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article imageSXSWi weekend roundup: Wearable tech, cats and Secret apps

By Michael Thomas     Mar 10, 2014 in Technology
Austin - The annual spectacle of South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, not only showcases the world's most intriguing musical acts, but also SXSW Interactive, a tech fest featuring trending sensations such as wearable computing and Grumpy Cat, to name a few.
When one thinks of wearable technology, the first thought that may come to mind is Google Glass — scarcely a day goes by without a mention. But on Sunday, Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android and Chrome for Google, said that the company is trying to make Android more accessible for other pieces of wearable tech.
Pichai said he thinks about wearables "at a platform level," meaning he is trying to make Android a recognizable name in the field without Google committing itself to building a wearable on its own.
Google aside, one panel, comprised of executives from Jawbone, Pebble and Whistle, discussed what developers should do to make wearables that people actually want to use.
Wearable technology on display at SXSWi in Austin  Texas.
Wearable technology on display at SXSWi in Austin, Texas.
Courtesy newsrooms
The executives all agreed that we are already living in a culture of distraction, and so wearable tech would have to become some sort of "sixth sense" that would allow us to monitor things such as our body chemistry and health issues.
Just like last year, cats are a huge SXSWi draw, with yet another visit by Tardar Sauce, aka Grumpy Cat. Reportedly last year there were longer than two-hour waits to get a picture with the Internet celebrity, and this year the line was at least 50 people deep at any given moment.
This weekend there was apparently a talk called "Cat Cash: The Economy of Internet Cat Videos," so it appears there will never not be disinterest in cats on the Internet.
Of particular interest is the rise of the female presence at SXSWi. Around 25 speaker sessions focus on women in technology, five times more than last year. Invited speakers include Lauren Flanagan, managing director of venture fund Belle Capital USA LP, Carley Roney, co-founder and chief content officer of XO Group Inc., and Randi Zuckerberg of Facebook.
Randi Zuckerberg Speaks at PayPal Lounge at SXSWi 2014
Randi Zuckerberg Speaks at PayPal Lounge at SXSWi 2014
Geoff Livingston
Finally, there was much buzz about Secret, a new app that launched recently as an anonymous place to contribute to Silicon Valley gossip. Secret launched a page specifically for SXSW, and it's already brimming with anonymous posts.
INC Party @ #DellVenue in Austin  Texas for SXSWi 2014
INC Party @ #DellVenue in Austin, Texas for SXSWi 2014
Via Dell's Flickr page
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