SXSW celebrates the convergence of art, culture, education, film, music, and technology. After years of hibernation, visitors from all over the nation tour this festival for ten days in Austin, TX. Logistics were smooth and registration lines were manageable. Attendance was lower than in previous years due to post-pandemic social anxiety .
From drone light shows to hidden codes in swag cards to outdoor lounges to real-time NFT generators, brands went to creative lengths to draw the attention of the crowd . Over 800 vendors set up interactive booths this year. Passerby discovered exhilarating immersion experiences and simulations .
Def-Logix’s outreach team also invited others to preview the cybersecurity landscape. CyberOps Training Academy blazes a new trail and delivers possibilities for cyber professionals. The Academy hosts a workshop at the end of each month at the Def-Logix headquarters. Prospective students experience a sneak peek at the cyber curriculum, layout/structure, and teaching pedagogy.
Meanwhile, various celebrities sparked curiosity and generated hype for hot topics in technology. “Web3 was the breakout theme for SXSW 2022, encompassing crypto, blockchain, NFTs, DAOs, and metaverse topics,” said Greg Oates, senior vice president, Innovation at MMGY NextFactor.
Know The Lingo
What are some of these buzzwords? Kara Karlson is a technology and business reporter for the Austin-American Statesman. She shares a quick guide to some of this high-tech jargon .
Web 3–The next decentralized iteration of the World Wide Web built on blockchain technology
Metaverse–Many tech experts consider it to be the future of the internet. It encompasses a 3D virtual world inhabited by avatars of real people who are interacting in real-time.
Blockchain–A blockchain is a distributed database that stores data in chronological groups known as blocks. Although one can add to blockchains, one cannot edit or remove individual blocks. One of blockchain’s best-known uses is its role in making cryptocurrency possible. For more information, Def-Logix previously wrote an article: “Industries latching onto Blockchain“.
Cryptocurrency–Cryptocurrency is a digital asset that can make online payments. There are many kinds of cryptocurrency, each with different values. Bitcoin is one of the pioneering and best-known cryptocurrencies. Some others include Ethereum, Litecoin, and Dogecoin, a favorite of Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
NFTs–NFT is short for non-fungible token. “Non-fungible” means that a particular item is unique and are irreplaceable. A non-fungible token is a collectible digital asset you can buy and sell. NFTs represent a variety of objects in the real world, such as works of art. NFTs can range from fun and simple GIFs and memes to more complex designs. You identify an NFT by its unique, unchangeable URL. The Ethereum blockchain backs up the NFT’s digital proof-of-purchase.
POAP–POAP is short for Proof of Attendance Protocol. This is an NFT that proves you were in attendance for a specific event. Think of it a bit like a stamp on your NFT passport or an attendance badge. For example, Blockchain Creative Labs had a scannable QR code during SXSW. It gave attendees a POAP that showed they attended an NFT studio pop-up.
DAO–DAO is short for Decentralized Autonomous Organization. These are internet-native organizations with no central leadership. Members own and manage their DAO and have a set of rules on the blockchain. DAOs are built on open-source blockchains, so anyone can view their code. It’s part of a larger movement towards decentralization.
Societal Feedback on Trending Tech
Will these emerging technologies be the latest craze or integrated into everyday society? How are these trends shaping 2022? Intrigue and critique  from professionals representing varied industries share potential possibilities and pitfalls.
Alex Smeele is co-founder of New Zealand NFT project FLUF. He desires to break out of the homogenous mold found within SXSW culture and engage the rest of the world . “The biggest opportunity of the metaverse: it’s actually just the ability to unlock people’s creativity again. I think everyone is born creative, but current educational structures just squeeze that out of most people pretty quickly,” Smeele said. “So, it’s about how we can rethink how we learn how we play, how we work in ways that feed back to the society as a whole and empower the individual.”
Paris Hilton said, “I am a huge believer in the Metaverse and the way Web3 technologies are empowering creators, gamers, and artists. I can’t wait for people to see what amazing experiences The Sandbox and I bring together to the Metaverse.” Dolly Parton introduced her marquee event “Welcome to Dollyverse” which featured limited-edition NFTs of her new “Run, Rose, Run” album and a limited series of Dolly-inspired NFT artwork.
Ristband, a music metaverse company, gave attendees a sneak peek of its reimagined approach to live music with a performance . Ristband co-founder and past VRScout contributor Anne McKinnon, said, “As Ristband collaborates with artists and music industry stakeholders, we realize there is no platform for the hundreds of thousands of independent artists to perform in a compelling way in virtual worlds. They are without the tools they need to build a following, track metrics, and monetize their work directly from within the experience. At this early stage and first look at Ristband, we’re using our platform to give visibility to up-and-coming audiovisual NFT artists alongside some of the biggest names leading the creative metaverse movement.”
“The biggest opportunity of the metaverse: it’s actually just the ability to unlock people’s creativity again. So, it’s about how we can rethink how we learn how we play, how we work in ways that feed back to the society as a whole and empower the individual.” – Alex Smeele