Five cool things I saw at SXSW

Our Director of Technology & Innovation, Dino Burbidge speaks to The Drum about five cool things he saw while traversing the streets of Austin during SXSW.

The Buzzfeed Equation

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Buzzfeed’s Dao Nguyen was refreshingly open about what makes content viral. Ever wondered if there was a magic equation? Turns out there is. It’s also used to predict Ebola outbreaks.

Come fly with me

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If you can just pop your arms through here, your feet on there and slide these virtual reality goggles. Oh and don’t forget to flap your arms.

With Oculus Rift I experienced the sensation of flying or the closet to it until wing transplants are the new thing. I glided through a city with the wind machine in my hair.
It’s a great workout too. What gyms will be like in the future perhaps.

Look mum. No glass.

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Last year Google glass was everywhere, not spotted one pair this year. Kinda feels like wearable tech is coming of age. In that first and foremost it should be wearable (no need to talk about the tech!) perhaps the 10k spec apple watch strategy has something in it. Create an unattainable product that most people can only dream of. And sell loads of more accessibly priced versions on the back of it!”

Inside Candy Crush

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How do you build a long-lasting game franchise? We went along to find out from King Games – creators of Candy Crush Saga and recent launch Candy Crush Soda Saga.

We heard about a fascinating process where art and science meet to fuse creativity, data analytics and AB testing. This image shows just some of the hundreds of candidates for early Soda Saga levels.

With a singular focus on fun and retention, King has now captured 149m daily players worldwide.

Oh, and if you abandoned Candy Crush in despair at the infamously difficult level 65, give it another go. They’ve now tweaked it to make it a bit easier…

Keynote

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A wonderful keynote speech from the charismatic Paola Antonelli of MOMA, talking about when design meets other fields such as tech and biology and immunisations. So installations made by silk worms not humans. A menstration machine for men, to empathise with their partners. Blocks of Arctic ice that melt before viewers eyes. Design made from semi living food. All wonderful in their own right, but also indicative of the power of different disciplines inspiring each other.

Physical gaming

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Everyone’s desperate to create physical gaming experiences. From eye tracking in Assasin’s Creed to strange foot controllers to walk around VR worlds. It can come across as a little desperate but it’s also exciting at the same time. Now wearables are legit, the gloves are off.

This article was first published on The Drum.

Dino Burbidge

About Dino Burbidge

I know enough about most things to be dangerous. Currently Director of Innovation and Technology at WCRS.

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