Vol.06 Cutting Edge Content Technology for Real Field Experience[SXSW2022] –PRONEWS: Web magazine on digital video production


SXSW in 2022 will be the first hybrid event. Most of Japan’s attendance is online, but as if Covid-19 has already converged, the Austin area is full of the same atmosphere it was three years ago. Metaverse is a powerful word on the streets, but this time I would like to showcase some of the latest content technology experiences that can only be felt in IRL (= real world).

Acoustic Software Spatial: Collaborate with artists and content companies to deliver a new acoustic experience

The SPACE holodeck was right across from the Austin Convention Center

Spatial, a startup that creates acoustic software founded in 2017, has installed a large house called “Holodeck” near the convention center. Spatial, which has strengths in immersive acoustics, has actively promoted the strengths of its services by collaborating with artists and content companies.

Installation based on the experience of Meow Wolf.Swallowed by colors with a unique view of the world

In collaboration with the famous American creator Meow Wolf, they present an experiential installation with a unique vision of the world adjacent to Holodeck. The Meow Wolf installation appears to have traveled across the United States, but this is the first time it has been exhibited in Austin.

In the evening, he collaborated with National Geographic and organized a screening in the house. It was so popular and the line was long that I couldn’t get in.

Additionally, several acoustic sessions were held at Holodeck and the convention center.

A state of the session in the holodeck. I was impressed with the CEO’s visionary remarks between sessions.

Audiovisual service Dolby.io Lounge: Development of audio technology accelerated by Covid-19

Dolby.io Lounge at the JW Marriott Hotel

Dolby, a leading audio and visual solutions company, has set up a lounge for Dolby.io, a software library service for developers. Since the lounge is set up near the room where media and content celebrities hold sessions, it may have been noticed by many people. Although the Dolby.io product itself is a product for engineers, it was possible to experience real demos.

Originally researched and developed with the growth of the market for audio content such as podcasts in mind, staff say the pandemic has made it an opportunity now. Indeed, the need for “video”, including remote work, is increasing and the synergistic effect is expanding the technologies and services required for audio.

Since SXSW is also an impersonal event for the first time in three years, it has a high degree of likeability as a demo, and I think it made good use of its technology.

NFT Studio BCL, founded by Fox: Will this year’s SXSW be coming to Web3 in 5 minutes? !!

Blockchain Creative Labs House in front of the Austin Convention Center

The NFT studio “Blockchain Creative Labs” founded by Fox has become a super sponsor of SXSW2022. I was dyeing SXSW in NFT color one after another, such as setting up a big house, holding a session, holding a live performance, opening an SXSW NFT shop, etc.

Coupled with big events related to XR, if you walked around the city of Austin for 5 minutes, you might see keywords such as NFT/Metaverse/Blockchain/Web3. The annual trend of the SXSW breakout was not announced this year, but the topic that people saw the most this year was undoubtedly related to Web3.

However, SXSW has been discussing this Web3 for quite some time. From around 2016, the focus of the discussion changed, such as blockchain, token economy, and smart contracts, but it showed enthusiasm. What is the difference with the past?

I think it’s because the phase has obviously changed this year. The session speakers weren’t engineers like before, but many creators were users. What’s Next?, which seems to be coming soon, is like momentum on the brink of explosion. I felt it was close to the maker movement by 3D printer around 2013.

I feel like there were many unofficial events held in conjunction with SXSW. I saw many flyers for such selfish NFT type events.

Simulation startups using virtual reality are doing well!

Behind the scenes at Web3, I was quietly feeling the heat of the VR simulation startup. It was around 2014-15 that VR startups started showing up on SXSW. After that, I often saw various trials through sessions and rewards.

At this year’s SXSW, I felt the number of VR services specializing in “simulation” was increasing. It is a simulation service for various subjects such as teachers / photographers / doctors.

There have been startups that have engaged in such simulations using VR for quite some time, but this year I’m confident they’ve moved into the phase of being “effective/feeling “.

The SXSW community has taken a close look at “Hype”, which has become a temporary excitement in recent years. This simulation using virtual reality seems to have established itself as a method of using virtual reality other than Hype.

AEGROS can simulate how to interact with patients who need mental care through virtual reality. It is designed for doctors and medical professionals, and the patient side avatar is not an AI, but a human acts as an interpreter to move the avatar.Such a startup in which a human acts as a interpret and move an avatar was the VR startup method that was often seen at this year’s SXSW.
Cyclops AR for CG simulation for videographers. Although this is a specification for professional use, it is only completed with an iPad. Netflix and HBO are also customers.

SXSW, the intersection of content technology and creators


SXSW continues to evolve every year, but this year there have been more collaborations. Arguably, it was a year that once again symbolized convergence, with musicians appearing in showcases performing live using works of art programs, and NFT companies producing hybrid performances live by musicians.

Los Angeles musician CIFIKA from South Korea and lighting designer Alex Griff created a live installation using space-saving projection mapping technology. Listed as SXSW Art Program
Miro Shot, a group of UK-based creators, performed a VR & AR tape drive to experience while wearing a head-mounted display.

VISIONGRAPH Inc. is a strategic design firm with strengths in innovation research and concept creation. If you are interested in multi-year SXSW reports, please do not hesitate to contact us.

It also acts as an account manager for companies exhibiting from Japan as SXSW Japan Office. If you are interested in activation, please contact us from the SXSW Japan Office website.

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