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by Paul Curry and David Caygill
How do we take social media off laptops and phones and create real-world devices that surprise and delight? First, we take the top Arduino hackers around the globe and give them a brief: make SXSW smile. Then we watch them bring their web-connected Dorkbot action to the streets of Austin. The team with the most social interactions on and offline wins. And we get to present the results to you.
What’s this about? We’re excited about the Internet of Things, but we’re also impatient. We won’t wait for R&D. We’re nerds and we want to make a point. We’ll walk the line between integrated experiences being useful tools to make our lives easier, and the ever-looming digital frontier of “over-helpful” electronics that analyze our every move. As we aim to create ever-smaller devices that connect us to our social grid, is it possible we’ll overstep a line? iPhone apps that analyze sleep patterns are great, but would we be intimidated by a bed which analyzed us while we slept?
We’re going to debate and show prototypes of how printed electronics could save digital music in the context of connecting communities to record labels and artists.
Printed Electronics is an emerging technology with the potential to change how we interact. We can now reliably print basic electronic components onto paper and card; and when connected to conventional electronics, has the potential to re-connect digital to physical for album covers, fanzines, merchandise, and getting new music heard.
We will bring physical prototypes as props in a discussion of what this technology could do and collaborate with the audience to test reaction and potential through hands in thinking.
Raising questions of what does digital mean to independent hyper-local record labels that want to connect with their community and how bespoke digital printed electronics on paper could achieve this and alter the future of digital music and how artists can connect to people.
9th–13th March 2012