The Best of IoT from SXSW Interactive

This year’s South by Southwest Interactive was packed with high-tech topics from brain hacking to Big Data, and dozens of panels and speakers directly addressed the Internet of Things.

If you couldn’t be in Austin earlier this month — or if you were, but there were just too many sessions to choose from we’ve collected 15 of the best IoT-focused SXSW sessions.

Here’s a chance to catch up on what you missed (audio from the panels is embedded below each panel):

IoT: Endless Possibilities, Real World Questions


“In this illuminating discussion, Joe Burton, EVP and CTO of Plantronics, will take a look under the hood of the still-nascent IoT as it is coalescing; what it is today, some possible directions on where it can go and what it might ultimately look like, major questions that this new framework raises, the role of wearable tech, and the technology gaps pending that must be resolved to achieve a cohesive, secure, scalable, and beneficial network of ‘things’.”

Identities of Things Group: Paving the Way for IoT


“There’s a ton of promise in “smart everything.” However, the convergence of technology and sheer proliferation of data being gathered by sensors, cameras and other networked devices are making the road to the Internet of Things (IoT) a bumpy one. Learn how the Identities of Things Group is working with industry to assess the IoT Landscape and develop harmonized frameworks that will help enable the Internet of Things. Find out how to get involved in defining an IoT future where PEOPLE matter most!”

Start With The Things, Not The Internet


“Starting with a digital service and working down to physical objects is crazy. The friction associated with manufacturing, distributing, installing and maintaining actual products is incomparable to scaling an entirely digital offering. Plus, our behaviour and habits in the physical world take much longer to change than in the digital one. Building useful digital services around existing products makes much more sense. This often involves working with deeply unfashionable manufacturing companies and cajoling them into building user-focused digital products. Come along to learn how you could and why you should.”

Quantifying Our World Through Open Platforms


“Imagine a world where our homes, our streets, our favorite places, our entire cities can quantify their activity, communicate signals, and operate off of each other to optimize the way they work as a whole. To get there, companies such as Weather Underground, Placemeter, and Mapillary are building relationships between technology and consumers through crowdsourcing and building a community around the data of the physical world. This panel will address this evolving trend and how we can work with our neighbors and cities to create a more efficient and sufficient world.”

Your Connected World: What Did You Sign Up For?


“Scott Weiss, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, and Quirky CEO Ben Kaufman will discuss the impact connected products have made on our lives thus far, which industries are heating up for adoption and what can be expected next. What does the fully connected life look like? How long will it take to get there? Hear from a seasoned investor and entrepreneur on the front lines as they paint what the connected future will look like – and how you might be able to help build it.”

Home Smart Home: The Future Conscious Home


“Just a few years ago, the idea of a smart home was only a dream. High priced gadgets made smart devices accessible to only the wealthiest consumers and different protocol standards made it difficult to ensure devices worked together. But today the connected house is becoming a reality. Yet the full potential of this George Jetson style home is still to be realized. The conscious home is the home of the future. But how will we get there?”

Smart-everything: wearables and tech convergence


“In this panel, we will discuss whether, and how, wearable technology might actually make our lives better. Panelists will evaluate potential pitfalls (e.g. privacy) and put them into context. At the same time, we will present and discuss potential roadmaps for how wearables can play a constructive role in a converging technology landscape. We’ll talk about the fascinating possibilities that come about when you combine wearable technology with social media, cloud computing and contextual & environmental computing.”

Wearable Tech and Design: Cracking Mainstream Trends


“When asked why now is the time for the connected home and the “Internet of Things”, many refer to the smartphone revolution. But we think this is just the beginning and predict that within the next five years, wearables will be as important to the connected home as smartphones are today. In this discussion, technology, design, and fashion experts will discuss how and why wearables will become mainstream and lead the way in this next epoch of the web.”

Biometrics & Identity: Beyond Wearable


“We are moving beyond wearables, to an age where products like biyo, which connects physical payment to a scan of the unique veins in the human palm, are becoming present market realities. What are the implications of using personal biometric data as the virtual keys that unlock our very real lives? How should we feel about using such sensitive, personal data as a means of self-identification?”

Mobile: How to Build Beyond the Phone


“This panel will bring together experts in mobile and social to discuss how their companies are building the next wave of user experience. They’ll touch on how consumer technology products will need to evolve as mobile takes on new meaning in the future. What do app makers need to be thinking about as we shift toward a world of wearables, smart homes and new devices?“

Forget Screens: Immersive Content Lives Everywhere


“Innovations in visual design and technology now allow entire buildings to become multi-dimensional screens, or human movements to create dynamic larger-than-life art. Creatives can map data in real-time to affect a kinetic sculpture. Crowds can control giant video installations with their mobile devices. Our panelists will explain the data and software challenges, re-thinking the creative processes, and adhering to the real-world issues they face when creating pieces that blur the lines between physical and digital. They will demonstrate how techniques such as projection mapping, sensors, robotics, data streams, engineering and fabrication have been used to craft some of the most memorable installations to date.”

The Best Interface Is No Interface


“Join Golden as he reads highlights from his upcoming book, “The Best Interface is No Interface” – originally an essay that went viral and led to an international lecture tour – that will challenge you to make beautiful technology that solves problems without using screens.”

Storytelling Engines For Smart Environments


“The panel will navigate the limitless possibilities of the various services, products tools and mindsets that allow any urban planners, any changemaker, any retail strategist, any creative director, any storyteller, any poet to create experiences that seamlessly incorporate human Behaviors, the ever-growing types of wearables & connected objects, mobile devices & their applications, environmental media systems (sounds, video, special effects) and a vast array of sensors and sensor networks.”

Real World: Life of Data from Sensor to Analysis


“Starting IoT product development is simple – slap a sensor on an Arduino or Raspberry Pi, write some code, collect and analyze the data and then figure out how to sell all or part of that system as a product. But what next? How do you manage the data? How do you scale up? And what happens when you upgrade your product? Let’s talk with some experts about planning ahead.”

Bruce Sterling Closing Keynote


Bruce Sterling – Wolf in living room, @Bruces

“Chairman” Bruce carried on the tradition of closing SXSW Interactive with a talk covering the general state of the world, and his latest project Casa Jasminaan Italian chic open source connected apartment in Turin, Italy.

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