Interactive Innovation Awards

Honoring the best and latest advancements in the digital industry.


Innovation Awards at SXSW 2016. Photo by Merrick Ales.

Innovation Awards at SXSW 2016. Photo by Merrick Ales.

Super Sponsors

Esurance logo
Mazda logo
Monster logo
Bud Light logo
Capital One logo
Austin Chronicle logo

About Interactive Innovation Awards

 

The Interactive Innovation Awards celebrate and honor the most exciting tech developments in the connected world. Explore the year’s best new work during the Finalist Showcase and Interactive Innovation Awards Ceremony where all the incredible speakers, trends, innovations, and ideas that are brought to Austin each year are recognized.

Applications for the 2018 season open on Monday, June 26. Stay tuned for more information on eligibility and application tips coming soon.

The Interactive Innovation Awards has 13 categories and 7 special honors ranging from achievements in digital design to health technology and beyond. Innovators from across the digital industry entered their exciting new work in the competition, which is open to all projects, products, and developments launched or made in calendar year of 2017.

Our panel of judges then carefully evaluate every entry and select five finalists in each of the 13 categories for a total of 65 finalists. Browse 2017 Finalists.

View 2017 Winners


2017 Finalist Showcase

As part of the 20th annual Interactive Innovation Awards, the 2nd annual Finalist Showcase brings 2016’s best, most forward-thinking projects to your fingertips! The 65 finalists across our 13 Award categories exhibit their work for SXSW registrants, who vote to determine the winner of the People’s Choice Award. Meanwhile, our panel of Interactive Innovation Awards judges vote to determine the winners of each of the 13 categories.

Come discover the 65 Finalists in the Interactive Innovation Awards, with hands-on demos of these trendsetting new contributions to the connected world. Then, vote for your favorite pick and join us as we reveal the winners in each category at the Interactive Innovation Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

2017 Interactive Innovation Awards Ceremony

Join us as we reveal the winners in each of the 13 categories on Tuesday, March 14, and recognize the incredible speakers, trends, ideas, and ingenuity that come to Austin each year. Actresses Janina Gavankar and Lyndie Greenwood will emcee the 20th annual Interactive Innovation Awards.

2017 Emcees

Janina GavankarJanina Gavankar – self-proclaimed geek, actress, musician, and producer – transitions between video games, film, and television shows including FOX’s Sleepy Hollow, HBO’s True Blood and FX’s The League. In January 2017, she designed and launched altFound.com, an “online lifestyle brand for grown geeks.”

Lyndie GreenwoodLyndie Greenwood – is a long-time fan of all things “geek,” and enjoys cosplaying at Cons, most recently dressing as “Dee” from Rat Queens. Greenwood is a film and television actress on FOX’s Sleepy Hollow and CW’s Nikita.

2017 Winners of the SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards

 

2017 SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards Winners

HEALTH, MED & BIOTECH

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

  • PRIME Needle Free Injector by Portal Instruments (Cambridge, MA)

INNOVATION IN CONNECTING PEOPLE

Awarded for the best new way to connect and communicate with others.

  • Blendoor by Stephanie Lampkin (San Francisco, CA)

INNOVATIVE 3-DIY

Awarded for making 3D printing technology more accessible or affordable, or to the Maker using such technology in new and exciting ways.

  • 3Doodler PRO by 3Doodler (New York, NY)

MUSIC & AUDIO INNOVATION

Awarded for 2016’s best device or service that changes and improves the way we listen to and enjoy music.

  • HOLOPLOT Wave Field Generator by Holoplot GmbH (Berlin, Germany)

NEW ECONOMY

Awarded to 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.

  • Blinker App by Blinker Inc (Denver, CO)

PRIVACY & SECURITY

Awarded for 2016’s most progressive accomplishment in the way we go about securing our data and ensuring our privacy.

  • D3CRYPT3D by PADECA LLC (Chamblee, GA)

RESPONSIVE DESIGN

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

  • My Grandmother’s Lingo by SBS Online Australia (Sydney, Australia)

SCIFI NO LONGER

Awarded for the coolest scientific achievement or discovery that before 2016 was only possible in science fiction.

  • DuoSkin by MIT Media Lab | Microsoft Research (Redmond, WA)

SMART CITIES

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.

  • V3 by Pavegen (London, England)

STUDENT INNOVATION

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

  • BionicM – Powering Mobility for All by Xiaojun Sun | JSK robotics lab at The University of Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan)

VISUAL MEDIA EXPERIENCE

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

  • JourneyMaker by The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL)

VR & AR

Awarded for breakthroughs in augmented reality & virtual reality technology including the application of new hardware or software which truly make the Virtual a reality.

  • Tilt Brush by Google (San Francisco, CA)

WEARABLE TECH

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

  • Halo 2 Made for iPhone Hearing Aids by Starkey Hearing Technologies | Karten Design (Eden Prairie, MN)

SPECIAL HONORS

BEST OF SHOW

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

  • The Sensel Morph by Sensel (Mountain View, CA)

PEOPLE’S CHOICE

Voted on by the SXSW Interactive community at the second Interactive Innovation Awards Finalist Showcase.

  • Johnson & Johnson CaringCrowd by CI&T and R/GA (New York, NY)

BREAKOUT TREND OF THE EVENT

Trend that gained the most traction during SXSW Interactive 2017.

  • Deep Machine Learning | accepted by Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google and Founder of the People-Centered Internet

SPEAKER OF THE EVENT

Speaker from SXSW Interactive 2017 whose presentation makes the biggest impact on the digital community.

  • Joe Biden

DAVID CARR PRIZE

Awarded for the best new writer’s essay, in honor of the late David Carr; our friend and great contributor to SXSW and the journalistic community, whose interest in the convergence of new media, technology, and culture inspires the essay topic for each year’s competition

  • Mike Armstrong – “The Heart of Something Heartless”

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.

  • Kara Swisher

MEME OF THE YEAR

Most ubiquitous meme that went viral in calendar year 2016 and that we just can’t get out of our heads or off of our screens.

  • Prankster Joe Biden

2017 Interactive Innovation Awards Finalists

 

HEALTH, MED & BIOTECH

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

DIY CRISPR Kit by The ODIN, San Francisco, CA
miniPCR by Amplyus, Cambridge, MA
Molekule by Molekule, San Francisco, CA
PRIME Needle Free Injector by Portal Instruments, Cambridge, MA
Voxel Bay by the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH

INNOVATION IN CONNECTING PEOPLE

Awarded for the best new way to connect and communicate with others

Blendoor by Stephanie Lampkin, San Francisco, CA
REWORD by Leo Burnett Melbourne, Southbank, VIC, AUS
Samsung: Bedtime VR stories by Unit9, London, UK
Sydney Opera House #comeonin by DDB Group Australia, Sydney, NSW, AUS
The Superbook by Sentio, San Francisco, CA

INNOVATIVE 3-DIY

Awarded for making 3D printing technology more accessible or affordable, or to the Maker using such technology in new and exciting ways

3Doodler PRO by 3Doodler, New York, NY
The FormBox by Makyu Industries, London, UK
Miia™ Truly Personalized CPAP by Metamason, Los Angeles, CA
Onyx One 3D Printer by Markforged Inc., Cambridge, MA
Original Prusa i3 MK2 by Prusa Research, Prague, CZE

MUSIC & AUDIO INNOVATION

Awarded for 2016’s best device or service that changes and improves the way we listen to and enjoy music

HOLOPLOT Wave Field Generator by Holoplot GmbH, Berlin, DEU
KSM8 Dualdyne™ Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone by Shure Inc, Niles, IL
OSSIC X by OSSIC, San Diego, CA
The Sensel Morph by Sensel, Mountain View, CA
Vochlea: Prototyping Music by George Philip Wright, Leeds, UK

NEW ECONOMY

Awarded to 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

Blinker App by Blinker Inc, Denver, CO
Clever Kash by ASB Bank, ​Auckland, NZL
Funderbeam by Funderbeam, Tallinn, EST
Modo’s COIN® Operated Digital Payments Hub by ModoPayments, Dallas, TX
Tokken: Cashless Cannabis app by Tokken, Denver, CO

PRIVACY & SECURITY

Awarded for 2016’s most progressive accomplishment in the way we go about securing our data and ensuring our privacy

Almond 3 Smart Home Wi-Fi System by Securifi, Reno, NV
D3CRYPT3D by PADECA LLC, Chamblee, GA
RedMorph Inc by RedMorph Inc, Cranberry Twp, PA
TunnelBear for macOS and Windows by TunnelBear, Toronto, ON, CAN
Wire’s End-to-End Encrypted Platform by Wire Swiss GmbH, Zug, CHE

RESPONSIVE DESIGN

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

Johnson & Johnson CaringCrowd by CI&T and R/GA, New York, NY
Lawren Harris: Where The Universe Sings by Secret Location | Bell Fund | White Pine Pictures | TVO | YesTV, various locations
Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street by Upstatement, Boston, MA
My Grandmother’s Lingo by SBS Online Australia, Sydney, NSW, AUS
The Outline by Code and Theory | The Outline, New York, NY

SCIFI NO LONGER

Awarded for the coolest scientific achievement or discovery that before 2016 was only possible in science fiction

Airobotics Automated Drone Platform by Airobotics, Petah Tikva, ISR
DuoSkin by MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA | Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA
Nanit Thinking Baby Monitor by Nanit, New York, NY
Navii / LoweBot by Fellow Robots, San Francisco, CA
Quantum UIX by Quantum Interface, Austin, TX

SMART CITIES

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

Cota Tile by Ossia, Bellevue, WA
Otto by Otto, San Francisco, CA
SoftServe BioLock by SoftServe, Austin, TX
Starship Technologies’ Delivery Robots by Starship Technologies, Tallinn, EST
V3 by Pavegen, London, UK

STUDENT INNOVATION

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

BionicM – Powering Mobility for All by Xiaojun Sun | JSK robotics lab at The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, JPN
Blinks by Move38, New York, NY
Landscaped Vision: Augmented Reality and the Chinese Garden by Zhihan Ying | Art Center College of Design, Sunnyvale, CA
The Internet of Consciousness by Elaine Cheung | Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles, CA
Undercurrent 360 by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

VISUAL MEDIA EXPERIENCE

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

Beneath the Waves by Periscope Pictures | Hungry Sky | Western Australian Museum, Perth, WA, AUS
Change Perspective by Narrative_ | Visa Rush Card, New York, NY
JourneyMaker by The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
The Field Trip to Mars by McCann New York | Framestore New York, NY | Lockheed Martin, Bethesda, MD
“Through The Dark” by R/GA Sydney | Google Australia, Sydney, NSW, AUS

VR & AR

Awarded for breakthroughs in augmented reality & virtual reality technology including the application of new hardware or software which truly make the Virtual a reality

Meta 2 Development Kit by Meta, San Mateo, CA
Notes On Blindness VR by Ex Nihilo | Archer’s Mark | Arte France, Paris, FRA and London, UK
The Mill Blackbird by The Mill, London, UK
The Music Room by Chroma Coda, Melbourne, VIC, AUS
Tilt Brush by Google, San Francisco, CA

WEARABLE TECH

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

BLIND CAP by Cheil | Samsung | The Spanish Paralympic Committee, Madrid, ESP
Halo 2 Made for iPhone Hearing Aids by Starkey Hearing Technologies | Karten Design, Eden Prairie, MN
LINK AKC™ Smart Dog Collar by Link AKC, Stamford, CT
Music: Not Impossible by Not Impossible, Los Angeles, CA
Radar Pace by Intel & Oakley, Foothill Ranch, CA

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 2017 Interactive Innovation Awards.

Breakout Trend of the Event
Awarded to the trend that gained the most traction during SXSW Interactive 2017.

Speaker of the Event
The speaker from SXSW Interactive 2017 whose presentation makes the biggest impact on the digital community.

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 2017 inductee, Kara Swisher here.

David Carr Prize
Awarded for the best new writer’s essay, in honor of the late David Carr; our friend and great contributor to SXSW and the journalistic community, whose interest in the convergence of new media, technology, and culture inspires the essay topic for each year’s competition. Read the 2017 finalist essays here.

Meme of the Year
Awarded to the most ubiquitous meme that went viral in 2016 and we just can’t get it out of our heads or off of our screens.

Participate

2018 SXSW PanelPicker Opens Monday, June 26

Be part of SXSW 2018 – propose programming ideas through PanelPicker® from Monday, June 26 through Friday, July 21.

Learn More

Explore SXSW Conference Tracks

The SXSW Conference provides an opportunity for global professionals at every level to participate, learn, and network. Each track allows attendees to explore what’s next in the worlds of entertainment, culture, and technology.

Explore Tracks

2016 Finalist Showcase Highlights

Check out the Finalist Showcase Highlights from the Interactive Innovation Awards during SXSW Interactive 2016.

Eligibility, Finalists Info, Terms and Conditions

 

2017 applications are now closed.

Hotel Information for Finalists
If you are selected as an Innovation Awards finalist, you have access to a limited number of rooms being protected for finalists through SXSW Housing & Travel. Rooms are limited to one per registrant and will sell out fast, so be sure to make your hotel reservation as soon as you are registered. Requests can be completed in your Shopping Cart or SXsocial account. In the meantime, check out SXSW Housing & Travel for more information about our hotels, pricing, reservation policies, and travel information.

ELIGIBILITY, TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  • A project or product submitted for the Interactive Innovation Awards must have launched or have been completely redesigned in calendar year 2016 (between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.) For the purposes of the Interactive Innovation Awards eligibility, “launched” may mean any of the following things:
  1. When a discovery is made / when a scientific paper is published / when a patent is approved
  2. When a physical device is made tangible, (IE a prototype)
  3. When the applicable regulatory body (FDA, FCC, etc.) approves a product / procedure for use
  4. When the product is made commercially available
  5. When a project or product is publicly released
  • 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.

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 January 2017.
  • Each finalist entry receives 2 complimentary SXSW Interactive registrations (badges) to attend the 2017 SXSW Interactive Conference & Festival.
  • Finalists are required to supply a high-resolution photo or screenshot of their project, and a 30-second video introducing their entry for the Interactive Innovation Awards ceremony on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. These materials must be supplied to SXSW no later than Friday, February 10, 2017.
  • Finalists in each of the 13 categories will be given demo space at the SXSW Interactive Festival during the 2nd annual Interactive Innovation Awards Finalist Showcase on Sunday, March 12, 2017. 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 12, 2017 event.
  • Winners in each of the 13 categories and the seven special honor awards will be announced at the 20th annual Interactive Innovation Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, March 15, 2016.

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.

FAQ
Questions? Check out the Interactive Innovation Awards FAQ.

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


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

Entry Deadlines and Fees:

Early entry: Tuesday, June 28, 2016 – Friday, Sept. 23, 2016 — early entry fee: $75
Regular entry: Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016 – Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016 — regular entry fee: $150
Late entry: Monday, Nov. 14, 2016 – Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016 — late entry fee: $300


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 Interactive Innovation Awards you will not be eligible for a refund.


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

2016 Interactive Innovation Award Winners

 

2016 Interactive Innovation Award Winners

Health, Med & Biotech

DESKGEN by Destop Genetics | London

Innovation In Connecting People

Don’s Voice by Not Impossible | Los Angeles, CA

Innovative 3-DIY

Wevolver by Wevolver | London, ENG

Music & Audio Innovation

Here Active Listening System by Doppler Labs | San Francisco, CA

New Economy

ShareTheMeal by UN World Food Programme | Rome, ITA

Privacy & Security

Peeple by Building 10 Technology, Inc. | Austin, TX

Responsive Design

Breakthrough by Neo-Pangea | West Reading, PA

Scifi No Longer

Lily Camera by Lily | San Francisco, CA

Smart Cities

KASITA by Kasita LLC | Austin, TX

Student Innovation

Plant-like Robot by Ji Won Jun | Mountain View, CA

Visual Media Experience

The Fallen of World War II by Neil Halloran | Philadelphia, PA

VR & AR

Mill Stitch by The Mill | Various Locations

Wearable Tech

Quell® Wearable Pain Relief Technology™ by NeuroMetrix, Inc. | Waltham, MA

Best of Show

Here Active Listening System by Doppler Labs | San Francisco, CA

People’s Choice Award

GetTheMayor.com by GetTheMayor.com | Heidelberg Baden-Württemberg

Breakout Trend of the Event

Civic Engagement

Speaker of the Event

Brené Brown, Author of Rising Strong, Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection, Founder and CEO, COURAGEworks

Interactive Hall of Fame

Baratunde Thurston

David Carr Prize for Emerging Writers

Jaime Boust

Meme of the Year

Dance Like Drake

Stay Tuned

Sign up to receive the latest announcements, tips, networking invitations and more.