SxSW 2014: Final recap for Asia

SxSW 2014: Final recap for Asia

Looking for a reason to head to SxSW in 2015? Here’s a run down of everything we learned in 2014.

SxSW is the forefront of digital creativity and innovation.  With a plethora of ideas, prototypes and exhibitions it is an impossible task to see everything one would be interested in.

While this year featured many contingents from Korea and Japan, the conference still lacks a truly Asian perspective.  And that’s where we come in.

The Asia Pacific region is diverse and rich in unique cultures and for organisations and brands it presents unique challenges when attempting to scale.   Challenges include design, experience and access as a result of culture, language and digital capabilities.

But the region also presents one of the greatest opportunities for any creative technologist or digital Jedi: the emerging markets and populous countries are yet to reach their apex in internet adoption.

It was our mission to bring the bleeding edge to Asia. Here’s just a sample:

The scarcity of attention demands new interactions with consumers.

Hyper-connected societies mean that attention – let alone engagement – is a highly valued resource. Innovation in ambient information technologies could be the key to overcoming technology-fatigue.  For AP, brands need to ensure they consider their interactions (not just interruptions) with customers.

User experience design should not be over shadowed by technology innovation.

Users have always been at the heart of great technology, but innovation can be distracting.  Once again, Asia’s diversity presents a different challenge around the value of different user experiences for technology, web and content.

Design must progress at the speed of technology innovations.

Engineers have dominated the technology space and applications, devices and user interfaces are stuck in the middle.  Similar to UX in Asia – design depends on the history of other interactions specific to that country or market audience.

Content publishing, recommendation and discovery are key to engagement.

In today’s hyper-connected media environment, consumers are exposed to more content than ever before. Data signals – search, social and history – combined with “serendipity-enabled” algorithms will be key to optimizing content publishing.  Asia’s unique tastes and languages present an enormous task for any engineer!

Big data is only as good as the interpretation.

Asia Pacific will be one of the biggest sources of data for global companies – but it’s a company’s ability to interpret and utilize data as tool (not just pretty imagery) will be key.

Wearables are a glimpse into the future of human-computer interaction.

Wearable technologies are at the consumer forefront of new levels of data collection and health.  The digital health space is set to explode, and Asia is quickly catching-up to the fitness trends around the world – but how brands interact with these technologies will be key to their success of failure.

Jye Smith is currently Senior Vice President, Head of Strategy & Operations, Asia Pacific at Weber Shandwick. Ranked in B&Ts 30 Under 30, Jye a regular keynote speaker and workshop facilitator who specialises in digital and social media strategist.