by Alasdair Allan and Kipp Bradford
Hardware hacking for data scientists.
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Sensors are the future of distributed data. General-purpose computing is dissipating out into the environment and becoming increasingly invisible and embedded into our lives. We will soon begin to move in a sea of data, our movements tracked and our environments measured and adjusted to our preferences, without need for direct intervention.
At the Strata Conference in New York last year, we gave attendees a taste of the super-connected world that’s ahead of all of us by instrumenting the conference environment with basic off-the-shelf sensors and mesh networking. At the Strata Conference in Santa Clara this February, we will observe and report on the conference once again, with more sensors, real-time visualization, and some new interactive features for attendees.
Results will be presented from the keynote stage. Data visualizations will be shown in real time on a monitor in the Data Visualization Showcase. And attendees are welcome to stop by the Data Sensing Lab booth in the Expo Hall throughout the conference, to view some sample sensor motes up close and talk with the experts. From hardware and software to data analysis and visualization, the project will give attendees a taste of their lives in a more measured and quantified world.
Alasdair Allan is the author of Learning iOS Programming, Programming iOS Sensors, Basic Sensors in iOS, Geolocation in iOS, iOS Sensor Apps and Arduino and Augmented Reality in iOS. Last year he and Pete Warden caused a privacy scandal by uncovering that your iPhone was recording your location, all the time. This caused several class action lawsuits and a U.S. Senate hearing. He isn’t sure what to think about that. From time to time he stands in front of cameras, and you can often find him at conferences run by O’Reilly Media.
He runs a small technology consulting business writing bespoke software, building open hardware and providing training, including a series of workshops on sensors. He sporadically writes blog posts about things that interest him, or more frequently provides commentary about them in 140 characters or less.
Alasdair is also a senior research fellow at the University of Exeter. As part of his work there he built a distributed peer-to-peer network of telescopes which, acting autonomously, reactively scheduled observations of time-critical events. Notable successes included contributing to the detection of the most distant object yet discovered, a gamma-ray burster at a redshift of 8.2.
Robert Faludi is the Collaborative Strategy Leader in R&D for Digi International, with a mandate to forge stronger connections with the community of innovators, discover outstanding new work, contribute to outside projects, and support the people making that work. Faludi is also a professor in the MFA program at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and in the Interactive Telecommunications program at NYU. He specializes in behavioral interactions through physical computing and networked objects. Rob is the author of Building Wireless Sensor Networks, with ZigBee, XBee, Arduino and Processing published by O’Reilly Media, 2011. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired Magazine, Good Morning America, BBC World, the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry and MoMA among others. He is a co-creator of LilyPad XBee wearable radios, and Botanicalls, a system that allows thirsty plants to place phone calls for human help.
Kipp Bradford is an educator, technology consultant, and entrepreneur with a passion for creating new products as well as finding new applications for existing technologies. He has been the founder or co-founder of start-ups in the fields of transportation, consumer products, HVAC, and medical devices, and holds numerous patents for his inventions. Kipp co-founded Revolution By Design, Inc, a non-profit education and research organization dedicated to empowerment through technology and co-organizes Rhode Island’s mini Maker Faire.
As the Senior Design Engineer and Lecturer at the Brown University School of Engineering, Kipp teaches several engineering design and entrepreneurship courses. He is the chair of the Rhode Island Entrepreneurship Faculty group and serves on the boards of The Steel Yard and AS220. He is also on the technical advisory board of MAKE Magazine and is a Fellow at the College of Design, Engineering and Commerce at Philadelphia University.
Julie Steele is the Content Editor for Strata at O’Reilly Media. She is co-author of Beautiful Visualization and Designing Data Visualizations. She finds beauty in exploring complex systems, and thinks in metaphors. She is particularly drawn to the visual medium as a way to understand and transmit information.
Julie holds a Master’s degree in Political Science (International Relations) from Rutgers University in Newark. She lives in New York City, where she cooks, reads, designs, and practices yoga. You can find her blogging occasionally for O’Reilly Radar, or on Twitter.
Kim Rees is a founding partner of Periscopic: http://www.periscopic.com, an award-winning information visualization firm. Their work has been featured in the MOMA as well as several online and print publications, including CommArts’ Interactive Annual, The Information Design Sourcebook, Adobe Success Stories, CommArts Insights, Infosthetics.com, FlowingData.com, and numerous websites, blogs, and regional media outlets. Periscopic’s body of work was recently nominated for the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards.
Kim is a prominent individual in the information visualization community. She has published papers in Parsons Journal of Information Mapping, was an award winner in the VAST 2010 Challenge, and is a guest blogger for Infosthetics.com. Kim has been featured on CommArts Insights and has presented at several industry events including Strata, the Tableau Software Conference, AIGA SHIFT, WebVisions, CERF Biennial Conference, and Portland Data Visualization, among others. Recently she has also been an advisor on an upcoming documentary film and is the Technical Editor for Visualize This by Nathan Yau. Kim received her BA in Computer Science from New York University.
Andrew, an inquisitive humanist, is motivated by the promise of making ours a more rational society. He applies his skills to the problem of converting data into information, a process requiring scripting and research into the relevant fields of study. He holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Reed College. He greatly enjoys his daily bicycle commute, Portland’s artisanal culture, and searing vegetables in cast iron.
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