Skip to main content

Schedule: Society sessions

Intelligent things—driven by software and made smarter by network connections—are poised to change the world. They have the potential to provide services more efficiently and less expensively, and to solve some of the most difficult problems our society faces—from helping the elderly stay in their own homes longer to conserving energy or improving air quality.

Sessions in the Society track shows you how to build products and services that improve our communities, personal health, and the world economy.

Location: Fleet Room
Tom Armitage (Freelance)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)
"Connected Object" brings to mind white consumer goods with an Ethernet sockets or Wifi antennas. Perhaps a better model for understanding what connected objects can and could be is the furniture of a city. Drawing on a public project that made an entire city talk via SMS, this talk looks at this particular space as a place to understand and design relationships with connected objects. Read more.
Location: Fleet Room
Alex Hornstein (TinyPipes)
TinyPipes is an electrical utility that provides power to off-grid areas. The utility is a collection of solar panels that can be installed all over the world, but are all connected to the internet through a local cellular network. Our users buy electricity that the panels generate - in that sense, we're just like a normal utility, but we reach places that no other utility can go. Read more.
Location: Fleet Room
Kamal Farah (MIT Media Lab)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)
Open Mobility transcends spatial boundaries in cities, enabling simultaneous movement in physical and virtual networks. Unlike traditional automobiles for urban spaces, Data Vehicles are designed for real time correlation of geographic locations with online content. This talk explores designing Data Vehicles for Open Mobility, and emergent points of interest at the intersection of data and cities. Read more.
Location: Fleet Room
gabriella levine (OSHWA (Open Source Hardware Association))
Open-source hardware allows others to use, modify, and distribute hardware based on the original design. This talk will address the meaning of DIY & the Open Hardware movement, explore its history, the rise of OSHWA (open source hardware association), and the implications of sharing technology to facilitate local community approaches to environmental exploration and preservation. Read more.
Location: Fleet Room
Shawn Frayne (Looking Glass Hong Kong Ltd.)
Invention is not a single event that flares and then is gone. It's a weather system, where the best ideas float between often very different fields over long stretches of time. I'll be running through the tenuous connections that link a styrofoam packing peanut killer to a water disinfection system, which led to a non-turbine wind harvester that created a new art medium of volumetric printing. Read more.
Location: Fleet Room
Amanda Parkes (Columbia University)
Average rating: ****.
(4.67, 3 ratings)
Manufacture NY is a newly developed hybrid fashion incubator, factory, and research laboratory in NYC dedicated to providing independent fashion and textile designers with the resources to create sustainable lines that are locally produced through the integration of novel material and manufacturing paradigms. Read more.
Location: Fleet Room
Christopher Clearfield (System Logic)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 1 rating)
Physical computing increases our footprint in digital world by allowing information to flow directly to and from our devices, rather than requiring explicit input from us. While this provides tremendous potential and capabilities, it also requires consumers, designers, and regulators to carefully consider the nature of privacy, security, and regulation in a connected world. Read more.
Location: Fleet Room
Noah Feehan (New York Times R&D Lab)
What does it look like when our devices stop merely listening to us, and start becoming part of our conversations? How can the technology that lives closest to our bodies actively enhance our relationships with others? Introducing Blush, a wearable that highlights the moments when my online interests and offline behaviors overlap. Read more.
Location: Fleet Room
Chris Boshuizen (Planet Labs)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)
Planet Labs has pioneered the concept of “agile aerospace,” demonstrating a new approach for getting satellites into space. With 32 satellites currently in orbit, Chris, Planet Lab’s CTO, will recount how they went from prototyping in their garage to manufacturing in downtown San Francisco. Read more.
Location: Fleet Room
Matthew Schroyer (DroneJournalism.org)
When sensors are dirt cheap, yet air is dirtier than ever, how can you make a difference? Fueled by rapid prototyping and community fab labs, a journalist’s quest for data leads to a global initiative to cheaply quantify cancer-causing particulate matter. Case study and demo covers the DustDuino project from a toxic tire fire, to testing kitty litter, to training journalists for global deployment. Read more.
Location: Fire House
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 4 ratings)
The discussions on connected and smart products are mostly centred around highly utilitarian and efficiency based scenarios, but these products have evolved beyond simply offering remote access and are becoming relevant actors in our daily lives. But what changes when we a product actually becomes an actor? I will talk about one of them: a toaster, its addiction and its memoir. Read more.
Location: Fire House
Thomas Brady (Reaction, Inc.)
More people each year find themselves healthy enough to live at home, but isolated enough to not be comfortable doing so at their age. Many of them feel they've missed the boat with technology; and feel isolated from friends and family. In our labs, we explored how the Internet of Things could connect and protect and aging-at-home population, empowering them, rather than spying on them. Read more.
Location: Fire House
Ariel Waldman (Spacehack.org & Science Hack Day)
From the collisions of subatomic particles to the explosions of supernovas, this presentation takes you on an unusual trip through the weird, whimsical and fun ways to physically sense our universe. Read more.
Location: Fire House
Cory Kidd (Catalia Health)
Hear lessons learned from the long and arduous process of turning proof-of-concept academic research in cutting-edge interactive robots into a product and company in the story of Intuitive Automata, an MIT Media Lab spinoff building social robots for long-term healthcare applications. Read more.
Location: Fire House
Shigeru Kobayashi (Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences [IAMAS])
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)
Highlighting case studies from 5 make-a-thon events in Japan. Where diverse teams of developers, engineers, designers, artists, and factory engineers, tackled the challenge; “How might we make our daily life pleasant with smartphone gadgets?” Encouraged to break out of their comfort zones, a few teams continue to collaborate, developing their hardware sketches into commercial realities. Read more.
Location: Fire House
Danielle Applestone (Other Machine Co.)
Compassion, access to raw materials, and software are the last remaining technological barriers between us and an empowered society. Magical objects can be designed and built, but not everyone has the means and the permission to create them. What happens when these barriers are overcome and the only thing standing between you and the needs of your community is your desire to satisfy them? Read more.
Location: Festival Pavilion
Kati London (Microsoft Research)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 3 ratings)
In this talk we'll see an experimental platform that enables and challenges developers and designers to use character design and social mechanics as a way to drive engagement with real time and networked data. Read more.
Location: Festival Pavilion
Ben Waber (Sociometric Solutions)
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 1 rating)
Wearables have a long history as an integral part of the workplace, appearing in devices such as ID cards and audio headsets. But current applications only scratch the surface. The real power of this technology comes when we pair the data generated from these wearables with micro-level outcome data. This will not just change how people are managed, but will fundamentally alter the world economy. Read more.
Location: Festival Pavilion
Timothy Prestero (Design that Matters)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 2 ratings)
Design that Matters is a nonprofit that applies design and technology to the needs of the poor in low-income countries. How might we move beyond concepts like mHealth and mobile money to apply desktop manufacturing and "the internet of things" to reduce costs, build connectivity and improve outcomes in healthcare, education and energy for poor countries? Read more.
Location: Festival Pavilion
yodit stanton (opensensors.io)
The era of one trillion connected devices is upon us. What will we make of this opportunity? Better yet, how can we use this data to improve as many lives of as possible? Read more.