2020 Innovation Awards Finalists Announced and Hall of Fame Inductee Nonny de la Peña

21st Annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards - Photo by Samantha Burkardt

Announcing 65 finalists for the 23rd annual Innovation Awards presented by Sprinklr at SXSW 2020.

Open to all SXSW Platinum, Interactive, Film, and Music badgeholders, the Innovation Awards will display the most impressive projects in the fields of AI & Machine Learning, Music & Audio Innovation, Speculative Design, and more across the 13 categories for the 2020 event.

"The forward-thinking breakthrough projects in this year’s Innovation Awards lineup will spark a new level of wonder and inspiration within the SXSW creative community and further illustrate how technology can shape our future," said Hugh Forrest, SXSW Chief Programming Officer. “We’re thrilled to welcome these creators to SXSW and give them a platform to showcase their inventions with hands-on experiences for all SXSW attendees.”

Finalists in each category will demonstrate their projects for SXSW attendees and the Innovation Awards Finalist Judges at the SXSW Innovation Awards Finalist Showcase on Saturday, March 14. Then join us on the evening of Monday, March 16 to celebrate the winners during the SXSW Innovation Awards Ceremony along with the Best in Show Award. At the ceremony, we will also take a moment to honor the winners of other SXSW competitions including the David Carr Prize and the 2020 SXSW Hall of Fame honoree, Nonny de la Peña.

2020 Finalists By Category

AI & Machine Learning

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

Autonomous Robots Collecting Impossible Data
Exyn Technologies
Philadelphia, PA

Cortex Certifai by CognitiveScale
Austin, TX

Rebuilt From Memories
Jung Von Matt
Hamburg, Germany

VUniverse: Streaming Services Simplified
Brooklyn, NY

Yonder Narrative Intelligence
Austin, TX

Climate, Culture & Social Impact

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

Eos Bioreactor
Hypergiant Industries
Austin, TX

Food Recycling with Black Soldier Fly
Tokyo, Japan

Future Farm: Sustainable AgTech
Bifarm Tech
Weston, FL

Pioneering a new category: Air-Based Protein
Air Protein™
Hayward, CA

Sunthetics: Manufacturing For A Cleaner Future
Brooklyn, NY

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.

A Vital Need to Transform Healthcare
Atlanta, GA

Beddr Precision Sleep Health
Beddr Sleep
Mountain View, CA

EQ Brain Performance
Highmark Interactive
Toronto, ON

FastTrack AI - CAR-T Serial Killing Tracking
MetaVi Labs
Austin, TX

Personalized Medication Management
knowRX, Inc.
Austin, TX

Innovation in Connecting People

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

JFK Moonshot
Boston, MA

Lynk everyone. Everywhere. All the time.
Lynk Global, Inc.
Falls Church, VA

Memory Lane
Accenture Interactive
Stockholm, Sweden

PlayTable: digital boardgame console
Blok Party
South San Francisco, CA

Project #ShowUs
New York, NY

Music & Audio Innovation

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

Audio Design Desk
Audio Design Desk, LLC
West Hollywood, CA

Big in Japan
Zulu Alpha Kilo
Toronto, ON

Radio Tinnitus
Rothco, part of Accenture Interactive
Dublin, Ireland

Sound Sculpture
MASARY Studios
Boston, MA

The Dubler Studio Kit
Vochlea Music
London, UK

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.

Boston, MA

Financial Freedom for Freelancers
Austin, TX

KFC Pocket Franchise
Ho Communications, Part of Accenture Interactive
Shanghai, China

Chicago, IL

Trade Logistics Information Pipeline
Fjord & Trademark East Africa
Copenhagen, Denmark & Nairobi, Kenya

Robotics & Hardware

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

Meeting Owl Pro
Owl Labs
Somerville, MA

Misty II
Misty Robotics, Inc.
Boulder, CO

Octobo: An Educational, Interactive Smart Plush
Pasadena, CA

Olis Master Controller
Olis Robotics
Seattle, WA

Roybi Robot
Mountain View, CA

Smart Cities, Transportation & Logistics

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

Atom Power Digital Circuit Breaker
Atom Power
Charlotte, NC

First Autonomous Shuttle in Central FL
Orlando, FL

SmartphoneHub and COBI.Bike app
Bosch eBike Systems
Foothill Ranch, CA

The HY Project
The Electric Factory Group
Montevideo, Uruguay

Zero-Emission Aviation Technology
Hollister, CA

Speculative Design

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.

AEX – Augmented Editorial Experience
Publicis Sapient
Paris, France

Hot Wheels id
Mattel, Inc.
El Segundo, CA

Jung Von Matt/AG
Hamburg, Germany

The Sending Machine
Publicis Sapient
London, UK

Frog Design
Brooklyn, NY

Student Innovation

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

University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA

Entertainment Technology Center, Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA

Safe ID
Miami Ad School Europe
Hamburg, Germany

The MakerBrace: 3D Printed Orthotics
MakerSpace at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering
Brooklyn, NY

True Type Freedom (.TTF) by Monotype
Miami Ad School Europe
Hamburg, Germany

Visual Media Experience

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

Moment Factory & Cipriani
New York, NY

Magic Leap
Plantation, FL

Walk the Moon with Apollo's Moon Shot AR
Smithsonian Channel
Washington, D.C.

Hall of Heroes
BBDO New York
New York, NY

Women in Motion AR Art Exhibit
Studio Moshon
Los Angeles, CA

Wearable Tech

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

Apollo Neuroscience Inc
Pittsburgh, PA

Soft Machines Lab & Morphing Matter Lab, Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA

Gatorade Gx Sweat Patch & App
Gatorade, Smart Design, Epicore Biosystems
New York, NY

PEEX - Augmented Audio Reality for Live Music
London, UK

SpotOn: The World is Your Backyard
OnPoint Systems, LLC
Bedford, NH


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

BeeHive: Virtual Production Management
Glassbox Technologies
Los Angeles, CA

Encoded Forms
Dell Technologies
Round Rock, TX

Lets Plott- Extended Reality Platform
Dover, NJ

The Under Presents
Tender Claws
Los Angeles, CA

WebAR Cloud Editor + Hosting
8th Wall
Palo Alto, CA

2020 Finalists

2020 Hall of Fame Inductee

We are honored to present the 2020 SXSW Interactive Festival Hall of Fame award to Nonny de la Peña.

Nonny de la Peña is CEO & Founder of award-winning innovation company Emblematic Group. Often acknowledged as “The Godmother of Virtual Reality,” she is a pioneer of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality who is widely credited with inventing the genre of immersive journalism.

In 2012, her piece "Hunger in Los Angeles" debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, marking its place in history as the first VR experience to be shown at the festival, and since then her work has continued to elicit global recognition at institutions and events such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, Brooklyn Museum, World Economic Forum and Venice International Film Festival. In 2017, Nonny was named one of CNET’s 20 Most Influential Latinos in Tech and most recently she received the 2018 WSJ Magazine Technology Innovator of the Year award. Under her leadership, Emblematic has built a critically acclaimed body of work that includes tracking the chaos of the Syrian civil war to working with AT&T on projects that leverage the future of 5G technologies and machine learning. Her newest breakthrough is Emblematic's WebVR platform REACH which creates scalable distribution in the medium, democratizes content authorship and empowers new voices to share their stories. Nonny was previously a Convergence Keynote at the 2018 SXSW Conference.

Hall of Fame

Celebrate the Most Exciting Tech Developments & More

Join us this March and watch finalists across 13 categories exhibit their projects; vote to determine the winner of the People’s Choice Award, and celebrate the 2020 winners and special honors awarded.

Stay up-to-date on everything SXSW by following us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Grab your Interactive Badge through November 22 to Save

SXSW Innovation Awards - Photo by Samantha Burkardt

By Jordan Roberts