We have returned from South by Southwest (“SXSW”), an interactive festival combining technology, software and hardware, and all things that have made social networking a smash in recent years. It was where Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare were first promoted to the general public and this year, as John Biehler points out, software gave way to advances in hardware — making DIY culture the focus of trending technology.
Aside from a massive conference schedule, trade show, and a dance card full of company-sponsored parties, there are also houses and pavilions (think back to Vancouver 2010) that host celebrities, entertainers, and guests. All of this takes place over two weeks in Austin, Texas with Interactive leading into a Music festival and Film running somewhere in between.
A highlight for us this year was discovering the SONOS Studio SXSW that was located in a house just a few steps away from the Austin Convention Centre. It was there that we had some of our most memorable experiences of the entire festival.
SONOS Studio SXSW
SONOS (makers of wireless home music systems) rented out a house and through back-alley access, conference-goers (who RSVP’d in advance via the SONOS blog) could enjoy free tacos from a truck parked in the alley, free beer and beverages (from the ice-filled fountain in the backyard), entertainment on an outdoor stage, and several sound installations that were around the property. Flula Borg hosted a Fluncheon in the afternoons, providing hysterically entertaining commentary and creating songs on the fly.
The backyard shed was transformed into a demo for the SONOS Playbar that was controlled by your movements. John Biehler posted a video of the setup that included four projectors that were also in sync.
Inside the house you could play with a Theramin, a Moog synthesizer, catch live radio broadcasts on KCRW, and use arts and crafts materials to build your own speakers. On our first day there we caught Kat Von D and Deadmau5 (Joel Zimmerman) as they were given a tour of the whole setup. I even hung out beside them as they built their own speakers out of paper plates.
It was one thing to appreciate the chill outdoor atmosphere of the venue (free drinks and food were a bonus) but it was another to completely geek out with audio enthusiasts like my husband (the radio engineer).
SONOS PLAY:5 Giveaway
When a timely press release from SONOS found its way to my inbox, I knew I had to connect it with our fantastic experience at the SONOS Studio SXSW. SONOS is offering up a PLAY:5 and a Bridge to one lucky reader.
With a PLAY:5 and bridge from SONOS:
- Stream all the music on earth wirelessly. Play your entire music collection stored on your computer or network hard drive. Or listen to one of the 100,000+ radio stations from across the world with TuneIn. Or stream millions of songs, podcasts, and stations from Songza, Rdio, SiriusXM, Deezer, Slacker, Wolfgang’s Vault, Aupeo!, Stitcher, and Dar.FM. You can even wirelessly stream music directly from your iPhone or iPad. PLAY:5 also has a line-in so you can connect even more music sources.
- It has a simple wireless setup. Plug it in anywhere you want music.
- Start with one, expand anywhere. After connecting a SONOS Bridge or your first Sonos player to a router, you can keep adding players to the rest of your rooms wirelessly.
- Big HiFi sound in a compact size, thanks to 5 integrated speakers/5 dedicated digital amps.
- Wireless control from your Android smartphone or tablet, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, PC or Mac with free apps. Search for songs, choose the music, and control the volume in any room from anywhere.
The PLAY:5 is available for $449.99 in Canada and the Bridge sells for $59.99. In the Vancouver area, they can be purchased at HiFi Centre or at Future Shop and Best Buy stores (or online).
It’s called “the original, bigger room, bigger sound, all-in-one wireless music system” and you can experience it for yourself by entering the contest:
- Leave a comment on this post naming the first song or album from your library that you would play with the SONOS PLAY:5 once you got it home (1 entry)
- Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Friday, March 29, 2013. Follow SONOS on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter for more information about their wireless systems and technology.
Update The winner is Ray Maddly!