2020 Innovation Awards Finalists Announced and Hall of Fame Inductee Nonny de la Peña

January 29, 2020 Jordan Roberts

21st Annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards - Photo by Samantha Burkardt

Announcing 65 finalists for the 23rd annual Innovation Awards presented by Sprinklr at SXSW 2020.

Open to all SXSW Platinum, Interactive, Film, and Music badgeholders, the Innovation Awards will display the most impressive projects in the fields of AI & Machine Learning, Music & Audio Innovation, Speculative Design, and more across the 13 categories for the 2020 event.

“The forward-thinking breakthrough projects in this year’s Innovation Awards lineup will spark a new level of wonder and inspiration within the SXSW creative community and further illustrate how technology can shape our future,” said Hugh Forrest, SXSW Chief Programming Officer. “We’re thrilled to welcome these creators to SXSW and give them a platform to showcase their inventions with hands-on experiences for all SXSW attendees.”

Finalists in each category will demonstrate their projects for SXSW attendees and the Innovation Awards Finalist Judges at the SXSW Innovation Awards Finalist Showcase on Saturday, March 14. Then join us on the evening of Monday, March 16 to celebrate the winners during the SXSW Innovation Awards Ceremony along with the Best in Show Award. At the ceremony, we will also take a moment to honor the winners of other SXSW competitions including the David Carr Prize and the 2020 SXSW Hall of Fame honoree, Nonny de la Peña.

2020 Finalists By Category

AI & Machine Learning

Honoring digital systems which have the ability to adapt to changing data, stimuli, and circumstances; replicating learning, problem-solving, and cognition.

Autonomous Robots Collecting Impossible Data Exyn Technologies Philadelphia, PA

Cortex Certifai by CognitiveScaleCognitiveScaleAustin, TX

Rebuilt From MemoriesJung Von MattHamburg, Germany

VUniverse: Streaming Services SimplifiedVUniverseBrooklyn, NY

Yonder Narrative IntelligenceYonderAustin, TX

Climate, Culture & Social Impact

Honoring the best new projects and technologies that focus on social, cultural and environmental impact and encourage communities and individuals to participate in and contribute to the betterment of society.

Eos BioreactorHypergiant IndustriesAustin, TX

Food Recycling with Black Soldier FlyGrubinTokyo, Japan

Future Farm: Sustainable AgTechBifarm TechWeston, FL

Pioneering a new category: Air-Based ProteinAir Protein™Hayward, CA

Sunthetics: Manufacturing For A Cleaner FutureSuntheticsBrooklyn, NY

Health, Med & BioTech

Honoring the best new technology to improve the quality, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care in health and medicine.

A Vital Need to Transform HealthcareVitalAtlanta, GA

Beddr Precision Sleep HealthBeddr SleepMountain View, CA

EQ Brain PerformanceHighmark InteractiveToronto, ON

FastTrack AI – CAR-T Serial Killing TrackingMetaVi LabsAustin, TX

Personalized Medication ManagementknowRX, Inc.Austin, TX

Innovation in Connecting People

Honoring the most forward-thinking ways to connect and communicate with others.

JFK MoonshotDigitasBoston, MA

Lynk everyone. Everywhere. All the time.Lynk Global, Inc.Falls Church, VA

Memory LaneAccenture InteractiveStockholm, Sweden

PlayTable: digital boardgame consoleBlok PartySouth San Francisco, CA

Project #ShowUsRazorfishNew York, NY

Music & Audio Innovation

Honoring the most innovative devices or services that change and improve the way we listen to, compose and enjoy music.

Audio Design DeskAudio Design Desk, LLCWest Hollywood, CA

Big in JapanZulu Alpha KiloToronto, ON

Radio TinnitusRothco, part of Accenture InteractiveDublin, Ireland

Sound SculptureMASARY StudiosBoston, MA

The Dubler Studio KitVochlea MusicLondon, UK

New Economy

Honoring those redefining the exchange of goods and services, from the sharing economy, to virtual currency, to micro-finance, to mobile-device-payment systems, and beyond.

banQiAirFoxBoston, MA

Financial Freedom for FreelancersJoustAustin, TX

KFC Pocket FranchiseHo Communications, Part of Accenture InteractiveShanghai, China

OpenfinanceOpenfinanceChicago, IL

Trade Logistics Information PipelineFjord & Trademark East AfricaCopenhagen, Denmark & Nairobi, Kenya

Robotics & Hardware

Honoring the hottest new advances in the field of robotics and hardware.

Meeting Owl ProOwl LabsSomerville, MA

Misty IIMisty Robotics, Inc.Boulder, CO

Octobo: An Educational, Interactive Smart PlushThinker-TinkerPasadena, CA

Olis Master ControllerOlis RoboticsSeattle, WA

Roybi RobotROYBI Inc.Mountain View, CA

Smart Cities, Transportation & Logistics

Honoring innovations in eco-friendly or sustainable energy, transportation, delivery and IoT technology, making life in the connected world a smarter, cleaner, and more efficient Internet of Everything.

Atom Power Digital Circuit BreakerAtom PowerCharlotte, NC

First Autonomous Shuttle in Central FLBeepOrlando, FL

SmartphoneHub and COBI.Bike appBosch eBike SystemsFoothill Ranch, CA

The HY ProjectThe Electric Factory GroupMontevideo, Uruguay

Zero-Emission Aviation TechnologyZeroAviaHollister, CA

Speculative Design

Honoring the best new work that uses design to re-think products, systems and worlds and address the challenges, opportunities and possibilities of the future.

AEX – Augmented Editorial ExperiencePublicis SapientParis, France

Hot Wheels idMattel, Inc.El Segundo, CA

ProtegéJung Von Matt/AGHamburg, Germany

The Sending MachinePublicis SapientLondon, UK

UNUMFrog DesignBrooklyn, NY

Student Innovation

Honoring exceptional student projects and startups that focus on interactive technology for the future.

AscendUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, CA

KaleidoscopeEntertainment Technology Center, Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburgh, PA

Safe IDMiami Ad School EuropeHamburg, Germany

The MakerBrace: 3D Printed OrthoticsMakerSpace at the NYU Tandon School of EngineeringBrooklyn, NY

True Type Freedom (.TTF) by MonotypeMiami Ad School EuropeHamburg, Germany

Visual Media Experience

Honoring content creation and delivery that moves beyond passive viewership by providing a more immersive and engaging entertainment experience.

SuperRealMoment Factory & CiprianiNew York, NY

UnderseaMagic LeapPlantation, FL

Walk the Moon with Apollo’s Moon Shot ARSmithsonian ChannelWashington, D.C.

Hall of HeroesBBDO New YorkNew York, NY

Women in Motion AR Art ExhibitStudio MoshonLos Angeles, CA

Wearable Tech

Honoring the new hardware that revolutionizes the convenience, comfort, functionality, efficiency, and fashion of having a device literally “on you.”

ApolloApollo Neuroscience IncPittsburgh, PA

ElectroDermisSoft Machines Lab & Morphing Matter Lab, Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburgh, PA

Gatorade Gx Sweat Patch & AppGatorade, Smart Design, Epicore BiosystemsNew York, NY

PEEX – Augmented Audio Reality for Live MusicPEEXLondon, UK

SpotOn: The World is Your BackyardOnPoint Systems, LLCBedford, NH


Honoring breakthroughs in augmented, virtual and mixed reality technology including the application of new hardware or software which truly make the “virtual” a reality.

BeeHive: Virtual Production ManagementGlassbox TechnologiesLos Angeles, CA

Encoded FormsDell TechnologiesRound Rock, TX

Lets Plott- Extended Reality PlatformPlottDover, NJ

The Under PresentsTender ClawsLos Angeles, CA

WebAR Cloud Editor + Hosting8th WallPalo Alto, CA

2020 Finalists

2020 Hall of Fame Inductee

We are honored to present the 2020 SXSW Interactive Festival Hall of Fame award to Nonny de la Peña.

Nonny de la Peña is CEO & Founder of award-winning innovation company Emblematic Group. Often acknowledged as “The Godmother of Virtual Reality,” she is a pioneer of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality who is widely credited with inventing the genre of immersive journalism.

In 2012, her piece “Hunger in Los Angeles” debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, marking its place in history as the first VR experience to be shown at the festival, and since then her work has continued to elicit global recognition at institutions and events such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, Brooklyn Museum, World Economic Forum and Venice International Film Festival. In 2017, Nonny was named one of CNET’s 20 Most Influential Latinos in Tech and most recently she received the 2018 WSJ Magazine Technology Innovator of the Year award. Under her leadership, Emblematic has built a critically acclaimed body of work that includes tracking the chaos of the Syrian civil war to working with AT&T on projects that leverage the future of 5G technologies and machine learning. Her newest breakthrough is Emblematic’s WebVR platform REACH which creates scalable distribution in the medium, democratizes content authorship and empowers new voices to share their stories. Nonny was previously a Convergence Keynote at the 2018 SXSW Conference.

Hall of Fame

Celebrate the Most Exciting Tech Developments & More

Join us this March and watch finalists across 13 categories exhibit their projects; vote to determine the winner of the People’s Choice Award, and celebrate the 2020 winners and special honors awarded.

Stay up-to-date on everything SXSW by following us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Grab your Interactive Badge through November 22 to Save

SXSW Innovation Awards – Photo by Samantha Burkardt

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