Adrian's blog

Thoughts on the Internet of Furniture

As it's the time of year when all interests in furniture turn to Milan for the Salone, the guys from OpenDesk have teamed up with Torinese Arduino-offshoot Casa Jasmina to run a workshop exploring the intersection of furniture and the Internet of Things.

30 Years Of... Exploring the Time Since the Miners' Strike

At the end of 2014 we were the technical partners on the 30 Years Of... art project to explore the 30 years since the Miners' Strike. We mentioned it briefly back when we released the Node-RED RFID module that we developed as part of the project.

#PixelCheer, a Twitter-controlled Festive Gallery

Last Christmas, we gave you a tree,
With coloured LEDs,
You could set with a tweet.

This year, to increase the cheer,
We thought we would go one better...

Adding SL030 RFID Readers to Node RED on the Raspberry Pi

2014 marks thirty years since the miners strike. To mark the anniversary, St. Helens art service and libraries have commissioned the 30 Years Of.. project from artists collective Re-Dock. In it, they are working with a group of ex-miners to capture their memories and engage with the younger generations, who've grown up in a St. Helens that no longer sends people underground to dig for coal.

TEDxLiverpool: An Internet of Nice Things

Back in July I had the great pleasure of presenting at TEDxLiverpool. It was an impressive roster of speakers, even if you omit the "TED royalty" of Sir Ken Robinson.

Over on his blog, Stuart Ian Burns has written an comprehensive round-up of the whole event, with videos of the rest of the talks.

Night Sun

Richard Birkin has just released the online version of Night Sun, a rather beautiful combination of music, words and pictures.

The online version grew out of an installation that was part of Light Night in Nottingham earlier in the year. The installation was an interactive piece, where the music and visuals were triggered by members of the public touching and turning the crank of a toy music box.

Exploring Smart[er] Cities with Constructing Excellence Berkshire

At the start of July I was down in Reading for a Constructing Excellence Berkshire event to explore technology and cities. Together with architects HOOP and urban provocateur Julian Dobson we tried to design something a little different to the usual talks or workshop.

With the help of Professor Tim Dixon we kicked off setting out the local situation and how technology could evolve in our towns and cities - with Tim providing a Reading perspective and me presenting some alternative "smart" city thoughts.

The attendees and presenters then split into two groups to discuss and brainstorm an open-ended question of what a smart city might look like.

Then, following a break for some food and chatting, we came back together to hear Julian a more people-focused Luddite Analysis of Smart[er] Cities". After which we broke again into groups to imagine life a hundred years hence, and what decisions and actions from today we'd look back on as inspired, and which we'd find appalling.

The format seemed to work well, with plenty of discussion between everyone and plenty of ideas and opinions traded.

Read on for my slides and notes for the talk...

Poppies That Tweet

A view of the poppy bed

As part of marking the century since the start of the First World War, Let's Go Global were commissioned to run an art project taking a contemporary, conceptual view of the centenary.

It's a wide ranging project, spread across communities (centred on libraries) across Greater Manchester and anchored with an installation at Ordsall Hall in Salford.

Over the course of the project they're planting a hundred poppy plants, and wanted to connect what was happening with the poppies to the wider participants across the county. As a result they brought us on board to explore what could be done and then make it happen.

Slides From My Talk at the Bahrain International eGovernment Forum 2014

I'm just back from a lovely few days in Bahrain. I was there as a guest of the Bahraini eGovernment Authority, who had asked me to speak at the Bahrain International eGovernment Forum.

It was an interesting conference, on a topic that I don't normally have much dealing with. I was there to provide some information on the emerging topic of the Internet of Things (naturally).

Read on for the slides and notes for the talk.

Social Care and the Internet of Things

Last week I gave a talk to a collection of health professionals and social care providers, to give them some background to the Internet of Things and its possibilities. It was a prelude to group discussions to try to identify some challenges that they face, which the IoT might be able to help address.

There's a follow-up event where we'll be bringing the participants of the first roundtable together with some IoT practitioners, designers and developers, to dig into the challenges and sketch out some possible solutions. Get in touch if you'd like to come along to that.

Here are the slides and notes from my talk - as ever, the notes are what I intended to say rather than a transcription of what eventually came out of my mouth...

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