair of shoes to a child in need. For every pair of glasses they sell, they restore somebody’s sight. And now, as revealed at SXSW, for every bag of TOMS coffee that is sold TOMS will provide financing for a week’s worth of clean water to a person in need. TOMS is a for-profit company that has built social good into their business model and Mycoskie emphasised that it is this more than anything that has resulted in their ongoing success. |
  58. DISRUPTORBEDISTRUPTED WHAT DO YOU VALUE? VALUE? FIREFIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS! #Disruption, #Change, #Agile #SXSW14, #SXSWINTERACTIVE TRENDS CHEAT SHEET #MobileFirst, #Responsive, #Wearables #VirtualReality, #VR, #OculusRift #3Dprinting, #Biochemistry, #Biotechnology #Robotics #SocialGood #Retail, #Omnichannel #Heathcare, #Data #Content, #Storytelling #Data, #Personalisation, #ValueExchange #Data, #Privacy, #Encryption YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE what’s your story? SEEINGISBELIEVING FOODFOR THOUGHT WHATWILLYOUDO? ALWAYS TURNEDON
  59. thank you Steve Haro, Boeing Jared Cohen, Google The team at Urban Airship Richard Ting, R/GA Julian Assange Edward Snowden Eric Schmidt, Google Biz Stone, Jelly Cliff Kuang, Wired Tim Lakin, Sketchers Caspar Delaney, RSA Films Jack Arbuthnott, Scott Free Mollie Chen, Birchbox Chris Saint-Amant, Netflix The team at Proof Vince Maniago, Tim Hayden, TTH Palmer Luckey, Oculus Rift Chelsea Clinton, The Clinton Foundation Linda Boff, GE Blake Mycoskie, TOMS Kevin Bacon Mindy Kaling, The Mindy Project Don, Dan and Kristin at Brownshoe Chade-Meng Tan, Google Pete Cashmore, Mashable Liz Harper, GM TBWA Pam Scheideler, Deutsch LA Mike Lowe, The Golf Channel Jonathan Nielsen, Joanna Coles, Cosmopolitan Olivier Fleurot, MSLGROUP Kerry Bodine Mike Norman, Genuine This doc’s been written by Ashika Chauhan. Apologies to any references I’ve missed off by mistake. If you’re reading this, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this year’s trends and tech, say hello @ashikachauhan or @wearebig. A big thank you to all the speakers, panelists and people we met throughout this year’s SXSW.