20190309_153637 Stress Inversion Transformer on a street corner at SXSW 2019By its own account, "This machine converts excess irritation and surplus angst into useful clean energy." Energy from screaming and stomping is translated into useable electricity. I didn't see anyone try it, though.
As far as I can tell, the number of interesting things one can see and experience for free on the streets of Austin downtown during SXSW has been steadily decreasing over the years. I'm talking about things like quasi-technological art installations and creative promotional gimmicks by various brands. This year the pickings were slim. We came across this Stress Inversion Transformer. By its own account, "This machine converts excess irritation and surplus angst into useful clean energy. Stress discharge in the form of screaming and stomping is captured by custom-designed piezoelectric transducers which translate sound pressure and kinetic energy into useable electricity."
So it seems like you could scream and stomp in this machine to release stress, but I didn't see a single person do it. Instead they stood around at a safe distance. Maybe a stack of release forms - including the right for machine's owners to take pictures of you - caused more stress than it promised to relieve.
20190309_154023 Crusaders against dairyThese representatives of Vicecreme stood on a street corner during SXSW in Guy Fawkes masks, holding TV screens showing cows and calves mistreated by dairy industry. Others engaged passers-by in hostile conversations, shaming them for consuming dairy.
I saw these people standing on a street corner during SXSW, crusading against dairy. Judging by one guy's t-shirt, they were representatives for Vicecreme. They wore Guy Fawkes masks and stood in the middle of the sidewalk, holding TV screens running a movie of cows and calves being mistreated by dairy industry. Meanwhile, a few other "foot soldiers" tried to engage passers-by in hostile conversations, aggressively shaming them for consuming dairy. Great way to promote a brand.
20190309_155904 Pink lounge in a truckThis company, Klaxoon, had a lounge in downtown Austin in an 18-wheeler truck, dressed in pink for the occasion. Inside they held a permanently running demo for their company's product. Click the image to read more.
Even with opportunities for non-SXSW badge holders to be feted by corporations and brands during SXSW shrinking, some brands still admit the hoi polloi to their promotional events. This company, Klaxoon, had a lounge in downtown Austin in an 18-wheeler truck, dressed in pink for the occasion. The truck was even air-conditioned. They treated everyone who stopped by to free champagne, beer, cheese and fruit. Inside they held a permanently running demo for their company's product. From what I could tell, it lets you forward your questions to the presenter electronically, instead of shouting them out loud. If there was more to it, I couldn't tell.