As thousands of people flock to Austin, Texas to enjoy the latest in cool music and movies at the SXSW festival, a growing number of attendees are headed to the Lone Star State to hear about the newest developments in science and technology.
What started as just a music festival in 1987 added new parts in 1994 with the SXSW Film and Multimedia Conference.
As the Internet and mobile devices grew in importance, the SXSW Interactive Festival became its own entity, introducing some of the tech world’s largest forces over the past few years. Twitter launched there in 2007 and FourSquare in 2009.
This year, the trend continues as some of today’s biggest names in technology rub shoulders with the world’s best musicians and film directors.
We’ve already covered some of the most interesting stories to come out of SXSW so far this week.
Makerbot, the early leaders of the soon-to-be world-changing 3D-printing industry, were in Texas this week to talk about their Digitizer device. The device isn’t priced yet, but it’s guaranteed to be affordable, and will allow anyone to insert a small object, have it scanned into a digital file and reprinted, allowing easy and affordable copies of objects.
Elon Musk was on hand, discussing more of his plans to reshape mankind’s future. The PayPal co-founder, Tesla electric car entrepreneur and SpaceX private rocket designer showed up to talk mostly about the last of those revolutionary endeavors.
Musk was campaigning this week to build a private commercial spaceport in Texas, a topic he discussed during a conference interview/conversation with TED curator Dave Anderson. He apparently has his eye on Brownsville, Texas for the launch location, but first has to clear a few legal liability hurdles.
He was also in town, pulling double founder duty, appearing at and promoting a new storefront Tesla electric car dealership going up in the town.
Google was in town at a couple events, showing off some new smart shoes and talking about the technological challenges they currently face.
These are just in the first few days of SXSW. There is sure to be more amazing news in the coming week. And we’ll be covering it all. Stay tuned.