02 Apr March Tech Roundup
By: Anna Dore
As the cold winter months slowly come to a close, March brought the heat with the month’s latest tech breakthroughs. With all eyes on SXSW, women in tech and Apple’s latest venture, the industry sprung forward with advances in tech.
SXSW Interactive: Key Tech Takeaways
This March, SXSW took the tech industry by storm as SXSW Interactive drew Austin deep into the world of virtual reality, live streaming video and futuristic transportation. Oculus allowed visitors to transport themselves out of Austin and into an array of immersive worlds, from courtside basketball to the war-torn streets of Syria. Showcasing a different kind of transportation, SXSW also featured a flying car that would make the Jetsons proud. Finally, live streaming apps have shaken the tech industry this March. While Meerkat took over SXSW, rival Periscope emerged just in time for the competitors to battle it out at the end of the month.
The Gender Hack: March Holds Breakthroughs for Women in Tech
While women make up nearly half of America’s workforce (48%), females only hold one-fourth of the jobs in tech-related fields (24%). This month, women in tech took major steps towards closing the field’s sizable gender gap. The disparity of women in tech was discussed at SXSW as Elizabeth Caudle, director of Girls Who Code, the fast-growing initiative to get young girls involved in tech, and Sandy Carter, director of IBM’s cloud ecosystem development, highlighted the importance of making tech accessible and interesting to girls at a young age. Further, while Google Chairman Eric Schmidt got called out for interrupting a woman at SXSW, the tech giant took major strides by hiring Ruth Porat of Morgan Stanley as Google’s new Chief Financial Officer. Finally, March featured a case that could potentially change the future of how the tech industry hires and promotes women, as Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination lawsuit against former employer Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers captured the nation’s attention. Despite the verdict against her, Pao contended, “If I’ve helped to level the playing field for women and minorities in venture capital, then the battle was worth it.”
Apple’s Latest: The Smartwatch
It was only a matter of time. After months of teasing the product, Apple finally announced a date for the release of its smartwatch: April 24th. This blend of fashion and tech features customizable bands; multiple models made of steel, aluminum and gold; and a price tag that range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Seeking to make its timepieces tailor-made, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated, “Apple Watch is the most personal device we have ever created. It’s not just with you, it’s on you.” Apple isn’t the only one vying for your wrist, however—the company will face stiff competition in the smartwatch arena.
An appropriate testament to the rainy season, March flooded the industry with the latest gizmos, gadgets and groundbreaking news. With reality virtual, video streamable and watches intelligible, there’s no telling what other developments will bloom in the coming months.
Image c/o TheVerge.com