Category Archives: Maker

Team Yuno Report: Smithfield Service Jam 2014

The Global Service Jam is an enormous festival of service design, like a vast jam session in music. People come together all over the world, bringing their skills and open minds. Someone sets up a theme, and everyone starts to jam around it. But it’s not music you are jamming – it’s change. (Find out more at the main Global Jam site)

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The Smithfield Service Jam was part of this worldwide event, and I was lucky enough to be a part of it. The Jam was sponsored by Truth, and took place at their office in Farringdon, mentored by Erick Mohr. After pizzas and icebreakers, we found out the theme for this year’s jam.

The theme for this year's jam.
The theme for this year’s jam.
Continue reading Team Yuno Report: Smithfield Service Jam 2014

Android and the Web of Things: NFC, QR, BLE and Arduino – Meetup

On the day when Google’s acquisition of Nest (story here) made the internet of things a hot topic, I went to the Skills Matter Exchange to hear from someone at the forefront of this exciting trend. Dom Guinard of EVRYTHNG was the main speaker at a meetup event hosted by the London Java Community.

Photo by @SHRecWorks
Photo by @SHRecWorks

EVRYTHNG is a Web of Things™ software company, making products smart by connecting them to the Web. EVRYTHNG helps manufacturers connect directly with customers and partners through their own products, using smartphones and intelligent identities for physical products on the Web. Continue reading Android and the Web of Things: NFC, QR, BLE and Arduino – Meetup

January Meetups

This week I’m going to two exciting meetup events. Firstly, with the London Java Community, talks about the Internet of Things (details here). With 50 billion connected devices predicted by 2020, it’s a real growth area: QR codes, Near Field Communication, Bluetooth Low Energy and Arduino. Secondly, ProductTank, the meeting for Product Managers; speakers will discuss product management in payments, fixing broken checkout experiences and how people pay online (details here). Meetup evenings are a great opportunity to find out about new topics in an informal setting. I’m looking forward to them both.

RFID chip, QR code
RFID chip, QR code

The Silent Age, Episode 1

I’ve just finished playing Episode 1 of The Silent Age, an amazingly cool point and click adventure with a really straightforward interface, simple but distinctive art design, and interestingly mysterious story.

I love this artwork: stylish, simple, emotive.
I love this artwork: stylish, simple, emotive.

It is made by House on Fire, a Danish indie studio. What is the game about? In their words,  The Silent Age is a minimalistic 2-D point-and-click adventure game for smartphones, and especially tablets, in which you use time travel to solve puzzles. The adventure takes you back and forth between present day 1972 and an unsettling future in 2012. Based on my play through, that’s a good summary. Without wanting to give away too much, the time travel mechanic is what makes this game really stand out. If a problem can’t be solved in the here and now, then maybe it can be solved in a different time. Continue reading The Silent Age, Episode 1

South London Makerspace

I was thinking about hacking a BigTrak Jr, and so I dropped a line to Danny at Orion Robots. Not only did he answer my question, but also he told me that there was a Maker Day at the London College of Communication. Excellent, I thought, and decided to head down.

It was a wet and miserable day, so I was pleasantly surprised to find a good-sized group of makers and hackers chatting and sharing projects. I met Faraz, who was messing around with some RGB LEDs and an Arduino. I showed him the video of Darrenlloyd Gent‘s RGB LED Strip Information Display (see it here), and we talked about things we were working on. Continue reading South London Makerspace

Product Tank November Meetup

Last Sunday I was chatting with a friend of a friend in the pub, and we got to talking about our interests. Over a few beers, we talked about Arduino, Home Automation and the Internet of Things. He works for a major multinational electronics corporation, and so it was really interesting to hear his perspective.

A few days later, I got a message from him in my inbox, inviting me to attend a meetup event on November 20 called ProductTank.

ProductTank November is all about our connected world of things. We are now living in a world where the web has spilled beyond the screen and into the physical world: connected devices are becoming commonplace and the smart home is now a reality. But what challenges does the Internet of Things bring from a design and product management perspective?

It sounds fascinating. I’m really looking forward to hearing from Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, founder of the ingenious Good Night LampClaire Rowland from AlertMe.com, and Alex Jones of Fjord. It just goes to show, sometime you should talk to strangers.