Data should be something you can see, feel, hear, taste, and touch. Cameron Turner, Brad Sarsfield, Hanna Kang-Brown, and Evan Macmillan cover the emerging field of sensory data visualization, including data sonification. In an anecdotal survey, they explore real-life examples of solutions deployed to production in industries spanning from consumer goods to heavy industrial and large-scale manufacturing to the IoT that take advantage of auditory, touch, and other senses as alternative means of what has traditionally been called data visualization. They then investigate the hypothesis that we might better consume information by moving beyond words, numbers, and pictures and start using sound, smell, and even taste as a means to better understand the state of the world. Topics will tie into Cameron’s recent interview on the O’Reilly Hardware Podcast, which focused on data sonification, extending these topics into the future of sensory data collection and consumption.
Combining an extensive background in product research, data analysis, program management, and software development, Cameron Turner cofounded the Data Guild in 2013. Previously, he founded ClickStream Technologies, which was acquired by Microsoft. While at Microsoft, Cameron managed the Windows Telemetry team, responsible for all inbound data for all Microsoft products and partners. He is an active member of and speaker at a number of Bay Area tech groups, including Churchill Club, SOFTECH, the Young CEOs Club, the CIO Roundtable, and BayCHI. Cameron holds a BA in architecture from Dartmouth College, an MBA from Oxford University, and an MS in statistics from Stanford University.
Brad Sarsfield is the principal software architect in data science for Microsoft HoloLens, where he focuses on making computing more personal by helping humans and machines understand each other through actionable data intelligence pipelines and distributed supervised machine-learning platforms. Prior to HoloLens, Brad was a founding member of Microsoft’s HDInsight Hadoop engineering team, where he helped port Apache Hadoop to Windows and put Hadoop on the Windows Azure Cloud platform. Previously, Brad was an software engineering lead on Microsoft’s Cosmos exabyte big data service. Brad spent several years in the SQL Server Engine after joining Microsoft in 2002. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Western Ontario.
Hanna Kang-Brown is an artist and designer in New York City and a former journalist—born and raised in Los Angeles. Hanna’s art explores the politics of memory, race, and ancestry. Hanna uses taste to represent data, and her projects have recently been shown in the Netherlands, Switzerland, and New York. Hanna earned a master’s degree from NYU’s Tisch School of Arts Interactive Telecommunications Program and is employed as a Senior Experience Designer at R/GA.
Evan Macmillan is the cofounder and CEO of Gridspace. Previously, he cofounded Zappedy, a payments technology company that was backed by Eric Schmidt’s venture fund and acquired by Groupon. Evan’s patents include an HCI invention and a bank infrastructure capability. He holds an engineering bachelor’s degree in product design from Stanford.
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