Tag Archives: sxsw2013

SXSW Create

The second annual SXSW Create brings together local and international members of the SXSW community to share disruptive creations, innovative tools and unique fabrication methods.

I was a little underwhelmed for the most part. Much smaller than the Dorkbot back in 2006. But one fundamental thing changed since then that makes everything today cooler: 3D printers. Below, some photos, videos and observations.

This is the Leap Motion Controller. It’s a little box that can track all your fingers in space. They started preorders last year and it looked so cool on the videos that of course I ordered one. Well, they are shipping in May, and I finally saw it in person. Useful for me? Unsure. Cool? As hell.

This is some sort of plastic bottle sculpture outside of SXSW Create. It’s worth about $6.50 in recycling payments.
This is a Texas Instruments Beagle Board. It’s kind of like the Raspberry Pi I bought, but it’s more expensive and has been around for longer. What was interesting, is that they have a new model coming out that will be priced cheaper, in order to compete with the Raspberry Pi… that I used for a few days and is now sitting in a box in my office because I have no time to play with it.

This is a demo of the MaKey Makey. Plug it in to turn almost anything into sort of a sensor. Here they are demoing a fruit piano. Kinda cute.

The star, in my opinion: 3D Printing. That was the Makerbot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer, slowly but surely building some little figurines from melted plastic filament. This stuff is amazing. It sells for $2,199, which sounds like a lot. But think of this: when I was a kid, I wanted a color flatbed scanner really bad. But they cost around $2,199. Now they cost less than $100. See what I mean? This stuff is going to be everywhere!

The Makerbot Replicator 2.
That old school “vinyl” record is actually a 3D printed record. That’s right, genius Amanda Ghassaei came up with the idea and the software to convert audio into a 3D model of a record with the grooves on it, so that it actually plays. It sounded terrible, but is very, very impressive. Is this the return of the record? (no) Everything you need in order to make your own 3D printed record is available here, and will be of use to you if you are one of the millions of people with both a 3D printer and a record player.
A bunch of 3D printed objects. The bicycle chain was actually articulated.
Score! Instructables was giving away Wacom Bamboo Styli. That’s plural for stylus, people.

SXSW Gaming Expo

I used to be a serious gamer. I beat hundreds of games back in the day. I even came in second place in a 2004 FIFA Soccer tournament. But that was then. Now, my gaming friends are no longer around, and I got tired of getting mercilessly beaten by little kids when online gaming got big. So I pretty much stopped.

But that’s not enough to keep me from the SXSW Gaming Expo! Of course, the number one obvious thing is that gaming has largely shifted away from consoles and PCs towards iPhones, Android phones, and iPads. Some photos below.

Impressive driving game running off a large PC. Six monitors panoramic picture.
I’m pretty sure this is a real gun, with one of those new automatic aiming systems so that you can shoot like Robocop. No idea why it was in a Gaming Expo.
Some big tournament or something about to happen.
Founder and CEO of Corona Labs, makers of a game development system. Very nice guy. Unfortunately he’s cut off and you can only see his right arm. Also in the picture, my friend Alejandro Corona (owner and CEO of the beer thing).
Prototype of an upcoming pinball game. It has a big screen on the floor and it can track the ball movement.
You can always spot the schmuck taking photos with an iPad.
Attention: you either A) Bring a big machine (DSLR camera) to take good photos or B) Bring a small machine (smartphone) to take shitty photos. You do not bring a big machine to take shitty photos.
The coolest part of it all: a full size replica of the James Webb Space Telescope. This qualifies as A) Bringing a large machine to take good photos. If you thought the Hubble was cool, this thing is going to be much cooler. It’s going to orbit farther than the moon, and it’s going to unfold like some giant Transformer origami.
Not photoshopped: three Marcos. Relax ladies… it’s a mirror trick. There’s still only one of me.
I don’t know what these people are playing. But I bet the guys with the cards get tons of chicks.

SXSW 2013 Band Geography


The SXSW (South by Southwest) Music Festival 2013 lineup is up! Very exciting. There are 479 bands listed from all over the world for this amazing Austin, TX event. I got curious about how they are spread out. So I broke out and charted it for your enjoyment. It’s all in Google Drive, so you can click on the charts to get more details or you can see all the data here.

US vs Rest Of The World

As expected, almost two thirds of the bands are from the home country. I don’t know how this compares historically, but I would guess that the US share has been slowly declining as the event grows in size and notoriety.

SXSW 2013 – US vs Rest of the World
Click for interactive control

US bands by state

This one you definitely want to click on so you can see in more detail. To my surprise, there are nearly as many Californian acts as there are Texan!

SXSW 2013 – US bands by state
Click for interactive control


As expected, US-speaking Canada, UK, and Australia are the most represented. Southern neighbor Mexico is next. The biggest surprise in my opinion is that tiny Israel is next, with 10 bands! Good, since I like Israeli music. Saddest surprise: nothing from Colombia. Colombian bands are always a big draw. As circumstantial evidence, an old SXSW photo I posted with Bomba Estereo’s Colombian hottie lead singer Li Saumet is one of the top traffic referrers to The MKX®. Go ahead, look it up on Google Image.

SXSW 2013 – International bands
Click for interactive control

And only because I can and because it’s cool (Google Docs Drive FTW!), here’s a World Map showing the number of bands per country:

SXSW 2013 – Bands by country
Click for interactive control