February came and went quickly, with lots of conversations about robots & algorithms as well as upcoming projects. Also, plenty of planning, writing, admin. Let’s jump right in…
Lots more ThingsCon events are taking shape, including ThingsCon Salons in Austin during SXSW (12 March), Berlin (23 March), Amsterdam (23 March), Cologne (22 April), and Shenzhen (27 April) as part of a ThingsCon trip organized by the inexhaustible Amsterdam crew (details below), and more. Later this year there’ll also be full-blown conferences in London (June) and Amsterdam (December). (Plus, somewhere between rumor and stealth mode, hopefully soon Salons in Copenhagen, Paris, Edinburgh, San Diego.) As always, an up-to-date overview at thingscon.com/events.
So, ThingsCon Shenzhen trip… The Amsterdam crew has been working with David Li of the Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab to offer a fully organized tour to go experience the Shenzhen hardware ecosystem first hand (23-29 April). Sign up here, but hurry up—the deadline is just about now!
And we’ve started setting up a non-profit association (a German e.V.) for ThingsCon-related activities in Germany, too (blog post). A big thank you to our founding members Andrea, Michelle & Ricardo for supporting the original founding team (Emu, Max, Simon and myself) in this endeavor. We’ll be open for new members once our travel schedules will have allowed us to make it to the notary and the paperwork is processed, likely next month.
We constantly collect more feedback from early takers and we continue our own rigorous testing (aka “wearing Zephyrs in as many context as possible”). So far feedback and our own experience has been overwhelmingly positive, and we’re making notes for further improvements. We also relaunched our online shop!
Writing & media
A quick overview of some of my written output this month:
- A few thoughts on smart cities today: What are some of the core challenges and opportunities of connected cities?
- What connects the Golem, the Royal Society, and ThingsCon? Trying to provide some historical context for how I see the ThingsCon community.
- How to get started on your IoT strategy: First questions to ask and address when your organization starts looking into the Internet of Things.
- Top Projects of 2016: Phew, 2016 was a busy year!
- Living with Alexa: In the name of science, we lived with an Amazon Echo for a week. I wasn’t overly impressed, but there’s potential there.
- Would you live in a robot? Notes and thoughts after visiting the excellent Hello, Robot exhibition at Vitra Design Museum.
Public broadcaster RBB Kulturradio also invited me to chat about smart homes and living with algorithms. Some background and thoughts in my blog post, and if you speak German, you can listen to it here.
What’s on the horizon?
Trips to Asia and within Europe. Lots and lots of writing, including another ebook. Lots of ThingsCon around the world. The pipeline for the year is filling up nicely, so it sure won’t be a boring year.