This year’s SXSW Interactive festival has brought several products and trends into the spotlight. For the thousands of people that descend upon Austin, Texas each year, it is any opportunity to see what some of the up and coming companies will be doing in the new year. Many of the topics and devices that trend at SXSW have the capacity to become mainstream within the near future. Here is a sample of just a few of the emerging trends that were seen this year at SXSW.
Body Motion Control
By now, everyone has heard of devices like Xbox Kinect that can read body motions. These devices are now moving beyond the realm of gaming and into desktop computing. Devices at the expo included desktop monitors that could read your motions and respond with complex 3-D graphics modeling. The company Leap Motion is working to make this type of interface more affordable.
Another hugely popular trend seen was in 3-D printing technology. 3-D printing company Geomagic is about to release a printer that retails for $1,299. Celebrity entrepreneur and founder of Geomagic, Ping Fu, stated that she expects that the price of the 3-D printer will drop below $500 in three years, and that it continue dropping until everyone has one.
Tracking User Bahvior
One of the biggest trends that was seen this year was the use of technology to track user behavior. This phenomenon is now known as the “quantified self” movement. As we have seen with devices such as FitBit or FuelBand, there is a huge amount of interest in the ability to track behaviors such as the amount of steps taken in a day. However, the use of these technologies is now expanding to even save lives. Soon iPhone users will be able to check their blood glucose with an iPhone blood glucose meter. Another device featured was a bra that can detect breast cancer when worn for a period of approximately 12 hours. All of the trends highlighted this year appear to be about the increasing ability for users to harness technology for the needs of the individual.
[Image via danielgallo]