Taghardware

“View Source: Shenzhen” is now out

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View Source: Shenzhen cover

Executive Summary: We went to Shenzhen to explore opportunities for collaboration between European Internet of Things practitioners and the Shenzhen hardware ecosystem—and how to promote the creation of a responsible Internet of Things. We documented our experience and insights in View Source: Shenzhen.

Download View Source: Shenzhen as a as a PDF (16MB) or…
read it on Medium.

View Source is the initiative of an alliance of organizations that promote the creation of a responsible Internet of Things:

  • The Incredible Machine is a Rotterdam-based design consultancy for products and services in a connected world.
  • The Waving Cat is a Berlin-based boutique strategy, research & foresight company around the impact and opportunities of emerging technologies.
  • ThingsCon is a global community of practitioners with the mission to foster the creation of a responsible & human-centric IoT.
  • Mozilla Foundation’s Open IoT Studio aims to embed internet stewardship in the making of meaningful, connected things.

Along for part of the ride were two other value-aligned organizations:

  • Just Things Foundation aims to increase the awareness about ethical dilemmas in the development of internet connected products and services.
  • ThingsCon Amsterdam organizes the largest ThingsCon event globally, and also organized a guided delegation of European independent IoT practitioners to Shenzhen which coincided with our second Shenzhen trip.

What unites us in our efforts is great optimism about the Internet of Things (IoT), but also a deep concern about the implications of this technology being embedded in anything ranging from our household appliances to our cities.

About this document

This document was written as part of a larger research effort that included, among other things, two trips to Shenzhen, a video documentary, and lots of workshops, meetings, and events over a period of about a year. It’s part of the documentation of these efforts. Links to the other parts are interspersed throughout this document.

This research was a collaborative effort undertaken with the Dutch design consultancy The Incredible Machine, and our delegations to China included many Dutch designers, developers, entrepreneurs and innovators: One of the over-arching goals of this collaboration was to build bridges between Shenzhen and the Netherlands specifically—and Europe more generally—in order to learn from one another and identify business opportunities and future collaborations.

Creative Industries Fund NL
We thank the Creative Industry Fund NL for their support.

*Please note: While I happen to be the one to write this text as my contribution to documenting our group’s experiences, I cannot speak for the group, and don’t want to put words in anyone’s mouth. In fact, I use the “we” loosely; depending on context it refers to either one of the two delegations, our lose alliance for responsible IoT, or is a collective “we”. I hope that it’s clear in the context. Needless to say, all factual errors in this text are mine, and mine alone. If you discover any errors, please let me know.

Highway1 application for fall 2015 is now open

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One of the most interesting hardware accelerators Highway1 is currently taking on new applications for the fall of 2015. So if you got a prototype and are looking to get your hardware startup going for real, this is for you.

This call for applications is explicitly open for companies founded outside the US, too – as an ambassador for Highway1, I’m happy to help and talk to you if you’re based in Europe (personally, I’m based in Berlin).

For a quick first glance at the program:

Highway1 is a full-spectrum, hands-on educational program that helps entrepreneurs realize their retail distribution dreams. In exchange for 4-7% equity, Highway1 offers $50,000 in cash in addition to the benefits of our prototyping labs, mentor network, location, and global connections.

It’s a program that caters specifically to early-stage companies building hardware for the long term.

It’s a great team you’d be working with, I highly recommend it.

You can find details on highway.io, or just straight to the application details here.

Imperica interviews Warren Ellis

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In ThingsCon related news, over at Imperica, Matt Muir has interviewed our friend and keynote speaker Warren Ellis (see all speakers) as he’s getting ready for his trip to ThingsCon. They chatted about #iot, connected products, and all the fun ways they can fail:

What happens when the people who run your front door for you suddenly shut down overnight? What happens when the houselights get bought out by Amazon? And you have to install a new app to heat your home because Apple owns that business now? What happened to your life that you outsourced the operation of your front door to a bunch of kids in the Mission District who pay $15 for artisanal toast in the morning?

(more…)

Joining the Highway1 Ambassador Program

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Highway1 is one of the best hardware accelerators out there. Part of global producat development and supply chain PCH, Highway1 is focused on early seed stage hardware startups helping them develop their idea from prototype to manufacturable, scalable product.

I’m happy to announce that the good folks over at Highway1 kindly asked me to join as an ambassador alongside an great group of inspiring people. Needless to say, I’ll be keeping my eyes open primarily for European startups that might stand to profit from working with Highway1. It’s a great way to help hardware startups get faster from idea to market.

Full disclosure: Highway1 has in the past sponsored and otherwise supported events of mine, like ThingsCon.

Meet the Makers! Berlin hardware meet-up with Formlabs, SolidCon and the ThingsCon crew.

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Under the ThingsCon umbrella, we’re organizing a quick impromptu meetup for the Berlin hardware scene.

A whole lot of good folks are in town so let’s meet up! Have a chat about your adventures in hardware with Luke of Formlabs, Jon Bruner of O’Reilly SolidCon, the ThingsCon team and Polymer, and give our guests a glimpse into Berlin’s emerging hardware and IoT ecosystem.

Details: Tuesday, 18 Nov Starting 20:00 (8pm) At Betahaus Café (Prinzessinenstr. 19/20, 10969 Berlin)

Kudos to Formlabs, who kindly agreed to buy us drinks.

Spread the word and sign up here!

Cross-posted from the ThingsCon blog.

New hardware companies from Germany

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A quick snapshot of some of the more recently founded hardware and IoT startups. I’m just starting to collect these more formally to make it easier to keep an overview, so this list starts out very small and will grow over time. Please do send me pointers and I’ll try to update this list accordingly.

  • Bragi. Based in Munich. Europe’s most successful Kickstarter campaign. Wireless in-ear headphones for sports that also measure vital signs. bragi.com
  • Basslet. Based in Berlin. An audio-haptic bracelet that transmits bass through the wristbone to give the listener a more intense music listening experience. rescuedideas.com
  • Headwave. Berlin-based. A motorcycle helmet add-on that turns the helmet into a resonance body so the driver can listen to music while driving. headwave.de
  • Kiwi.ki. Berlin-based. Smart lock system for residential buildings. kiwi.ki
  • BeaconInside. Berlin-based. A solar-powered indoor Bluetooth Low Energy beacon for indoor location based services. beaconinside.com
  • Airfy. Beacon & public wifi for small businesses and cafés. airfy.com
  • Polymer. Web platform for hardware makers to connect and collaborate. joinpolymer.com
  • Relayr. IoT dev kit and sensor platform. relayr.io
  • Skysense. Charging pad for commercial drones. Berlin-based. skysense.de
  • TobyRich. Smartphone controlled gadgets and toys. Bremen. tobyrich.com