NEW YORK - Last November 3, OLC attended “Get Creative with IoT @ littleBits™ with littleBits™ Lab + More.” The event was held in SoHo in the littleBits™ retail store on West Broadway. Before the talks began we were all networking and, of course, playing with the littleBits.
After we’d acclimated to the creative environment, Mitchell Golner of IoT Central, ushered us to our seats and the event officially commenced. He thanked a list of sponsors, including IoT’s ongoing sponsor Atmel. A few others spoke briefly, but the main focus of the event was on Adrian Schaedle of littleBits, and Lance Weiler, a Columbia University Professor and Director of Digital Storytelling Lab.
Adrian Schaedle, a twenty-something software engineer sporting a man-bun, told us about littleBits and what he currently worked on at the company. In essence, littleBits is Lego for Generation Z, as it offers easily connectable “bits”’ that each serve a different electrical purpose. Some have a motor with a spinning contraption, and others are light/touch sensitive. Within the store they had used littleBits to construct remote control cars, doorbells, key guitars, exotic light shows, and so on. Schaedle, and the littleBits team have recently developed the “cloudbit” ($59.95). The cloudbit offers a whole new dimension. Using these lego-like pieces, one can feed their fish from across the country. It made us wonder if these toys were meant for seven-year-olds or for middle-aged men with too much money and time on their hands. Either way, they seem like a huge amount of fun.
Lance Weiler spoke next. After receiving one hell of an introduction, he told us his story. He started by telling us some of his more prominent accomplishments, and then opened up about his beginnings. We heard about his “science fiction experience that was intended to help people understand the emotional journey of the foster youth like what it would be like to age out of care.”
He used a bracelet to measure the emotional journey of these foster youth. He told us about how the United Nations picked up on the story and how he ended up speaking there. He also told us about how cleverly got his first job by getting top companies to think he had accidentally mailed them an application to the other company. We don’t dare try to summarize his story, but if you haven’t already, we recommend you go to one of his talks or at least give his story a read.
Thanks to IoT Central for a great event, and you can go play with the bits for free at the store and, if it’s in your budget, give your niece or nephew the starter pack for Christmas.