March 13, 2013 — -- Every spring break must come to an end. The 28,000-plus tech addicts who descended on Austin for the South by Southwest Interactive festival have packed up their bags and headed home. But with them they will likely take a cold and some fond memories. Here is what we will always remember about SXSW Interactive 2013.
A Grumpy Cat
Yes, a cat will be what many remember most about this year's SXSW. Of course, it's not just any cat -- it's a famous Internet cat. Grumpy Cat, which has become an Internet meme and has thousands of Twitter followers, made an appearance at the festival this year, first at a Friskies press event and then at the Mashable House. Hundreds of people waited in the rain to see the cat, which always has a sour face.
The future, though, isn't about a cat. Or at least we hope it's not. It might, however, be about the computers being put in our clothing or accessories. Google showed off a "talking shoe" at the festival. While it is just an experiment, sensors in the shoe can talk to your phone or to you and encourage you to be more active.
SXSW PHOTOS: Scenes From the Interactive Festival
Google also talked about its Glass -- those glasses that overlay digital information on the physical world. It demonstrated apps that will work with the glasses, including The New York Times, Evernote and Gmail.
And then there was a start-up called Memoto, which makes a small wearable camera that takes photos every 30 seconds. You can then sync the camera with your phone or computer to see the best photos it has taken.
Other companies at the show didn't have that same buzz factor, but they certainly tried with some fairly crazy marketing stunts. First, there was the launch of yamtrader.com, which planted a giant yam in the center of the show floor. There is no yamtrader.com -- a human resources start-up called TriNet used it as a way to get some attention.
Then there was Central Desktops, which had a gentleman dressed up as an angel in a tutu.
And the list goes on. Check out our slideshow of the craziest marketing stunts at the show.
Visions of an Innovative Future
In between the stunts, the big parties and some of the other craziness, there were some meaningful conversations about the future. Elon Musk spoke about his SpaceX effort and how he would like to die on Mars. Musk's talk generated the most buzz of any at the conference, according to Mashable and Topsy.
Google's Amit Singhal talked about how Google is working on a "Star Trek" computer that anticipates what you are searching for.