Castles & Clouds: some ideas on the near future


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Talk given at the Guardian Masterclass on the digital economy hosted by General Assembly.

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  • Lewis Hine
  • The reasons why IOT came about with Arduino are quite obvious: it’s a cheap (20 euro) open source platform that allows you to program a chip and connect it to the real world, with no prior knowledge of electronics or coding. As an idea, this is incredibly powerful and has allowed a smooth transition between a one-off and a final product.
  • Examples include: Catalog, Botanicalls, Kickbee.
  • Examples include: Catalog, Botanicalls, Kickbee.
  • A little bit about myself I’m a designer and entrepreneur and I’ve been working around the internet of things since 2005. I started out as a product design student, then got an MA in interaction design, which is where I got interested in the impact of connectedness on everyday products. I worked for agencies and did some work online in digital strategy and design for a while, then started my own “smart product” studio called Tinker London. We worked with clients like EDF, BT, the BBC. After 4 years of being a manager, I went back to working as a consultant and designer in January 2011. I also collaborate with RIG London, a design partnership in the Silicon Roundabout.
  • An assumed 200K units sold Price tag of around £200
  • If you think of what the typical r&d path might have been in a large organisation, I woul venture it might look like this.
  • However, the situation is now completely different.
  • So now what? This is where the challenges I talked about earlier need to be addressed.
  • Castles & Clouds: some ideas on the near future

    1. Castles& cloudsSome ideas of a near futureGuardian MasterclassApril 2012
    2. About meStudied product & interaction designWorked for web startupsCo-founded Tinker London (2007-2010)Consultant at DesignswarmFounder of Good Night LampI have worked with EDF, BBC, BT, Nokia, EveningStandard, National Geographic.
    3. “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”Alan Kay
    4. “An invention is a uniqueor novel device, method,composition, processor discovery.”
    5. The future might beexperienced through aunique or novel device,method, composition,process or discovery.
    6. To see the future we haveto find out where theunique or novel devices,methods, compositions,processes or discoveriesare going to come from.
    7. R&D departmentsAcademiaMilitary
    8. R&D departmentsAcademiaMilitaryIn your shed
    9. Arduino
    10. Arduino.ccLauched in 2006Open source hardware & softwareMade in ItalySold 150K +£18Used by artists, students, now r&d.Used by developers who want to extend the webinto the real world.
    14. Baker
    15. Japan Geiger Maps
    16. Internet of things?Letting the internet & technology change ourrelationship to everyday products through complexinteractions.
    17. Internet of things:Corporate messagingConsumer devicesSmall startups
    18. CorporationsMarketingStrategyProduct experiences
    19. Nokia + Arduino
    20. Consumer devices +platformsAmbient OrbAmbient UmbrellaNike + iPodNabaztag
    21. Startups
    22. Good Night Lamp
    23. So what?Who cares?What’s new?
    24. The impact on productdevelopmentThe traditional model of r&d
    25. We should Let me ask Let’s havemake the design a meetingAx1 >> department >>Ok send the Hmm, that’s Let’s havespecs to the not really what a meetingengineering >> we asked for >> & establishdepartment. requirementsLet’s email Let’s get this That just costthem a >> prototyped with >> £25Kdocument the CNC machine
    26. Product developmentnow.
    27. I want I spend Look atto makeAx1 >> Google >> £12 at ShapewaysI make a I post it on I link toprototype >> my blog >> it on TwitterI put it on I get 300K NowKickstarter >> from 300 >> people what?
    28. Beware of IFF**The Internet Fridge factor
    29. Sometimes good ideasdon’t make good products.Or take a really long time.
    30. 1931.
    31. 2012?
    32. “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”Alan Kay
    33. How you inventHow you fundHow you sustain an ideaHow you create a market
    34. Book an Arduino class #iot on TwitterRead some books