"In 5 years, a computer system could know what you like to eat better than you do. A machine that experiences flavor will determine the precise chemical structure of food and why people like it. Not only will it get you to eat healthier, but it will also surprise us with unusual pairings of foods that are designed to maximize our experience of taste and flavor. Digital taste buds will help you to eat smarter." - How Creative Can Computers Be?
At first, the Cloud Lamp seems like a mirage: It looks like a real cloud and even emits claps of thunder. But then it flashes green, red, and blue, plays music—and is hanging in your living room. An interactive night-light, the cloud reacts to motion around it and flickers in time with music.
"In most any other city in the country at that time, if you tried to put a company together that included a couple of sport-coat-and-tie-wearing yuppies, some pocket-protector, can’t-give-you-a-good-handshake computer nerds, as well as some hippie-freak rock-and-roll poster artists, those three walks of life would not get along and respect one another. When you come to Austin, those three walks of life are intermingled throughout the city. At SXSW, my group of nerds was embraced by the rock-and-roll hippie freaks, and the business suits were welcomed into the community.” —RichardGarriott, founder, Origin Systems; creator, online game Ultima (now creative director, Portalarium; astronaut, Space Adventures)
To commemorate two decades of SXSWi, we’re publishing an extensive oral history about the event and collecting memories from the people who attended throughout the years, which we’ll publish on our site. Have memories you want to share? Here’s what we’re looking for.
"Plants are just another object we take for granted. We think of them as a thing that sits in the corner that we water once a week. But really, they can be so much more than that. They can be a remote. They can be a musical instrument. They can be anything interactive that takes you away from plastic and glass and into the whole world that’s touchable around you.
"Sound is physical in some fundamental way. It’s actually a physical vibration. When I’m talking, my voice is moving through the air and actually touching you in a real way … It just feels good when you hear a noise you like.”