SXSW is underway. The focus this week is on film and innovation. Downtown is packed, so you may have trouble getting to see exhibits.
Gamers, innovators and street corner exhibitors swarmed downtown Friday.
The X-ACTO knife site, at a corner across from the Hilton, is literally on the cutting edge and according to manager Matt Zuby it's his first stab at SXSW.
"It's a busy city, I didn't realize how busy it would be," said Zuby.
The hot innovation this year appears to be 3-D printers. Several devices about the size of a home coffee maker are being showcased by Deloitte.
The machines print out different types of images in a plastic material. They also print chocolate and candy designs.
"A few years ago this wasn't even on the map, and just imagine what it's going to be like in five years, what we are going to be doing with it, it's going to change the world," said Paul Clemmons with Deloitte.
Applications for home use- maybe in the kitchen, according to Clemmons could be next.
To get you there Oscar Myer is providing alternate transportation. Seating, however, is limited in the Wienermobile. But there is a lot of room at what was the Vince Young Steak House Samsung has chopped it up into an interactive site. A block away, Pepsi is playing mind games with a pulsating wall. You try to control it using a special headset. What's hard to think through are the long lines.
Once you break free- there are several gaming opportunities. There's an electronic fooz-ball table at the 3-M site. At the Long Center the Mario Karting game gets a re-boot. The experience zooms out of the cyber-world and on to a short track course you can race on.
A Mario look-alike won the first race. He was actually a late night TV show sidekick. Innovation is everywhere even on the sidewalk, like a bouncing street act promoting a new website, or a walking cartoon promoting a website. There's certainly a lot to see and do. As you work through or avoid the crowds, remember- this is just week one.
Here are links to some of the spots we visited.