SxSW: First Hand at the Country’s Popular Austin Event

Ossia was selected as a finalist in the SxSW Interactive Innovation Awards under the Smart Cities category this year at SxSW 2017.  The Smart Cities category is defined as: 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.        

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We were honored to be selected amongst 4 other fantastically innovative and exciting solutions. I think it would be hard to judge between them all as they range from automated robot delivery service, to kinetic flooring that creates energy by peoples’ footsteps and even a bio-lock on your steering wheel to authenticate who you are and basic bio feedback when you drive.

Being in that room, Sunday March 12, 2017 in the Austin Hilton with 65 other finalists, showcasing the newest, most mind boggling, flashy and boundary pushing tech I’ve seen in a while was exciting! It felt very different from CES where there are big brands repackaging existing product or just showcasing the next version of their product. This was new, cutting edge and futurist. It’s amazing to share space with people who define the concept of thinking ‘outside the box’ and figuring out ways technology will truly change people’s lives.


(Left to right) Hatem Zeine, CTO & Founder of Ossia, Jen Grenz, VP of Marketing, Dale Mayes, Manager Systems Engineering & Lead Technical Program Manager

Of course, I’m biased about wireless power. When I was looking around at the VR headsets and the touchless computer navigation, I knew this was coming to a reality near me soon. But it didn’t feel as life-changing or pervasive as wireless power will be someday. It seems like an evolution of technology where I will likely be buying more gear that includes cords and batteries. Every product in that room required power in some way. Which highlights that even the most innovative ideas are still constricted in this world by needing to be constantly powered, re-charged, and built with batteries that can hold a charge long enough for the consumer to have a decent experience.

Oh, how the world will be truly impacted when there is safe power everywhere around you. When we look back at our history and explain to our children or grandchildren that there was once a world where you phone didn’t hold a charge all day and you had to constantly plug it in to use it. They will look at us wide-eyed and wonder how we even survived on this earth! J 

The SxSW Interactive Innovation awards will come to a conclusion tonight, March 14 at the awards ceremony. There are a series of awards to be won, from professional judging to the People’s Choice awards. Of course, Ossia is looking to take home an award, but win or not, we will continue to push the accelerator of making wireless power a reality. You can track the event as I will be live tweeting throughout the ceremony @Jennifergrenz.  Stay Tuned!