20190309_153637 Stress Inversion Transformer on a street corner at SXSW 2019
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.