Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Digital Future -- SXSW 2011 Interactive Awards

          The SXSW Interactive Awards could possibly be one of the coolest things on the planet. According their website ( these awards are meant to “uncover the best new digital work, from websites to web applications and beyond”.  They vote on an array of digital categories ranging from Activism to Technical Achievement. This year’s nominees and winners proved to be some of the best ever!

          Unilever’s vending machine won in the kiosk/installation category. However, this is not just an ordinary vending machine. What’s special about this one is that instead of inserting a few quarters in a slot to get your product, all you have to do is smile as big as you can in front of the machine. Unilever’s “Smile Activated Vending Machine” is equipped with state of the art facial recognition software to detect if a person is smiling, and if that person’s smile is big enough it dispenses a free ice cream. It also allows users to share this on Facebook!

         Another cool interactive winner is This won in the community category. It’s basically a website that provides free repair manuals for cars, cameras, PCs and Macs, smartphones, and etc. The best thing about this website is that you can edit the repair manual and if your edit is verified it will appear on the website -- cool stuff!

        Other winners included well-known websites such as,, and etc. If you have time or are bored one day, it is definitely worth it to take a look at. You never know, it may spark that entrepreneurial spirit of yours.
                                                              Interactive Award Finalists

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