Jan. 30, 2019

Austin’s weird, sure. It’s also wired, crammed full of startups and emerging technology. But where do you start?

You don’t need to be a diehard coder and you don’t have to fork over your savings for a SXSW pass to get the most Austin’s tech scene has to offer. Here are our picks for the best places to play with technology and discover new ways to use it.



Two 3D printed objects on a table: a purple figure of the Buddha and a white lighthouse

Technology Petting Zoo

Austin Central Library

Nestled on the Central Library’s fifth floor is a different kind of petting zoo. Here, you can try out gadgets you might like for your everyday life — Internet of Things assistants like Google Home — and those you might like to use for one project, like a 3D printer.

Capital Factory VR Lab

Capital Factory

Capital Factory is a linchpin of Austin’s startup scene with its collaborative co-working spaces and its tech-forward events. The hands-on VR lab adds another dimension, so to speak. The best way to check it out is by keeping an eye on Capital Factory’s regular events.

A woman uses a virtual reality headset while pointing a handheld device.
Standing atop a Onewheel motorized skateboard, a student looks out at the Austin skyline from the St. Edward's campus.

b8ta Austin

Domain Northside

You try on clothes before you buy them (at least sometimes). Why not try out devices before you make an investment? Even if you’re just window-shopping for now, you can explore VR and audio technologies, as well as things like the Onewheel skateboard (pictured), at the b8ta store in the Domain.


Digital Media Center

St. Edward’s University

Of course, you don’t have to go far to get savvy with new tools. Our Digital Media Center, on the second floor of Munday Library, includes three reservable production spaces: a video room with a green screen, an audio booth perfect for voice-overs and podcasts, and a group editing room for general digital media products.

Foreground: studio microphone. Background: Student editing audio on a computer