Weber Shandwick's Jye Smith and Jayde Lovell have been at the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, casting an eye over this year's big trends. And the big takeaway from the first day is that technological innovation is at its most effective when it manages to bring brands and consumers closer together.
A number of brands at the Festival discussed the impact of 'wearables', an ideal topic at an event where Google Glasses are a compulsory fashion accessory. Brands in the sports category in particular spoke of how they are leveraging technology and sports content to drive brand passion and connect with their target consumers.
A similar sentiment was expressed by gaming companies, who talked about how creative technology must be driven through consumer-centric design. While gaming will by its very nature always be technology focused, the point was made that the user experience must still come before any kind of technological considerations.