This weekend we held our first ever Thingithon! Our event was part of the amazing Festival of Digital Disruption, organised and held at the GROW@Green Park collaboration, incubation and co-working hub in Reading. The family friendly day was billed as Rise of the Makers, and was an opportunity for some of Reading’s finest makers to showcase their goodies. There was 3D printing, virtual reality, hi-tech art and fashion, and really low-tech but excellent cardboard designs, and plenty more besides …and of course the Thingithon.
Using the Reading Hotspot prototype, the challenge was to automatically announce when a person enters the office. We decided to give different people their own theme tune or sound that would announce their arrival. The idea is that when someone comes into the office the hotspot will identify them for by recognising their mobile phone, and then an app will play their them tune.
We got the hotspot sending data to The Things Network using a pre-production Things Uno that Johan kindly gave us when I was in Amsterdam last month.
The team then set about working out how to identify inidividuals, and how to know if they had just arrived or were already here (in which case no theme tune).
Throughout the day we had a lot of interest from other people and there was plenty of time to talk about The Things Network and how it can be used. It is always great to see people’s imaginations spark up at the potential of the Internet of Things.
Our team was a great mix of youth and experience. Four of the team are studying at University Technical College and are interested in working on the Hotspot project over the summer – which has been funded as part of Reading’s Year of Culture. Mike, Paul and myself are rather more
crusty experienced and Mike did a great job helping everyone work through some of the tricky bits. Most importantly he made his Pi bark like a dog whenever he entered the room!
Kieron and Simon made all the early progress and were able to identify new arrivals by the middle of the afternoon, but it was Sam and Tom who managed to squeeze out a theme tune before the day ended!
Footnote: My favourite thing of the day was Hannah Napier’s Eggbot. Hannah and dad Malcolm are better known for their RepRap 3D printers but yesterday Hannah brought along an egg-decorating machine. The results are delightful…
Many thanks to Simone and Louize from GROW for organising yet another great event. Looking forward to the next one ?