Personalizing the Device: How Communities Will Help Actualize User-generated Hardware and the Long-tail of Gadgets

Location: Marina Ballroom D Level: Novice

The explosive growth of user-generated content has proved that creativity can trump capital, in that the barriers to create and distribute content have been virtually eliminated. Social web services (e.g., Flickr, YouTube), and “mashups” of these services, have created a unique collaborative infrastructure that enable new possibilities in producing and sharing information, media, and perhaps most importantly, ideas.

This new system of exchange has now materialized in the physical world, as we’re empowered to create personalized, or “user-generated,” apparel, automobiles, and hardware—specifically, consumer electronics. With the support of the community, individuals are helping each other develop new ways of experiencing this universe of content in a far more personalized context.

In this discussion, Peter Semmelhack will take both a near and long-term look at the possibilities and opportunities made available by the social web as they relate to user-generated hardware. He will describe how this movement will unleash a new world of specialized gadgets and truly personal devices. He will also discuss how we can utilize existing services to develop a global mesh network of open and connected electronics.

Furthermore, he will touch upon how user innovation and collaborative development will help us realize the potential of “community electronics” and the benefits it will deliver to society at large.

Photo of Peter Semmelhack

Peter Semmelhack

Bug Labs

Peter Semmelhack is the founder and CEO of Bug Labs, a company that empowers users to develop truly personal devices. Previously, Peter was the founder and CTO of Antenna Software, a leading mobile enterprise software vendor. Following a 20 year career in software, Peter founded Bug Labs on the belief that users and communities should have the power to create and share devices in the same way they create and share digital content.


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