The fight against screens certainly heated up at SXSW, as many believe that removing the screen is the best way to stop people from constantly staring at our phones. However, VR, wearables, smart insoles, AR glasses—or any other option to replace the smartphone—have not yet become mainstream. Voice-activated assistants like Amazon Alexa have great potential to replace screens, but SXSW was more focused on a few different solutions: Sony Xperia

“Fashionables”

Trendy, better-made wearables and smart watches could help the wearable market scale. To illustrate, a new “fashionable” called Project Jacquard debuted at SXSW. Project Jacquard is a collaboration between Google and Levi’s that creates a way for people to connect through a trendy denim jacket.

Tabletop Touchscreens

Why carry a screen in your pocket when you can project one onto a surface? In the future, every tabletop could be a touchscreen — for social networking, email, web surfing, gaming and even making music — as showcased by the Sony Xperia. However, it remains to be seen what will emerge as the future screen (or no screen). It could be a combination of tactile interfaces, optimal design, great battery life and helpful apps. Brands must ensure that they’re visible and positioned to engage consumers if/when this new technology scales.