Starter kits developed by entrepreneurs such as Orkan Telhan are bringing industry tools to the masses in a way that may change the way we interact with nature forever. At least in the USA. Strict governmental regulations are looking to make this a little less of a run-of-the-mill affair in the EU.
Another aspect of the sciences addressed by multiple speakers is the rise of a movement that's advocating for a remodeling of the STEM system. With all kinds of disciplines converging in the industrial markets, it might be time that the traditional educational pillars start including some of the softer aspects of human learning. By introducing art and design into the mix we recognize the importance of human interaction and esthetic value in whatever field we decide to devote our time to.
Some prominent voices in the area of robotics put forward the notion of introducing the letter R into the mix as well. Which, although charming, seems a bit of a stretch.
While still in early days, all aspects of the ways we make, buy, use and dispose of our clothing are being looked at. Innovations such as haptic feedback allow for technology to be completely integrated into the fabric, providing signals to your body while keeping your hands and eyes free to handle other tasks. Taking the idea of integration a step further, computational power has gotten possible at such small scales we're able to embed them directly into the fibers of the fabrics you wear. And with energy being obtained from your bodily movements, bulky accessories will no longer be required.
There's an analogy we can make to Apple's new MacBook that was announced last week. Its core premise is the idea of prioritizing portability over computational power, singleminded in its focus and made available at a premium price. All concepts the upcoming wave of fashion tech will share.
A session that stood out in particular was one by UK's own T H E U N S E E N. An up and coming fashion house that takes scientific advancements and combines them with world class esthetic sensibilities. The recent exposure they've received, including being featured at London's V&A, is completely deserved.
Besides taking the audience through the hardships and highlights of producing Toy Story 20 years ago, Pixar decided to bring in actual props used during the film's production. Including a pre-Woody doll used to do positioning, lighting, and motion tests. The wool and fabric easily outperforming the computer hardware available at the time. Fascinating stuff.
Interested in a lite taste of what the Films part of South By would have on offer, I popped in on the post-production panel for last year's critical darling Boyhood. Wow! The room was packed! With all the interactive gadgetry going around you'd almost forget classic storytelling is a true cornerstone of our culture.
If I had to guess I'd say one of the questions that'll be answered next year is if the up and coming Virtual Reality revolution will make good on its promises, and deliver storytelling in ways never experienced before.
Wrapping up you could feel a sense of relief coming from the panels. Glad to be done, yet with a tinge of sadness about the experience coming to an end.