Interactive Innovation Awards

March 9-11, 2019

Honoring the most forward-thinking advancements in the digital space. Explore 2018’s most innovative digital projects at the Finalist Showcase on Saturday, March 9, followed by the Interactive Innovation Awards ceremony on Monday, March 11.

Final Deadline: October 4

Apply Now


21st Annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards - Photo by Bob Johnson

21st Annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards - Photo by Bob Johnson

About Interactive Innovation Awards

 

The 22nd annual Interactive Innovation Awards recognize the most exciting tech developments in the connected world.

Enter your project for the chance to win top honors in one of the 13 categories listed below. Three new categories have been added to the mix for 2019, and three other categories have been expanded to better reflect the changing nature of these industries.

Five finalists in each of the 13 categories will receive two registrations to attend SXSW 2019 and a space to demonstrate their project for SXSW attendees and Innovation Awards judges at the Interactive Innovation Awards Showcase on Saturday, March 9. Finalists are also invited to attend the Interactive Innovation Awards Ceremony on the evening of Monday, March 11 where the winners in each category and the Best of Show and People’s Choice Awards will be awarded.

Final deadline to apply is Thursday, October 4. Review the Entry Process for more information on eligibility, deadline and fees.

Apply Now

Finalist Showcase

 

The 4th annual Innovation Awards Finalist Showcase on Saturday, March 9, 2019 offers the 65 finalists across all 13 categories the opportunity to demo their innovative projects for SXSW attendees, who will have the chance to vote for their choice to win the People’s Choice Award.

Also during the Showcase, the Innovation Awards judges will experience each project hands-on and vote to determine the winner in each category, as well as the winner of the Best of Show Award.

All award winners will be announced at Innovation Awards Ceremony on Monday, March 11, 2019.

2019 Categories

 

The SXSW Innovation Awards celebrate the most forward-thinking developments in the connected world. Below are the 13 award categories and special honors that we will recognize at the 2019 Innovation Awards Ceremony on Monday, March 11, 2019.

AI & Machine Learning

Honoring digital systems which have the ability to adapt to changing data, stimuli, and circumstances; replicating learning, problem solving, and cognition.

Health, Med, & BioTech

Honoring the best new technology to improve the quality, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care in health and medicine.

Innovation in Connecting People

Honoring the most forward-thinking ways to connect and communicate with others.

Music & Audio Innovation

Honoring the most innovative devices or services that change and improve the way we listen to, compose and enjoy music.

New Economy

Honoring 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.

Robotics and Hardware (New)

Honoring the hottest new advances in the field of robotics and hardware.

Smart Cities, Transportation & Delivery (Expanded)

Honoring innovations in eco-friendly or sustainable energy, transportation, delivery and IoT technology, making life in the connected world a smarter, cleaner, greener, and more efficient Internet of Everything.

Social & Culture Impact (New)

Honoring the best new projects and technologies that focus on social and cultural impact and encourage communities and individuals to participate in and contribute to the betterment of society.

Speculative Design (New)

Honoring the best new work that uses design to re-think products, systems and worlds and address the challenges, opportunities and possibilities of the future.

Student Innovation

Honoring exceptional student projects and startups that focus on interactive technology for the future.

Style & Wearable Tech (Expanded)

Honoring the new hardware that revolutionizes the convenience, comfort, functionality, efficiency, and fashion of having a device literally “on you.”

Visual Media Experience

Honoring content creation and delivery that moves beyond passive viewership by providing a more immersive and engaging entertainment experience.

VR, AR & MR (Expanded)

Honoring breakthroughs in augmented, virtual and mixed reality technology including the application of new hardware or software which truly make the virtual a reality.

Special Honors

Best of Show

The finalist from the competition who overall best exemplifies the values of innovation, inspiration, and creativity.

People’s Choice Award

The public’s favorite finalist from the 2019 Interactive Innovation Awards.

Breakout Trend of the Event

Awarded to the trend that gains the most traction during SXSW Interactive 2019.

Interactive Hall of Fame

Honoring those exceptional trailblazers whose work has helped shape the connected world and who continue to guide the direction of the digital industry. Learn more about the Interactive Hall of Fame.

Apply Now

Entry Process Overview

 

Eligibility

A project or product submitted for the SXSW Innovation Awards must have launched or have been completely redesigned in calendar year 2018 (between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018).

For the purposes of the SXSW Innovation Awards eligibility, “launched” may mean any of the following things:

  • When a discovery is made / when a scientific paper is published / when a patent is approved
  • When a physical device is made tangible, (IE a prototype)
  • When the applicable regulatory body (FDA, FCC, etc.) approves a product / procedure for use
  • When the product is made commercially available
  • When a project or product is publicly released

Application Process

Applicants may enter multiple projects or products. There will be an additional application fee for each additional project or product entered.

A project or product may be entered in multiple categories. There will be an additional application fee for each additional category in which the project or product is entered.

Please be sure your application is complete before submitting it. Entries may not be changed or updated once the entry has begun the evaluation process by our panel of judges. If you believe you have made an error on your application or have submitted the entry prematurely, please contact interawards@sxsw.com immediately.

Entry Fee

A non-refundable entry fee is required from all applicants who would like to be considered for the above awards categories. All SXSW Innovation Awards entrants will be given the chance to register to attend SXSW Interactive at the lowest early bird rate. SXSW Innovation Awards finalists receive 2 complimentary Platinum registrations.

Early Entry Period: Monday, June 25 – Thursday, August 16 — $75 fee
Final Entry Period: Friday, August 17 – Thursday, October 4 — $150 fee
Final Deadline: Thursday, October 4 at 11:59pm PT

There will be no late entry period for the 2019 Interactive Innovation Awards.

Apply Now

Judging and Evaluation

Each category is narrowed down to five finalists, based on the content of the entry’s application form, by a panel judges comprised of industry peers and experts. Entries will be graded by the following four criteria:

  • Creativity / Innovation
  • Form
  • Function
  • Overall Experience

Finalist Showcase

Five finalists in each of the 13 categories will be announced in December 2018. Each finalist entry receives 2 complimentary SXSW Platinum registrations (badges) to attend the 2019 SXSW Interactive Conference & Festival.

Finalists in each of the 13 categories will be given demo space at the SXSW Interactive Festival during the 4th annual SXSW Innovation Awards Finalist Showcase on Saturday, March 9, 2019. The showcase is an opportunity for awards finalists to exhibit their work to the community of SXSW registrants and is open to all badgeholders, who determine the winner of the People’s Choice Award. A finalist’s participation in this Showcase is required to be eligible to win the award in their respective category, as the final round of official judging to determine winners will take place at this March 9, 2019 event.

Winners in each of the 13 categories and all special honor awards will be announced at the 22nd annual SXSW Innovation Awards Ceremony on Monday, March 11, 2019.

Please Note: SXSW reserves the right to place applicants’ entries in the most relevant category at SXSW’s sole discretion. This includes changing an applicant entry’s category based on response to the event and/or the applicant choosing a non-relevant category.

Refunds

No refund will be given to any application that has been submitted. If you have any concerns regarding our fees and/or the application process please email interawards@sxsw.com prior to entering an application. If you wish to register before being notified by SXSW on your status as an entrant to the SXSW Innovation Awards you will not be eligible for a refund.

Confidentiality

All preliminary application information that is submitted is confidential and will be only viewed by SXSW staff and the selected judging panelists.

FAQ

Questions? Check out the Innovation Awards FAQ.

More Questions

Have more questions? Email interawards@sxsw.com with any questions regarding the SXSW Innovation Awards.

Apply Now

2018 Interactive Innovation Awards Recap

 

Host

Elliot V. Kotek

A two-time SXSW Innovation Award winner, Innovation Fellow at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern, and recipient of multiple other accolades that rhyme with innovation, Elliot is the founder of The Nation of Artists and has spearheaded storytelling about everything from 3D printing to homelessness and social-robot ducks.

An advocate of tech4good in all its iterations, he has directed and produced documentaries, animation and virtual reality for the impact teams at Qualcomm, Accenture, Intel, Walmart Health & Wellness, LEGO Education, HP, Sony, Aflac and Hyundai. – and his work has aired everywhere from Facebook to Fast Company. Elliot is passionate about people with purpose, and has proudly traveled the alphabet all the way from Australia to Austin as an explorer of innovation for impact.

Winners and Finalists

AI & Machine Learning

Honoring digital systems which have the ability to adapt to changing data, stimuli, and circumstances; replicating learning, problem solving, and cognition.

Winner: Swarm AI by Unanimous AI, San Francisco, CA

Finalists: eBALLution by Akatsuki Inc., Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
The Cognitive Story by Darwin Ecosystem, Dallas, TX
Toyota Mirai – AI by Tool, Santa Monica, CA & Saatchi & Saatchi, Las Angeles, CA
Woebot by Woebot Labs, Inc., San Francisco, CA

Health, Med, & BioTech

Honoring the new technology that best improves the quality, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care in health and medicine.

Winner: MasSpec Pen by the Eberlin Lab at The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Finalists: EksoVest by Ekso Bionics, Richmond, CA
Spark: An Autonomous Fitness & Rehabilitation Platform by James Simmons, Gonzalo Gelso, Hwanghah Jeong, Dipali Bajaj, Zhaolin Cai, and Andrew Sibert, Savannah, GA
Movement Tracks Project by Center for Music Therapy, Inc., Austin, TX
Turning Machine Intelligence Against Lung Cancer by Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, VA

Innovation in Connecting People

Honoring the best new way to connect and communicate with others.

Winner: Read To Me by The Electric Factory, Montevideo, Uruguay

Finalists: Airbnb x VICE Experiences by Airbnb, San Francisco, CA
ElliQ by Intuition Robotics, Ramat Gan, Israel and San Francisco, CA
Maestro: Empowering VR Storytelling Through Social Collaboration by Penrose Studios, San Francisco, CA
Hands-Free Music Project by Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA

Music & Audio Innovation

Honoring 2017’s best device or service that changes and improves the way we listen to and enjoy music.

Winner: Hands-Free Music Project by Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA

Finalists: Bacardi – Music Liberates Music by BBDO New York, New York, NY
Downtown Records – Live Looper by BBDO New York, New York, NY
Harman Connected PA by Harman, a Samsung Entity, Plano, TX
Dolby Atmos for Music by Dolby Laboratories, San Francisco, CA

New Economy

Honoring 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.

Winner: Autonomous Operations Platform for Selfdriving Fleets by Ridecell, San Francisco, CA

Finalists: Interactive Fitting Room by Stefanka, Montreal. QC
MRI AutoDetect: The ProMRI Advantage by BIOTRONIK INC, Portland, OR
The World’s First AI Financial Advisor by Pefin, New York, NY
Autonomous Operations Platform for Selfdriving Fleets by Ridecell, San Francisco, CA
Setapp, the first Mac app subscription service by MacPaw, Kyiv, Ukraine

Privacy & Security

Honoring 2017’s most progressive accomplishment in the way we go about securing our data and ensuring our privacy.

Winner: Ghostery Privacy Ad Blocker by Ghostery, New York, NY

Finalists: bot detection by botswatch GmbH, Berlin, Germany
BullGuard for Dojo by BullGuard, Redwood City, CA and Herzliya, Israel
Data Subject Access Rights Portal by OneTrust, Atlanta, GA
YubiKey 4C Nano by Yubico, Palo Alto, CA

Responsive Design

Honoring excellent digital design, creating the best-integrated interaction in terms of content, aesthetics, and functionality.

Winner: The Coca-Cola Times Square Billboard
by space150, Atlanta, GA

Finalists: K’gari: The Real Story of a True Fake by SBS, Sydney, New South Wales
KONTINUUM, an underground journey through time by Moment Factory and Ottawa 2017 Bureau, Montréal, QC
Quest to LEGOLAND by VML, New York, NY
TinyMOS: Astrophotography made small, smart and social by Y&R Singapore, Singapore

Scifi No Longer

Honoring the coolest scientific achievement or discovery that before 2017 was only possible in science fiction.

Winner: The Dermal Abyss: When Tattoos meet Biotechnology by MIT Media Lab, Harvard Medical School and UC Davis, Davis, CA

Finalists: Google Earth VR by Google, Mountain View, CA
HoloPlayer One by Looking Glass, Brooklyn, NY
Jacquard™ by Google, Mountain View, CA
Simulate the invisible: a real-time muography simulator developed for ScanPyramids mission by Benoit Marini, Paris/Bordeaux, France

Smart Cities

Honoring 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.

Winner: Jacques-Cartier Bridge Interactive Illumination Concept by Moment Factory, with: Réalisations Montréal Inc., Ambiances Design Productions, ATOMIC3, Éclairage Public / Ombrages, Lucion Média and UDO Design.Project directed by Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Inc., Montreal, QC

Finalists: Floating an Idea: The + POOL Story by m ss ng p eces, Tribeca Studios, Heineken Cities Project, Brooklyn, NY
The Future of Fast: Alta’s Lithium-Ion Battery Pack by Alta Motors, Brisbane, CA
Gita by Piaggio Fast Forward, Boston, MA
LimeBike by LimeBike, San Mateo, CA

Student Innovation

Honoring the student with an exceptional interactive technology project or startup; both of which are the future.

Winner: Facebook Messenger Blood Type Bots by Ryan Leckie and Jakub Straka, Miami Ad School Europe, Hamburg, Germany

Finalists: Philips HaptoCube by Aleksandr Bobrov, Gabriela Marijke van der Linden and Carrie Tang, Miami Ad School Europe, Hamburg, Germany
Samsung Magic Bed by Alex Lungu, Belén Aragon, Hannes Rath and Philip Ziegler, Miami Ad School Europe, Hamburg, Germany
Seeing Theory: A Visual Introduction to Probability and Statistics by Daniel Kunin, Jingru Guo, Tyler Dae Devlin, and Daniel Xiang, Providence, RI
TinyMOS: Astrophotography made small, smart and social – World’s smallest, smartest, and most social astronomy camera by Y&R Singapore, Singapore

Visual Media Experience

Honoring content creation and delivery that moves beyond passive viewership by providing a more immersive and engaging entertainment experience.

Winner: LEGO House Fish Designer by LEGO House / Trigger Global, Los Angeles, CA

Finalists: Deep City by HUSH, Brooklyn, NY
GE – Unseen Stars by BBDO New York, New York, NY
NASA: Data Lens by Bluecadet, Philadelphia, PA
Player.me by SplitmediaLabs Limited, Manila Philippines

VR & AR

Honoring breakthroughs in augmented and virtual reality technology including the application of new hardware or software which truly make the virtual a reality.

Winner: Maestro: Empowering VR Storytelling Through Social Collaboration by Penrose Studios, San Francisco, CA

Finalists: Directional AR and more. A minimalist way by Wagoo LLC, Irving, TX, & Wagoo, Italia, Srls
Quest to LEGOLAND by VML, New York, NY
RadHA (Radiology with Holographic Augmentation) by Bencin Studios, Smyrna, TN | UCSF & HoloSurg3D Lab, San Francisco, CA
Zero Days VR by Scatter, Brooklyn, NY

Wearable Tech

Honoring the new hardware that revolutionizes the convenience, comfort, functionality, efficiency, and fashion of having a device literally “on you.”

Winner: Jacquard™ by Google, Mountain View, CA

Finalists: CardioLens by Microsoft Research, Seattle, WA & ENAC, University of Toulouse
DAQRI Smart Glasses by DAQRI, Los Angeles, CA
Motiv Ring by Motiv Inc, San Francisco, CA
NIGHTWATCH® by Protequus LLC, Austin, TX

Special Honors

Interactive Hall of Fame

Honoring those exceptional trailblazers whose work has helped shape the connected world and who continue to guide the direction of the digital industry.

President of Upworthy and GOOD Worldwide, Eli Pariser.

David Carr Prize

Amanda Gail

Meme of the Year

Savage Prince George

Breakout Trend of the Event

Globally Connected: we’re in this together

Speaker of the Event

Esther Perel

People’s Choice Award

The World’s First AI Financial Advisor by Pefin, New York, NY

Best of Show

Swarm AI by Unanimous AI, San Francisco, CA

Learn More

Register to Attend SXSW 2019

Join us for 10 days of unparalleled discovery, learning, and networking with creatives across interactive, film, and music industries from March 8-17, 2019.

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