I just returned from a trip out west for O’Riley’s Android Open conference. The conference was not just about Android mobile devices. It was about the entire ecosystem of technology that exists around Android from open source, to hardware, to wearables to DIY. Tim O’Riley’s keynote speech was to say the least, inspiring. It really hit on the open source interconnected web of technology that I have always dreamt mobile technology to be. The idea that technology is ubiquitous and mobile devices are our personal link. Mobile devices are our key to the engine of technology. They allow us a personal interface to how we interact with both the physical and virtual world.
My favorite quote from Tim’s keynote was:
“We’re building this network mediated global mind in which we are all connected by our communications devices—by the internet, by the phone. It’s not this artificial intelligence as in Sky Net. It’s us augmented. And so if you start to think of the phone as an augmentation device—as something that makes us smarter, that connects us to information, that connects us to the world—you will think very differently about what kind of applications you build and what’s ultimate soul of that device, than if you think its a platform for playing angry birds. Think about access to information, think about sensors because that’s the cutting edge of this human computer symbiosis and think about how these two things work together to enhance our connections and our collective intelligence.”
Robert Stephens, Best Buy CTO, followed up with his excitement about the maker community and how he wants to beat RadioShack to being the first to sell Arudinos in store. This comment spread like wildfire in the Maker community and now Stephens will have to figure out a way to live up to this or eat his words. He also mentioned that he saw the two biggest new retail tech markets being in fitness related technology and home automation.
One of the most incredible talks was was William Marshall’s introduction of the Nexus PhoneSat project. The goal of the project is to use a Google Nexus device to create an extremely low cost satellite (less than a tenth the cost of the current lowest cost satellite!). It’s fascinating how even NASA is getting on board with the hacker/maker mindset.
I also presented our NFC FourSquare Checkin Station for the lunch time mini maker faire.