South by Southwest 2014 is approaching, bringing along the usual tech-startup-launch frenzy, streets filled with party buses and endless hordes of geeks drinking themselves into oblivion. Although Interactive traditionally draws from software crowds (most of which with hopes of becoming the next Twitter or Foursquare), hardware is getting to be too-big-to-ignore and year after year more and more hardware-related events are starting to pop up. After all, SXSW is about about revolutionary things and new technologies that are shaping our future. And we all know hardware is where it's at.
So here it is, SXSW2014 guide for the Hardware-minded ...SXSW Create
For the third year in the row, SXSW is putting out a free and open to public sub-event called SXSW Create, dedicated to hacker, maker and DIY scene. Event is taking place at the City Terrace of the Long Center, March 7-9 and is open between 11AM and 6PM every day.
SparkFun will be there hosting a hands-on e-textiles workshop every day as well as number of great talks and demos. Epilog Laser will be showing off their gear for all the hobbyists to drool on while Texas Instruments will be doing new product trainings as well as giving away free product samples, cupcakes and coffee :) The list of participants goes on, so drop by and check it out.
Stage Two is a one-day event taking place between 2PM and 6PM on Sunday, March 9th at Pincer Terrace of The Long Center, focusing on consumer electronics industry. This one is a series of 5-minute lightning talks by who's who of new hardware startup scene (Pebble, Sphero, Grant St., Dragon Innovation...) mixed with a lot of SXSW-style afternoon drinking, tacos and live music. Complete list of speakers is listed on the event page.
Talks are the heart of SXSW. Though we can spend all day being cynical about the motivational crap that sometimes goes on there, some of the talks are truly spectacular and make the whole thing worthwhile. Here are some that might be of interest to the hardware crowd :
- Hardware Isn't Hard, It's Complicated - two and half hour long in depth look at all of the hardware product development stages.
- Why Software Companies Should Care About Hardware - general talk about challenges and opportunities in creating successful hardware
- Exploring the Future of Virtual Reality with Oculus - everyone loves Oculus VR. This is the chance to grill the core team with all of your questions
- Open Source Licences for Makers & Humans - licenses matter, especially with Open Hardware. This seems like a good forum to talk about it
- Democratizing the Internet of Things is An Urgency - Aayah Bdeir is going to talk about various issues related to ongoing explosion in IoT.
- The Complete Hardware Crash Course - workshop on creating the fully functional device using Firefly Open Source Wearable/IoT platform.
- Elevating Everyday DIY to the Tech Level - TI is hosting a 4-hour workshop on building a special 3D printer using DLP development kits and MCU LaunchPad.
- Hackaday will be giving away stickers, stamps and t-shirts and might even host a event or one of these busses that drive around the city at night. If you spot Jolly Wrenches flag somewhere, that's us. Keep an eye on @hackaday twitter for more info.
- Hardware Happiness Hour is on at 4PM on Saturday, March 8. Get your drinks and hang out with the hardware startup geeks.
[We'll keep updating the list as things come up. Stay tuned ... ]