Lifestyle & Belief

5 of the most SXSW things happening at SXSW so far

It's still early in a festival that will perhaps be most remembered for Edward Snowden's virtual appearance on Monday, but there's already been plenty of stuff for tech nerds to enjoy.


1. Play real-life Mario Kart

Everybody loves Mario Kart. It’s a scientific fact. Well, Mario Kart just got real. Nintendo and Pennzoil partnered to create this go-cart track that integrates live driving and virtual gaming. It’s one-part awesome and one-part cross-promotional corporate gimmickry.


2. Get shot by an 80,000-volt taser drone

While Snowden was reminding us of state power and technological surveillance, the technology of state power was getting scarier. CUPID, the “Chaotic Unmanned Personal Intercept Drone,” is designed for “finding, identifying, targeting, and detaining” criminals. It’s basically a stun-gun that shoots 80,000 volts into your body.

Scream “don’t taze me bro” all you want. Drones don’t care.


3. Experience Game of Thrones in 4-D

One of the more epic spots at SXSW is “Game of Thrones: The Exhibition,” which features costumes, props, and other things that “will transport fans into the medieval world of the show.”

One part of the exhibition you wouldn’t want to miss: a virtual reality demonstration that uses the Oculus Rift (a 3D gaming headset) to gives visitors the experience of scaling the massive, icy, Night Watch-defended Wall of Westeros

Some of the show’s stars came to try it out.



4. Eat a meal cooked by Watson, the IBM super-computer

Watson, the IBM super-computer that conquered Jeopardy, is learning the culinary arts. So add cooking to the growing list of things humans apparently suck at.


5. Listen to a comic book

Marvel Comics is experimenting with what it calls “adaptive audio technology” for its animated comic books. Soon, comic books on your tablets will come with richly integrated sound effects and music. It’s adaptive, because it sets the mood depending on your reading pace. The technology premiers with “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

More to come.


South by Southwest (SXSW) - the annual film, technology, music, art, culture, interactive, everything festival in Austin Texas runs through March 17.