Geek Chic Meek - iCrossing at SXSW 2013


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Three iCrossing’s subject matter experts – Jonathan Adams, senior vice president of media for North America; Rachel Pasqua, head of mobile; and Gary Stein, senior vice president of strategy and planning – identified this year’s top trends and as well as its disappointments.

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  • iCrossing presenters:Jonathan Adams, SVP, Media, North America - @JAdamsCTRachel Pasqua, VP, Mobile - @rachelpasquaGary Stein, SVP, Strategy and Planning - @garyst3in
  • Google Shoes: These are a pair of adidas basketball shoes with a sensor and a speaker. The sensor picks up the stuff that you are doing (running, jumping and so on) and the speaker talks to you. It gives you feedback and comments that are relevant to your activity. I spoke with the developers and they told me that there are no plans to market the product. Really, they were just playing around—seeing what they could come up with. They reminded me how important playing is to inventing. We have to always remember to go through the whimsical phase (before we start getting too practical).
  • This application gathers many people's photos together to create one big, 3D image. The power of you, multiplied.
  • Digital Glass: My first geek encounter happened before I even got to SXSW — a Pepsi drinks cooler at the Austin airport caught my eye with its digital glass display.  More and more in the coming year, we'll see surfaces around us becoming canvases for brand/consumer interaction.
  • The new app from Google and VW, Smileage, enables you to turn your drives into a multimedia story.
  • Montaj, the do-it-yourself short film-making app typifies the Maker Culture meme—there's a stronger trend now than ever to document, curate and share every moment of our lives and consumers are becoming pros at it.
  • This newly launched mobile app, MARS, Minimizes the weird behaviors we ask consumers to do, just to get more info on a product. Hopefully this is the end of clunky QR code technology. This app uses augmented reality to retrieve information about a product. Simply by taking a photo of an item a user could quickly download a coupon or find out exactly what all the buttons do on a new car's dashboard.
  • Clashotis an app with big ambitions – to change the way stock photography is paid for and used online. Although the idea is cool, what struck me the most is the founder's passion for the product. One person with one idea can make it really far. As long as they have conviction
  • The most chic thing I saw was Tree Swing. For me, Chic means something so attractive that you just want to be a part of it, and Tree Swing qualifies. This app, which is not out yet, is a new way of investing in mutual funds. It is a simple interface—you choose the fund (or funds) that you want to invest in, link up your bank account and your other social channels (like Foursquare) and start investing. You can start with as little as a dollar, and there are no transaction fees. But what is more amazing is that you are consistently prompted to put more money in to your account, often in very small amounts. If you buy a coffee at Starbucks (which it will know since it is linked to Foursquare), it will give you a chance to put that same amount into your mutual fund. It is such a clever idea because it gets people to start saving money, but also is a big disruption to the standard way of investing in stocks. I pick this app as the winner of the show. I think they are on to a revolution.
  • Leap Motion: The new trends in digital interfaces is no interface at all. Gestural technologies like Leap Motion, showcased at this year's SXSW will aid us not only in interacting with our desktop and mobile devices but also the aforementioned digital surfaces, social machines and connected and convergent spaces will be faster and more efficiently than ever. In many ways, these gestural technologies show us that as our lives become more complex due to the constant streams of data we're subjected to, we're longing for greater ease of use and simplicity in managing them.
  • Wearable Technology: Google Glasses and Talking Shoes are exciting from a nerd perspective but most of us are going to feel pretty silly wearing them. The only thing stopping wearable technology from becoming an everyday reality is the availability of digital apparel we're actually willing to wear. At this year's SXSW, several design and technology shops gathered to discuss their research in making wearable tech a reality for everyone. Designs for fashionable (and connected) gloves, jewelry, eyewear jackets and more were discussed and we suspect we'll be seeing evidence of truly wearable technology in 2013.
  • The one thing I saw that I was not too impressed with was a music streaming app. I could go into the details, but really, this felt like technology that had already been invented. I've heard this pitch before. Maybe it is still a good idea, and maybe they have some subtle twist on the model that I am missing. But really, this felt like the pace of invention in this category has slowed to a crawl, and I just can't believe that is true.
  • Lines around the block to see Grumpy Cat. Enough said.
  • The Beam exhibit at SXSW was by far the most laughable—and the most promising! The idea of being able to project your physical self into an inanimate object from 1000s of miles away is genius in terms of collaboration solutions—the ultimate social, mobile machines. But the execution at this point is more like bad scifi!
  • The concept of being able to interact with an inanimate object—whether via social, gestural motion or even voice, isn't so far off as you'd think. Very soon it will be commonplace exchange with a side of a vending machine or to get information in a store or public place from a holograph or digital screen persona. Right now though, the earliest executions of social machines are very wonky – more like a faulty IVR system than Max Headroom or HAL 9000.
  • Geek Chic Meek - iCrossing at SXSW 2013

    1. GEEK, Chic, & meek
    2. From human bones to carparts to urgent pieces for aspace port… the Maker-bot3D printer has taught usanything is possible whileeliminating waste.
    3. NASA is solving its spacejunk problem and buildinga lunar port at once. Theidea was born from a superhack-a-thon.
    4. Hack-a-thons have taughtus we can solve ourgreatest challenges as ateam, and that there areplenty of people who wantto help.Marketers challenges too.Consumers enjoy beingpart of the process – solet’s open up.
    5. Storytelling in campaignsmakes it morememorable, sharable andmore likely to catch on.Wharton professor JonahBerger reviewed six steps forhelping ensure contentcatches on. Great stuff.
    6. 20
    7. In order to conquer new territory – mostbrands will be forced to partner. We believe you need to choose carefully. Great partnerships last.
    8. Rockets & Media Plans.SpaceX’s self-landing rocket booster“Grasshopper” teaches us to rethinkeven old habits like campaign basedmarketing.One off campaigns need to go. Yourdata must build long term science andunderstanding. Always on marketingcan eliminate the substantial off & oncosts of launching and reporting oncampaigns.Time to re-think the basics.
    9. #AVATARS
    11. THANK YOU