Tip of the Quill: A Journal
Links list: 05-24-2014, the SOLID 10(ish) edition.

I’ve just returned from O’Reilly’s inaugural SOLID conference in San Francisco. Here are 10 of the cool things I found, plus one bonus fascinating turn of events…

  1. Noam.io from IDEO. This could be crucial for an upcoming version of LIGHTHOUSE IN THE WOODS…
  2. MOMA’s Paola Antonelli. One of the best talks at SOLID was from MOMA’s Senior Curator of Architecture & Design + Director of R&D, who gave us a snapshot of the fascinating being done by modern artists with smart objects and cultural commentaries.
  3. Matthew Gardiner. In a similar vein, Ars Technica’s Matthew Gardiner is “an artist most well known for his work with origami and robotics. He coined the term Oribot 折りボト in 2004, and since works in the field of art/science research called Oribotics: a field of research that thrives on the aesthetic, biomechanic, and morphological connections between nature, origami and robotics.”
  4. EVRYTHNG. “EVRYTHNG is a Web of Things software company, making products smart by connecting them to the Web. Companies use EVRYTHNG’s software-as-a-service to manage their connected products, make product operations smarter with real-time tracking analytics, and help their customers connect to products in a smarter way.”
  5. littleBits. I was aware of littleBits before, but their demo of their upcoming cloud module changes everything. I’ve got to get some of these for the lab.
  6. Anki beyond DRIVE. The cars I knew about, but when Mark Palatucci admitted that similar technology could be used in other toys, like dolls, I sat up and took notice. Keep an eye on these guys.
  7. Marcelo Coehlo Studio. Crazy interesting artist + Media Lab alum who’s doing fascinating stuff with 3D printers.
  8. NYT Labs. “The New York Times Research & Development group looks beyond the next product cycle, identifying trends and technologies that will emerge in the next three to five years. We develop applications and prototypes that imagine the impacts these changes will create, and we share those prototypes to facilitate innovation and thoughtful consideration of the future of media.” Noah Feehan’s talk about making Blush, a wearable device that listens and lights up when particular topics are mentioned in conversation, was particularly intriguing given my recent research into wearable storytelling.
  9. Hiroshi Ishii and TRANSFORM. “TRANSFORM fuses technology and design to celebrate its transformation from a piece of still furniture to a dynamic machine driven by the stream of data and energy. Created by Professor Hiroshi Ishii and the Tangible Media Group from the MIT Media Lab, TRANSFORM aims to inspire viewers with unexpected transformations, as well as the aesthetics of the complex machine in motion.” I’d so love to mash this up with a puppet show. I was scribbling in my notebook the whole time Professor Ishii was talking.
  10. Astro Teller and Google[x]’s focus on the physical world. I may have a bit of a geek crush on Astro Teller, but Jesus, who wouldn’t? “Dr. Astro Teller currently oversees Google[x], Google’s moonshot factory for building magical, audaciously impactful ideas that through science and technology, can be brought to reality. Before joining Google, Astro was the co-founding CEO of Cerebellum Capital, Inc, an investment management firm whose investments are continuously designed, executed, and improved by a software system based on techniques from statistical machine learning. Astro was also the co-founding CEO of BodyMedia, Inc, a leading wearable body monitoring company. Prior to starting BodyMedia, Dr. Teller was co-founding CEO of SANDbOX AD, an advanced development technology incubator. Before his tenure as a business executive, Dr. Teller taught at Stanford University and was an engineer and researcher for Phoenix Laser Technologies, Stanford’s Center for Integrated Systems, and The Carnegie Group Incorporated. Dr. Teller holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Stanford University, Masters of Science in symbolic and heuristic computation, also from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a recipient of the Hertz fellowship. Though his work as a scientist, an inventor, and as an entrepreneur, Teller holds many U.S. and international patents related to his work in hardware and software technology. Astro is also a successful novelist and screenwriter. And he makes a mean margarita and other memorable potions.” See? SEE?

Finally, I was thrilled to discover that my old colleague Tobias Kinnebrew from Microsoft has become head of product strategy for Bot & Dolly. Yes, that Bot & Dolly. I can’t wait to see delightful oddities Tobias cooks up there…