South By South West 2014 Ogilvy Labs Trend report By William Harvey @WilliamEdHarvey
Every March Austin, Texas is overrun by some of the greatest minds and practitioners from the world of music, arts, technology, advertising and Politics. They bash out and debate some of the greatest discussion and subject matter affecting the world of communication. With every year SXSW (South by South West) gets bigger and more elaborate. Its origins as a music festival have been left behind in the wake of what has now become the greatest conference for creative free thinkers in the world. !SXSW takes new tools, deposits them in rooms full of tech and creative people, who then dismantle and debate them to work out just how they might work and have an effect within contemporary cultures and lifestyles. Compared to conferences such as CES, MWC (used to launch the latest and greatest tech and toys into market), SXSW has become the place to discuss, debate and create future tech-driven road maps in culture, how/will people actually use them and what their effects might be This was the Labs 3rd
year studying, debating, chewing over, summarising and reporting back on SXSW. As usual, a host of new ideas were on offer, along with validation of a number of trends and subjects weve covered and reported on in the past, lots of which are finally making their way into the mainstream onto consumers radar. This year there was a even larger presence of brands and ad. agencies present. 50+ Ogilvy employees (35 last year) Some very big brands hosted large stunts : Samsung, IBM and Chevrolet. !Here come the stats... 30,000+ Interactive Attendees 600+ Sessions 74 Countries represented 1m #SXSW Tweets across 5 days !Wearable tech most talked about topic with -15k tweets - 800+ News articles - By 2018 will be an $18 billion market
Indiegogo The next Kickstarter? !Crowd funding has become a big mainstream business trend since its inception in 2009 with the launch of Kickstarter. Over 4 years, people have pledged over $1Billion on projects from board games to health trackers. Kickstarter has led this space, but Indiegogo is showing the potential to break that monopoly.
Indiegogos approach to the crowd funding space is different. The Kickstarter model is all or nothing & has very strict guidelines. Indiegogo is a
more natural fit for creative thinking and application. The user base is 1/6th the size of Kickstarter as yet, but they are overtly open to commercial partnerships. They have already worked with MTV to develop new content and Barack Obama on Start Up America to offer crowd-funding for entrepreneurs.
This openness to partnership means they are perfect for brands to collaborate with, to trial and launch more experimental products and services by fully embracing crowdsourcing and listening to users.
Trends Big in 2014 Downfall of Bitcoin? Over the past year you couldn't have missed the ongoing debate around Bitcoin, a peer to peer virtual currency originally (rumoured) to have been developed in Japan. It has been in the press even more over the past 6 months, because of alleged non-regulation and security flaws and the supposed growth of the value of the currency people are putting into it. Recently a number of Bitcoin cash machines have popped up including at SXSW (see picture). This allowed users to exchange real currency for Bitcoins and vice versa. The future of this currency seems incredibly unstable as Mt.Gox (the largest exchange of Bitcoin in Japan) recently filed for bankruptcy, with an announcement that theyre missing 850k Bitcoins allegedly valued at $450 Million... Hmm.. well be watching this closely and will report back.
Digital Wellbeing + Sharing Following on from the whole suite of new fitness and health trackers launched earlier this year at CES, this is now taking an interesting tack, with the help of social, as well as Bio-gram. Basically, biometric photo-sharing on social media. Our always on and sharing culture now means people feel the need to compete and share more and more personal information. Within the fitness and tracker space its now easier and more accurate. Nikes run app lets you share a map of your route then post comparison stats. This will only grow as the showboating levels of fitness, and need to share does too. !!!
Food and Tech An explosion of brands embraced the growing food and tech scene. The IBM food truck used cognitive cooking, powered Watson Super computer, partnered with culinary education. It combined 3 elements - Ingredient, Cuisine and type of dish to create unconventional new food ideas. Delicacies such as Ceviche Fish and chips and Vietnamese Apple Kebabs for example. It created a real, unique buzz across the conference. Oreos also showcased the Trending Vending Machine, a 3D food printing, vending machine. It allowed you to select and customise your Oreo fillings and biscuits then have them 3D Printed ready to eat in minutes.
Smart City vs Playable City We have all seen concept videos to what the future of Smart cities might be.
Microsoft, Berg and IBM have all depicted very cold, streamlined interactions with our surroundings to make them more efficient and linear. !One company who predicted it a more fun and playful vision of a smarter cities future was the Bristol based PAN Studios team. Their 2012 project Hello Lampost looks to develop a more surprising, delightful and engaging perspective on how we might interact with a Smart City. Hello lamppost is a simple idea that takes everyday objects in a city with an identification number on them, and brings them to life by responding to a conversation with its own personality when people text in to that code. This gets people to look and think differently to how we interact with the ever connected cities we live in. A perfect branded example of this is the famous VW Fun Theory Musical Stairs.
You need to give people permissions to play in open Connected City's
Clare Reddington - Pervasive Media Studio !To have human like intelligence, devices will require human like senses
Vlad Sejnoha - CTO - Nuance Communications
Crowd Funding With Kickstarter recently announcing having received $1 Billion in pledges since 2009 competitors such as Indiiegogo have started up.
This year at SXSW the biggest recurring topic across numerous sessions was around privacy. The big debate now is of course linked to leaks. The NSA, and how the US government has been allegedly tracking, monitoring and invading personal email accounts, calls in multiple countries was being talked about everywhere. A number of key speakers were very open to share their opinions on privacy and what this could mean for the future of the use of the internet. Edward Snowden The most anticipated speaker this year at SXSW was Edward Snowden. An ex CIA employee and former NSA (National Security Agency) contractor, Edward came into the spotlight in June 2013 when he leaked a number of classified documents disclosing the details of global surveillance programs run by the NSA. They included phone hacking, email tracking and internet surveillance. He is currently on the run from several government bodies for his actions. He appeared via video link, scrambled by several proxies from a unknown location in Russia. He stressed in his talk the importance of the free internet, the risk of it becoming government controlled and possible breaches of privacy that might follow He has several, key influential supporters : Sir Tim Berners Lee (inventor of WWW) and Sergey Brin (co-founder of Google) who have spoken publicly in support : ..we don't have to give up our liberty for security !Julian Assange Julian Assange is the editor-in-chief and founder of WikiLeaks. Set up in 2006, it became internationally well known in 2010 when it began publishing secret US Military and diplomatic documents. He is currently held up in the
Ecuadorian Embassy in London and appeared virtually at SXSW via Skype. He wanted to add weight to the current debate about political disclosure that is at the heart of Wikileaks. He also criticised private entities such as Google and Facebook for the handling and storing of their resource of personal data, for commercial and marketing gain. Are we willing to give away personal information to companies such as Apple, Google, Amazon in favour of getting more personalised services, offers experiences? Well, one speaker told us 66% of Americans say they do not want to receive targeted ads, but 53% of them want websites they visit to offer discounts tailored to their interests. This one will continue to be a hot topic for some time. Cake and eat it too springs to mind again.!NSA The NSA (National Security Agency) in the US was officially set up in the 50s, but originated from a team in WW1 that was used to decipher coded communications. More recently its been discovered to have been monitoring billions of people worldwide, most specifically tracking peoples movements via cellphone GPS. When this was leaked back in 2013 by Edward Snowden it made people aware of the possibilities of GPS monitoring and tracking on mobile devices. Since then it has raised a number of ethical conversations of opt-in options to share location data with governments, providers and brands.
NSA is setting fire to the future of what the internet could be
The greatest threat to our modern world is Cyber attacks
Privacy and Politics Who is doing what with your Data
Virtual Speakers This year saw both Edward Snowden and Julian Asstrange appear as virtual speakers due to their current political status
Little Bits Circuits in Seconds !Little Bits are a US based IOT company that produces snap together circuit boards using magnets, no need for soldering, programming, or wiring skills!The simplicity of this product allows users to make something that does something right out of the box. You start with power element you add an input (such as a button) then an output (such as a light) by just snapping them together and you can keep branching out with various Bits such as fans, pressure
sensors, sound triggers and even more being released all the time. Its a fantastic first step into understanding electronic hardware and circuit boards, in this rapidly-growing IOT space, and the trend to enable inanimate objects to do new functions/ actions kits like this helps bridge into this world. Imagine enabling your seat, when you sit down, your table light turns on, when you close your front door, a little motor shakes your key bowl to remind you to put them down. It has a huge possibility to inspire more people to get involved in the Maker Movement that was out in force this year at SXSW
Drones Are they taking over? !A subject we have not covered in past trend reports was a biggie this year. A Drone is an un-manned aerial vehicle (UAV) controlled remotely by a human. Originally used by the military for surveillance and long distance reconnaissance, drones have started to become more mainstream over the past 16 months, with a number of more affordable consumer versions now coming to market.
Parrot AR drone The most well know consumer drone company is Parrot AR. They start at around 299 for the flagship 2.0 model, with an on board HD camera, streamed to and controlled from a mobile phone for up to 30 metres. It shows the possibilities at the affordable end of the market for drones, and has already enabled a number of amateur film makers to attach GoPro or similar digital cameras to achieve aerial shots for a fraction of the professional versions.
Amazon Prime Air Amazon showcased a concept 6 months back into the possible future of express delivery using drones. Amazon Prime Air would be an express service using automated drones utilising geolocation pick up of products from distribution centers seconds after the order is placed, couriered then by a drone directly to the customers front door in minutes. At this stage, its theoretical, but has sparked conversations about the possibility of fully automated distribution, as well as competitors such as DHL to experiment with their own version of the service.
Performances Drones have also made an appearance in a number of stunts and performances already. Lexus used a swarm of drone copters in their Ad. Amazing in Motion that created a buzz on the internet as people believed them to be CGI, as they seemed so synchronized and smoothly. More recently, as part of the promotion of release of the latest Star Trek movie on DVD in London, a fleet of Drones took off with lights attached and then synchronized together to create the Starfleet logo from the film. This illustrates the fantastic potential for guerilla marketing of products and brands in the sky, drones configured to perform set pieces mid air. !
Cupid Stunt Copter At SXSW this year Chaotic Moon made a stir, showcasing the CUPID (Chaotic Unmanned Personal Intercept Drone) which is a self-piloting stunt-copter that can be programmed to video patrol designated areas. Still in prototyping stage, it felt like a huge PR stunt, but has the potential to offer the first real glimpse into true pre-programmed robotics, automated drone systems and even AI. They plan to develop and bring to market a home automated surveillance system later this year.Stay tuned to the drone space as we expect to see it being used heavily in 2014 as it moves away from PR stunts into more practical deployment and uses.
Amazon delivers packages, We deliver 80,000 volts of Awesomeness
Chaotic Moon Studios
Build your own Make something that does something! Little Bits snaps together circuit boards using magnets
The Maker Movement has a similar trajectory to that of the personal computer revolution
The Raising Geeks
Something growing within the creative and technology space is the development of the future of making. With the increase in availability, affordability and accessibility for consumers, students and small businesses of tech like 3D printing, it has started a whole new maker movement of people prepared to try and DIY. It plays completely into the growing thrust from the Millennials generation to question, take part, take control and build for themselves This year at SXSW, they created a dedicated space to bring together like-minded people to make stuff: SXSW Create It encouraged makers t...