I could only capture a snippet of the action…there are so many fun sessions happening at #SXSW2018 that alas one hacker can only try keep up with the awesomeness happening around town.
But first, major props to any hacker who codes/hacks over a conference like this. I have full respect for the 24 hr (and then some) effort it took to get your projects to the finish line in this insane sprint. Here is a meme in my tribute:
The SXSW Hackathon returned for its 5th year this March. In a hustling marathon which started yesterday (Tuesday, March 13) through to today (Wednesday, March 14) over a hundred hackers collaborated in teams to build technology in these three categories: Film, VR/AR, and Music.
Here were the questions asked to spark ideas:
Commerce & Industry — How is money getting to artists, creators, and rights-holders and can emerging technologies like blockchain or micro-licensing help facilitate and manage the process? How can creatives connect with the right industry players to mutually further careers?
Creation and Performance — How can musicians, filmmakers, or VR/AR designers use tech to create, perform, and display in new ways? What tools can we create to make the process easier or more inventive?
Distribution — With the fragmentation of distribution systems, physical media, and streaming options, how do I get my work out to the public and in front of my ideal audience?
Consumer — How can we improve the fan, customer, listener, viewer or user experience?
Cross-discipline — How can creators collaborate more easily and more creatively across audio, visual, and immersive fields?
It wasn’t until they presented their solutions that it got even more interesting.
Whether it was a team building an online beatbox community group or creating “music social apps” where your music taste syncs with others who have similar tastes on your social media or crafting accessibility apps for the hearing impaired to experience music…one theme was vibrating (get it…) off of the projects.
Yes, building community. From finding those who enjoy the same music as you to wanting to share the pleasure of music with everyone, there was something powerful about the final projects wanting to have an inclusive community.
I always find it humbling when technology is once again used as a means to provide an inclusive space in ways that regular methods just fall through.
I love the idea of having more people in my life who understand my music taste (as weird as it is — any Bjork fans out there?), but there is something to be said for crafting that shared experience.
Is that not why we come together at design sprints like this — to connect? Is that not why we love the thrill of seeing our favorite musicians with complete strangers — to have a shared experience? Is that not why we hack under crazy conditions — to build together?
Another project called EmShare was literally focused on sharing emotions we experience while listening to music with others.
I would be amiss if I didn’t drop another Hawking quote, but he is at the forefront of my mind like so many others out there right now.
We’re a pretty incredible bunch of folks on this planet and I’m still utterly impressed at all the folks who turned out for this event and really set the bar high with applications which have a social component at their core.
Also speaking of incredible humans, congrats to the #SXSWhackathon first place winners — Dapster!
Dapster — “Stream cash, Stream music.” They built a blockchain solution around the distribution of encrypted music IP files. Pretty neat in the short time that they had.
Thanks to the SXSW Hackathon sponsors, mentors, and judges for making this event go!
I’ll also drop a brief note to share that this is not the only music + technology hackathon out there which you could be a part of and bring your ideas to. Check out Red Bull Hack the Hits and for those of you remaining in Austin…bring your project to ATX Hack for Change if it has a community component!
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