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Science and Technology

SXSW 2016: Summing Up – and Taking it Home

South by Southwest (SXSW), the annual music, movie, and technology conference that dominates life in Austin each spring, should be on everyone’s bucket list. Cutting-edge film, music, and technology can be enjoyed there, and there are ways to bring home the experience.

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SXSW: Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Everywhere, in Everything, and Everyone has a Story

The question that dominated many of the VR/AR seminars at SXSW was “How do you tell a story using this new technology?” "New" because the hardware has become affordable for consumers, and game engines used to create VR have become more powerful. The market is attracting a range of companies, from startups to ancient tech giants like IBM and Microsoft.

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SXSW: Sucked Into the Story: Virtual Reality and News

Can news reporters use virtual reality? This is the question that participants at “Sucked Into the Story: Virtual Reality and News” tried to answer at SXSW. I had the feeling that somewhere around 1950, a similar group of people sat around discussing what the impact of “this television thing” would be on radio news. We may be at a similar juncture.

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SXSW: The Mars Virtual Reality Experience – More Than a Game

The Mars 2030 Experience is not just a video game, but a highly detailed and accurate simulation of the surface of Mars, based on data and photographs from the Mars Rover and a European satellite orbiting the red planet. It's part of a larger effort to determine the feasibility of establishing human habitation on Mars.

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SXSW: Voter Technology Panel – One-Sided View on Voting Tech

“Voter Technology: A Reimagined Future”, a presentation at SXSW, focused on bringing election technology into the 21st Century. The speakers included Diego Bernal, a social worker and member of the Texas House of Representatives for San Antonio, and Peter Jackson, Public Sector Strategy Lead at IDEO, a design and consulting company based in San Francisco. Their goal: Use modern technology to facilitate the registration and voting process. They covered the motivations, possibilities and issues surrounding technology and voting.

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