Tagmy stuff

Understanding the Connected Home: My personal data sphere

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This blog post is an excerpt from Understanding the Connected Home, an ongoing exploration on the implications of connectivity on our living spaces. The whole collection is available as a (free) ebook: Understanding the Connected Home: Thoughts on living in tomorrow’s connected home

Through our smartphones, we have instant access to all our data. A personal cloud of data that travels with us.

But even though we know that (meta-)data about us and our whereabouts is constantly sent back to various entities – tech & advertising companies, government agencies, telcos – context-triggered data exchanges beyond the most basic level are still relatively rare. Despite all the efforts of Google Now, Siri, Cortana & co, most of the time we need to actively seek out the data/app/info we are looking for. That’s not a bad thing in and of itself, but it might change for the connected home.

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Launching TheConnectedHome.org

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Over last few weeks I’ve been publishing a series of posts around connectivity and the home (Understanding the Connected Home).

Cover: Understanding the connected homeToday we’re taking this to the next level. Michelle and I teamed up for a book sprint, and after a full week in the word mines of writing, we’re proud to present…

TheConnectedHome.org: Thoughts on living in tomorrow’s connected home.

It’s a collection of essays – a v0.9 book so to speak – and a research pool for future work. We’ll continue to write it in the open, via Github/Gitbook and licenced under Creative Commons (by-nc), so it’s largely free to remix and re-use. It’s also a work in progress, so be gentle for now.

Feedback’s more than welcome! And if you’d like to get involved, ping one of us. Enjoy!

Click here to jump on over to TheConnectedHome.org!

Thinking about the ThingsCon ecosystem

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We just had the second edition of ThingsCon in Berlin a few weeks ago, and are still busy wrapping up lots of loose ends. We’re also getting to the point where it’s time to take a step back and look at where we stand. This is the first of (most likely) a longer series of snapshots of exploring these questions.

Before going any further, I’d like to stress that the following are just some of my personal thoughts to help me structure and keep them for later. This blog post is not a preview of what we’re currently planning, nor does it necessarily reflect the team’s thinking. The four of us – Max, Emu, Simon and I – are thinking hard about where to take ThingsCon, but we haven’t made any decisions yet, and all relevant announcements are going to happen over at ThingsCon.com (which is about to get a little relaunch, too). This, right here, is a snapshot of my mental #thingscon notepad, and nothing more.

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ThingsCon 2015 is a wrap

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And what a weekend week we had. It was exhilarating and inspiring. And also quite humbling to meet and debate with all these amazing, smart, passionate folks that made the trip to Berlin.

I’ll be processing these last few days for a while, but there are some people that stood out to me, that were particularly memorable.

The theme that emerged at this year’s ThingsCon, the focus on building meaningful, considerate products.

It was great to see how the whole field around #iot, connected services and hardware evolved and matured within just the year. ThingsCon reflected this by moving the debate from “what can we build & how” to “what should we build, and how can we make a positive impact”.

One focal point of this debate was the launch of version 1 of the #iotmanifesto (iotmanifesto.com) that was prepared a fantastic group of participants largely from the Netherlands (including Frolic Studio, The Incredible Machine, Beyond.io, Afdeling Buitengewone Zaken, TU Delft), and then went through several iterations during ThingsCon.

The #iotmanifesto comes from a similar background and impulse as the Declaration of the OpenIOT Assembly that I was involved in a few years ago, and I’m sure we’ll hear much more about this. It’s an important debate to have, and now’s the time.

Once more, the diverse mix of people from all kinds of backgrounds (both professionally and regionally) was truly humbling. That said, this time ’round there were certainly more designers than last year among both the speakers and the participants: Are more designers getting into this field? Are more roles re-framed under the label “design”?

I found countless moments of inspiration, provocation, or fresh thinking: Bruce Sterling’s and Warren Ellis’ keynotes come to mind, the moment several people improvised tiny (purposefully crappy) robots for a competition, debates of how to utilize tech for development cooperation for communities in poor countries. The serious debates around impact next to light jokes and playful interactions, learning by making next to more conceptual experimentation.

As so often, the truly priceless moments happened during smaller group conversations on the edges, in the hallways, in the beer harden or a bar. This is where bonds are forged, collaborations come to life, friendships start. Contributing to this even in the tiniest of ways is a hugely rewarding experience.

Thanks for everything. The team is working on some proper write-ups, videos of talks are being prepared for release online. I think it’s safe to say this won’t be the last you heard of ThingsCon.

18 days to ThingsCon

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Over on the @ThingsCon twitter account I just sent out a tweet:

T minus 18 days to go! Sign up today at http://thingscon.com

Eighteen days to the event. And even though there are still (always) tons of loose ends, we’re now down to the polish. The program kicks ass, the speaker lineup is truly humbling, the team is well organized.

It is so much easier this year. Almost indescribably so. Last year, same time, I was heavily involved in not one but three events that would all go down almost back to back: NEXT, which I curate; UIKonf, which I co-chaired that year; and on top of that, ThingsCon, which we had just launched that year on short notice ]and completely bootstrapped.

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