Keeping Hothouse Weird
Our Creative Director and Directory of Technology weigh in on the best of SXSW Interactive.
Our own Andy Harrison and Dale Bump recently represented Hothouse at SXSW Interactive, the preeminent festival for emerging technology—where groundbreaking products and ideas in the tech world make their debut on the way to becoming essentials in our everyday lives. They had a jam-packed trip full of eye-opening sessions, inspiring keynotes and equally life-changing Austin BBQ. Here are their impressions on the experience.
What was the most memorable session you attended?
Andrew Harrison, Director of Technology: AI, Immortality and the Future of Selves. You know, just an everyday casual talk about xenotransplantation, artificial intelligence, transgenderism, pharmaceutical development, space exploration and robotics.
Dale Bump, Creative Director: I agree. The audience experience was equal parts fascination, concern and intellectual intrigue about these future possibilities.
What’s the most unexpected thing you learned?
AH: Virtual reality (VR) might actually become a practical thing. It’s come a long way from that Dave & Busters game I played 20 years ago.
DB: I was genuinely surprised that this is a time of high-level of uncertainty for industries across the board as the speed of tech/tech platforms change and evolve. The general theme for survival and success was test, learn and pivot over and over again.
If you were going to double-down and invest in a new platform or idea you saw at SXSW, what would it be?
AH: The “Maker Movement”- empowering the next generation of innovators to bring digital ideas into the physical world.
DB: You mean besides the cloning of organs to save lives? 😉 Like Andy said, VR innovation is going to make its way into the mainstream as technology continues to improve dramatically and the cost of devices is dropping—much like HD TVs did in the not-so-distant past.
Jimmy Kimmel recently interviewed SXSW attendees about bands that don’t actually exist. So, who was your favorite fake band from SXSW?
AH: Either “Spark House” or “The Hot Grovers.”
DB: “Oculus Rifters” or “The Genetically Modified Pig Organists.”