Tribe 2.0

What is eightbar? As the About page for this blog states:

We’re a group of techie/creative people working in and around IBM’s Hursley Park Lab in the UK. We have regular technical community meetings, well more like a cup of tea and a chat really, about all kinds of cool stuff.

That’s all still true. That’s who we are. Over the past four years this blog has featured lots of cool things. It started with an small group of folks into emerging tech talking about life at Hursley (who remembers Roo’s post about the dome of cups, in his pre-metaverse days?!). It continued to grow to cover virtual worlds topics as we began to explore those spaces. eightbar became a bit of a tribe and expanded to include many others who were into interesting technology. Increasingly we’re seeing the technologies that we talked about in the early days of this blog hit the mainstream – take 3D printing and augmented reality as just two examples.

eightbar is more than just a group of people. It’s a mindset, a grassroots culture. If you asked me to sum it up, I’d use phrases like “the frontier spirit”, “bleeding edge”, and “Web 2.0 is Web Do” (with a very definite nod in the direction of epredator for the last one!).

We’ll be including more folks from the lab as authors and guests here over the coming months – eightbar has always been a kind of “shop window to the world” for the things we are up to. The kinds of people you’ll find writing and contributing here are also likely to be found out and about at unconferences around Southampton, London, or other places. There may be a few changes to the look and feel as well as to the content, but the spirit is absolutely going to remain the same. Oh, and by the way, check out the links in the sidebar – you’ll find that many of the contributors have great content out on their own sites, too.

Why is this post entitled Tribe 2.0? Simple: fresh thinking and fresh ideas FTW! 🙂

IBM Demos at the TEDGlobal Conference

Posted on behalf of Bharat Bedi…

The TEDGlobal Conference was an amazing week of learning, taking inspiration from and connecting with 700 of the world’s thinkers and doers. The speakers at TED gave excellent talks on subjects ranging from how humans might have evolved from aquatic apes to jumping from the edge of space.

Bharat Interview

IBM’s smart planet vision fits in well with TED’s approach of ideas worth spreading and IBM sponsored the Innovation Lounge and the 25 TED fellows at the conference.
The fellows are an amazing group of world changing innovators from around the world.

IBM created two demonstrations for the TED and I had the opportunity to lead the effort around putting these demos together. The demos incorporate a number of technologies including Zigbee, messaging, ambient devices, mobile phone based remote control and monitoring, SMS, RFID, web & AJAX, current cost and home automation!

The first one of these was around using RFID technology to help facility interaction and conversations between the TED fellows and the other attendees at the TED Innovation Lounge . Each fellow was given an RFID tag that detected their presence in the lounge and displayed their profiles on 3 large screens. At the same time wireless ambient devices changed colour to highlight the presence of the fellows.

TED Lounge

The second demo was about being smarter about our energy consumption and home automation. This was a good example of the smarter planet principles of an instrumented, interconnected and intelligent in action. We set up a home lounge environment with appliance such as lamps and fans whose electricity consumption was being monitored. These appliances could be remote controlled via SMS and a mobile phone application. The amount of energy being consumed by the appliance was conveyed in subtle ways again using an ambient device which changed colour.

Huge thanks to Dave Conway-Jones, Andy Stanford-Clark and Andrew Nowell for all their help with creating the demos.

Revising relationships

I’ve just done a sweep through the eightbar blogroll and links. From the look of what was there, I reckon we hadn’t checked it in a while, as a few of the links were dead or pointing at blogs which have long since relocated. I also updated a few of the About pages to reflect recent changes.

We’ve got two main categories of links – Blogroll broadly covers “former eightbar and sites of interest” and Hursley bloggers contains links to current active bloggers from the Hursley(ish) community. Check them out over towards the bottom of the sidebar. If I’ve missed an active Hursley person that I should have included, then it should be pretty easy to find me and let me know 😉