- Democratization of hardware. Not only is the tech for producing quality media content affordably available and nearly omnipresent, but 3D printing is showing the same potential for physical goods.
- No breakout app - the focus this year was more on what the new hardware made possible, rather than new ideas for using old(er) tech.
- Social media's impact on technology. Technology made social media possible, then feasible, and finally practical. This year, it was social media through crowd-funding that returned the investment.
- Inspiration from outside - This year's big inspiration was Elon Musk, who talked of space and reusable rockets, not digital payments.
- Convergence as a good thing - Increasingly, talent and content is being shared across old industry boundaries. Ideas flowing from journalism to health care to aeronautics are demonstrating that synergies can develop in unexpected ways.
- It's a global world - SXSW, which started as a showcase for Austin bands, is attracting vendors, entrepreneurs, participants and visitors from around the world.
- More focus on content - and going viral - Both publishers and marketers seem more comfortable with digital and social strategies, and realize that you need content to draw audiences in and get them active.
- Some trends refuse to die - A few keep breaking out, generating buzz and potential, yet somehow haven't crossed that critical mass point. In recent years, NFC, RFID, QR (codes), and AR (augmented reality) have gotten attention, and found success in niche applications, yet haven't found that mass appeal value.
Source - SXSW Interactive: 8 Top Trends of 2013, Online Media Daily