Futures Lab Update #99: SXSW Interactive; Renting Tech; an App For Democracy

    by Reuben Stern
    March 26, 2015
    Virtual reality, a spotlight of SXSW, will continue to influence the way humans interact with digital content. Screenshot courtesy of RJI.

    This week we offer a quick recap from the 2015 South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas. We also learn about a startup that enables anyone to try out the latest tech gadgets, and we hear how another startup is hoping to use mobile technology to transform democracy.

    "There's a rapid merging of people's physical and digital selves, powered by mobile devices, mobile technology and smart clothing. The end result is that people are able to understand their own activity in new ways, and all the captured data about steps and biometrics can inform and power new kinds of digital experiences." -- Ruben Stern

    PART 1: SXSWi 2015 Recap

    Intelligent robots, virtual reality, the Internet of Things, and the rise of a “maker culture” were among the big ideas driving the conversations at this year’s South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas. We go over the major themes and piece together some of their potential impact.
    Reporting by Reuben Stern and Rachel Wise.


    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    For more information:

    Our friends at PBS MediaShift offer a more detailed discussion of media-related technologies and ideas spotted at the SXSW conference, including their take on the wide use of the new ephemeral live streaming app Meerkat.


    PART 2: Gadgets from Lumoid

    Inspired to get your hands on the latest technology but don’t have the budget? Lumoid makes it possible to try some of the latest gadgetry without having to buy it. Founder and CEO Aarthi Ramamurthy tells us how the service aims to help both consumers and journalists.
    Reporting by Tim Leible, Reuben Stern and Rachel Wise.

    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    PART 3: Democracy via ThinkVoting

    A startup called ThinkVoting hopes to use technology to improve the way voters get informed and participate in elections. Co-founders Joseph Santori and Jeff Cardenas explain their app-based collaborative approach.
    Reporting by Gabriel Jefferson, Reuben Stern and Rachel Wise.

    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    Reuben Stern is the deputy director of the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and host and co-producer of the weekly Futures Lab video update.

    FuturesLabWebBanner-mediashiftThe Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Futures Lab video update features a roundup of fresh ideas, techniques and developments to help spark innovation and change in newsrooms across all media platforms. Visit the RJI website for the full archive of Futures Lab videos, or download the iPad app to watch the show wherever you go. You can also sign up to receive email notification of each new episode.

    Tagged: apps Internet of Things lumoid maker culture rji rji futures lab startup sxsw virtual reality wearable technology

    Comments are closed.

  • Who We Are

    MediaShift is the premier destination for insight and analysis at the intersection of media and technology. The MediaShift network includes MediaShift, EducationShift, MetricShift and Idea Lab, as well as workshops and weekend hackathons, email newsletters, a weekly podcast and a series of DigitalEd online trainings.

    About MediaShift »
    Contact us »
    Sponsor MediaShift »
    MediaShift Newsletters »

    Follow us on Social Media