Event Recap

Technology Trends in 2024 - SXSW Recap

Returning to Austin in March, SXSW 2024 saw a remarkable gathering of worldwide attendees, demonstrating the tech community's unwavering dedication to developing groundbreaking and impactful solutions. As the event concluded, we're examining the major technology trends emerging in 2024.


Gregor Mittersinker

Mar 22, 2024




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Although some events experienced lower turnouts, the overall vibe of SXSW 2024 strongly suggested a return to its powerhouse roots, vibrant and more lively than ever.
SXSW aimed to showcase a future where AI technology and design seamlessly integrate to tackle some of the most significant challenges of our era, aligning perfectly with our passion for product ecosystems.

Watch our AI webinar conversation on Youtube

AI has become integral to all aspects of our lives and the business world. At SXSW, it was clear that we are moving from simple prompt-based AI models to more complex systems designed for enhanced human interaction. The introduction of new devices and AI technologies that leverage data from IoT and sensors signifies a transition to approaches driven by extensive real-world data collection. This points to a future where AI's influence is both pervasive and finely detailed. Here are a few key takeaways for 2024!

AI is the everything engine. The end state of artificial intelligence. What’s being built today, the foundation of the tech super cycle, is the next era of computing will be embedded into every single thing we do all the time

Amy Webb


AI Proliferation Beyond the Web

Advancements in new devices and wearable technology are trending toward lighter, more powerful, and seamlessly integrated devices. These devices are currently in their first generation and will need refinement to transition from niche geek gadgets to more mainstream and practical tools. Simultaneously, progress in the Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) and energy solutions reveals a shift toward technology being more deeply integrated into our surroundings, enabling smarter and more sustainable environments. Device and service models are blended by utilizing AI and smart concierge services, providing a seamless, automated in-home experience across multiple channels and platforms. These devices are poised to become the foundational driver of future Large Language Models (LLMs), providing a more comprehensive, real-world-driven dataset.

AR/VR Makes a Comeback

As the AI revolution unfolded, AR/VR saw a decline in enthusiasm from investors, financial markets, and technology writers. Despite the presence of mainstream and cost-effective hardware, consumer attention pivoted to AI. Yet, this trend is shifting back with the launch of Apple's Vision Pro. This foray into spatial computing brings to the forefront distinctive attributes poised to reshape the industry. While still a comprehensive computer housed in bulky hardware, its revolutionary user interface has reignited interest, offering a glimpse into the potential future of the product category. It serves as a beacon, highlighting the untapped potential of spatial computing and its capacity to transform entertainment, gaming, and how we interact with digital technology in our daily lives. 

3D Printed - Everything

The expansion of 3D printing is transforming every facet of life, including food, metal, textiles, buildings, jet engines, medical implants, and more. An increasing number of companies are leveraging this technology to produce parts with unique properties optimized for innovative processes, allowing for smaller production runs with greater precision. Many industries are experiencing a revival as manufacturing moves closer to the consumer. This shift supports the reshoring of production and enables new production methods. The adoption of 3D printing fosters sustainability by reducing waste and accelerates the development of customized solutions across various sectors.

Building a Healthier Tomorrow with AI

At SXSW, health tech innovation took center stage, outlining a future where healthcare is more accessible, personalized, and efficient. Companies showcased their transformation of home healthcare into a realm of integrated solutions, providing more responsive and intuitive care. The event spotlighted smart technologies, emphasizing a trend towards devices that empower individuals to proactively manage their health with actionable data and tools. Discussions on the rapidly evolving field of personalized medicine hinted at a future where treatments are tailored to the individual's specific needs, challenging the norms of traditional treatment methods. Furthermore, advancements in wearable technology, now more accessible and cost-effective, were highlighted for their comprehensive health monitoring capabilities, making it easier to monitor one's health status in real-time.

This year, SXSW provided insights into a future where technology enhances daily life and significantly contributes to societal well-being, promising a more interconnected and optimistic tomorrow. However, it also revealed concerns over a future where tech companies might rush AI applications without adequate oversight and safeguards. The implications are far-reaching as these technologies extend beyond digital platforms to IoT and wearables, integrating more deeply into users' real lives. Therefore, it's crucial to exercise careful consideration to safeguard humanity's future.

The SXSW Innovation Awards honor the most thrilling creative innovations in the connected world, celebrating technological advancements, achievements, and discoveries across various fields. This year, standout ideas in the following areas are recognized:

Artificial Intelligence

Projects leveraging machine learning, LLMs, and generative AI.

Audio Experience

Music and sound-related projects, including innovative audio platforms.

Climate Change

Initiatives addressing global warming, both large and small scale.

Community Empowerment

Projects empowering underserved groups worldwide.

Health & Biotech

New projects in wellness and medicine.

Interface Design

Innovative ideas for human-software/machine interaction.

Product Design

Best new hardware, including gadgets and appliances.

Social Media

Projects creating healthier communication channels.

  • Brand Safety Secured with Viral Nation, Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Viral Nation

Student Innovation

Exceptional technology projects and startups by students.

Urban Design

Solutions for a better, equitable city experience.

WTF (What the Future)

Futuristic projects outside conventional categories, from quantum physics to bio-engineering.

  • UbiGro Cover, Los Alamos, NM - UbiGro

People's Choice Award

Kulture City: Inclusion For All, Birmingham, AL - Kulture City

Best In Show

Dotpad, Seoul, South Korea - Dotpad

Source: https://www.sxsw.com/awards/innovation-awards/#winners

About Gregor:

Gregor Mittersinker, Founder and Creative Director, LOFT Design, has established a renowned global product development and design firm. The company is noted for its innovative integration of User Experience (UX), Engineering, Data Science, and AI, which has led to the creation of comprehensive product ecosystems for prominent brands such as Trek, 3M, Bose, Segway, and Seagate. Gregor has been awarded the Fast Company - Innovation by Design Award, IDSA IDEA awards, Good Design awards, Red Dot Design awards, and Core 77 Design awards. He is also an Adjunct Professor of User Experience and Service Design at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

About the Author



Gregor Mittersinker


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Austrian-born Gregor is in his element while dissecting most complex business & technology challenges and creating their next level business outcomes.

Prior to starting Loft, Gregor led a Strategy & Design team at Accenture Interactive where he helped launch new multi-billion dollar businesses for global fortune 500 companies. He also led creative teams at Rollerblade, InMusic & Cross.

Outside of business hours he teaches Service Design & UX at RISD, and hosts a weekly think tank with global business & political leaders around the world.

He has worked in the US, Europe & Asia over the past 30 years has earned numerous design awards as well as holds well over 100 patents for product innovations around the globe.

A natural motivator, leader, collaborator, and innovator, the only thing that takes Gregor’s eyes off of design for long is his love for winter sports, kitesurfing and DJing in local clubs.

Many have tried to keep up with Gregor, few have succeeded.

Next level inspiration … Japanese wood craft and joinery, minimalist forms that are functional and proportioned.

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