Tuesday, March 14th, 2017 | 4 min read
As someone who keeps an eye on the market for Sprinklr, SXSW is always a fascinating time for me. Over the last few days I’ve explored the trade show floor and attended sessions on a wide range of tech-related topics.
Below are some of my observations on what’s hot (and what’s not) in Austin this year.
I knew that bots and AI would be big themes of SXSW17 just from the sheer number of sessions dedicated to these topics. There was even a bot meet-up (which I attended).
At this point, there’s no consensus regarding when bots will be ready for prime time—some of the developers I spoke with said they are great now and ready for mass adoption, while other predictions ranged from 2-6 years!
A common question I received was, “How would you want to use a bot?” To me, this suggests that nobody knows how to implement them beyond a few small use cases.
Snap glasses are making a mark in Austin. I attempted to count how many people were wearing them, and at last count I’ve seen 21 people. I didn’t know how many to expect, but it’s clear that the technology is gaining ground—at least among the tech-savvy set.
There has been lots of discussion around how to make the right content, at the right time, for the right audience, on the right channel.
It’s vital to optimize content and be where your users are—this may sound like basic, common knowledge, but it really is the key to success. Of course, boosting your content with ads doesn’t hurt either.
On the trade show floor I saw an increased amount of companies focused on hacking healthcare. There were lots of health apps on display, including many from Asian companies. They’re using data and technology to solve anything from chronic pain, to stress, to general health issues.
It seems these companies recognize the value of data from tools like FitBit and Apple Health, and see an opportunity to apply this sort of information to a broader range of health concerns.
There was also a whole area of booths promoting the benefits of cannabis and hemp. Last year, there were maybe one or two booths dedicated to the growing field.
Sprinklr’s out-of-this-world friends at NASA had the biggest booth on the show floor, and it was hoppin’. Aside from a spacesuit selfie station, they offered briefings on current and future missions, such as how they’re planning to use the Orion rocket for longer missions and how they’re keeping an eye on our planet (such as tracking polar ice via satellite). Cool stuff from a fascinating, social-focused organization.
There were also lots of makers at the tradeshow: coding, building, 3D printing, you name it. If you can create it, people were doing it.
Virtual Reality may have been the top trend last year, but there was relatively little VR on the floor this year.
These observations cover what I’ve been able to see over the past few days. Keep in mind that at such a large conference, it’s nearly impossible to see everything that’s going on. With all of the exciting things happening in tech, however, maybe there will soon be a bot able to suggest an optimal schedule based on machine learning. Guess I’ll have to see what happens next year.