Finalists in 13 Categories Announced for 20th Annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards

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Finalists in 13 Categories Announced for 20th Annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards David Carr Prize Spotlights Intersection of Technology and Journalism

Last Updated: January 23, 2017 8:24 pm GMT
(Austin, TX--January 23, 2017) PRNewswire/ South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals (March 10-19, 2017) has announced the 70 finalists for its 20th annual Interactive Innovation Awards, taking place on Tuesday, March 14 at 7:00 p.m. CDT at the Hilton Austin Downtown (Grand Ballroom, 6th Floor). The SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards celebrates the incredible speakers, trends, innovations, and ideas that are brought to Austin each year. This event is open to all SXSW Interactive, Film, Music and Platinum badgeholders.



New to the Awards ceremony this year is the second annual David Carr Prize, awarded for the best essay submitted from writers, bloggers and journalists. Created last year to honor the late David Carr, a friend and great contributor to SXSW and the journalistic community, the essay topic follows Carr's interest in the convergence of new media, technology, and culture.

The 2017 SXSW David Carr Prize Finalists are:
  • Mike Armstrong, "The Heart of Something Heartless"
  • James Brown, "Learning in a Community of Black Boxes"
  • Megan Cole, (no title)
  • Dan Murrell, "Gerald 1.0"
  • Gabriel Wardell, (no title)

The ceremony also will include the induction of Kara Swisher into the SXSW Interactive Hall of Fame. Swisher is the executive editor and co-founder of Recode, host of the Recode Decode podcast, and co-executive producer of the Code Conference series. Swisher's career sits at the nexus of what's most important to SXSW Interactive: Innovation and inspiration in the tech industry, and — perhaps more importantly than ever — uncompromisingly honest journalism.

In addition to the Awards ceremony, this year's finalists will have the opportunity to exhibit and demo their work at the Interactive Innovation Awards Finalist Showcase on Sunday, March 12 from 11-5 p.m CDT at the Hilton Austin Downtown (Salons C, D, and E, 4th Floor). The Finalist Showcase offers SXSW Interactive, Music, Film, and Platinum badgeholders a first look at the most exciting tech developments, including achievements in digital design, health technology, privacy and security, 3D printing, virtual and augmented reality, plus a chance to place their votes for the People's Choice Award. Registered media and official Awards jurists will have exclusive access to the Showcase and finalist demos that morning, from 10-11 a.m. CDT.

"We are proud to not only honor the year's best, most forward-thinking projects, but to bring that innovation to the fingertips of each and every SXSW conference attendee during the Finalist Showcase," said Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer. "I'm particularly impressed at how many of these projects are implementing next-generation AI technology. This AI theme is one that will be very strong throughout SXSW 2017."

A panel of judges comprised of industry peers and experts reviewed hundreds of applications to determine this year's finalists. Each entry was graded on four criteria: creativity, form, function and overall experience. The Finalist Showcase provides an in-person experience for the judges to complete their second round of voting to determine the winner of all 13 categories, Anyone with a SXSW Interactive, Film, Music and Platinum badge can vote on the People's Choice Award at the Finalist Showcase on Sunday, March 12.

The SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards will reveal winners in each of the 13 categories plus six additional honors, including: Best of Show, People's Choice, Breakout Trend of the Event, Speaker of the Event and Meme of the Year.

The 2017 SXSW Interactive Innovation Award Finalists are:

HEALTH, MED & BIOTECH
Awarded for the new technology that best improves the quality, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness of prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care in health and medicine

INNOVATION IN CONNECTING PEOPLE
Awarded for the best new way to connect and communicate with others

INNOVATIVE 3-DIY
Awarded for making 3D printing technology more accessible or affordable, or to the Maker using such technology in new and exciting ways

MUSIC & AUDIO INNOVATION
Awarded for 2016's best device or service that changes and improves the way we listen to and enjoy music

NEW ECONOMY
Awarded to those redefining the exchange of goods and services, from the sharing economy, to virtual currency, to micro-finance, to mobile-device-payment systems and beyond

PRIVACY & SECURITY
Awarded for 2016's most progressive accomplishment in the way we go about securing our data and ensuring our privacy

RESPONSIVE DESIGN
Awarded for excellent digital design, creating the best-integrated interaction in terms of content, aesthetics, and functionality

SCIFI NO LONGER
Awarded for the coolest scientific achievement or discovery that before 2015 was only possible in science fiction

SMART CITIES
Awarded for innovations in eco-friendly or sustainable energy, transportation, and IoT technology, making life in the connected world a smarter, cleaner, greener, and more efficient Internet of Everything

STUDENT INNOVATION
Awarded to the student with an exceptional interactive technology project or startup; both of which are the future

VISUAL MEDIA EXPERIENCE
Awarded for content creation and delivery that moves beyond passive viewership by providing a more immersive and engaging entertainment experience

VR & AR
Awarded for breakthroughs in augmented reality & virtual reality technology including the application of new hardware or software which truly make the Virtual a reality

WEARABLE TECH
Awarded for the new hardware that revolutionizes the convenience, comfort, functionality, efficiency, and fashion of having a device literally "on you"


The list of winners from the 2016 competition can be found here.

The SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards ceremony and Finalist Showcase is open to all SXSW Interactive, Film, Music, and Platinum badgeholders. Accredited media are invited to attend the SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards and Interactive Innovation Awards Finalist Showcase. The deadline to apply for press credentials is Wednesday, February 8, 2016. All journalists must be on assignment with a media outlet in order to be considered.

SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2017 will take place March 10-19, 2017.

SXSW 2017 is sponsored by Esurance, Mazda, Monster Energy, Bud Light, Capital One, McDonald's, The Austin Chronicle, and Sonicbids.

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About SXSW
SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2017 will take place March 10-19, 2017.

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