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Pulling It All Together—SXSW Tasting Experience

This case study shows the combination of prototyping for both physical and digital interactions in one experience. The IBM Mobile Innovation Lab (MIL) explores how emerging technology can combine with IBM’s enterprise-level cloud, IoT, and development platforms. They take on and invent innovation projects that will push the entire business unit and company forward, and are often the first team to try new technologies in application to enterprise.

For the 2016 South by Southwest conference (SXSW), the MIL was challenged to create an exciting experience for the conference attendees that showcased the lab’s design capabilities and machine learning skills (Figure 8-1). The users the team designed for were mostly from out of town; were visiting Austin, Texas for the first time; worked for tech companies or startups or were part of the design community; and were interested in experiencing the authentic Austin.

The design and development team knew that they wanted to blend physical and digital aspects to create an all-encompassing experience for their users, and that they were constrained by needing to deal with large crowds and a loud environment. They had only five weeks to design, build, and test the entire experience, so they had to move fast and jump straight into making.

Figure 8-1

The MIL created an interactive experience ...

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