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MediaCampNottingham AM session: Mike Beardmore

Mike Beardmore talking about connecting the ‘first’ and second life.

Project inspired by HomeCamp – home automation and home hacking. Range of professions and sectors. Also with an eco sustainable perspective, make efficient use of technonolgy (Sponsors of HC were RedMonk and GM does update of green news. One project he was involved with was the first very low energy data centre. RM are the consulting side) Like MediaCamp it brings people together to discuss range of technical issues. Home Camp world is good place to start.

Creating a ‘land’ – can choose to block people out, making it good for education sector.

Shows office in home camp land. Big screen or home movies. Show films on cinema on Saturday nights!

Number of devices e.g. lamps turned out. These reflect current dayloght status in London so shows appropriate day/night conditions

HomeCamp podcast on itunes  called HomeCamp

Uses server in between. Help people to collect data within the house.

Arduino – Freeduino. Wireless computer. Power of linking virtual and real world.

Mike wanted to do this the other way round. Has Mac with temperature sensors. Needed software initially. IN ‘first’ or ‘real’ world could do sensing of temp and needed to  digitise that to send out to the real world. Sensing and digitising first then processing data and then putting it somewhere. Didn’t want to send it directly to the virtual world. Then moved it into virtual world. Created virtual objects.

In virtual world do object programming for objects created. People give you the objects with the code attached. This can have commercial potential in the second world. Scripts to objects which are known as ‘primms’ (primitive objects’). Need to do a plan before too much coding.

Discusses making a an agreement with electricity companies. Use information to reduce the need for a power station. Smart meter currently on remote readings etc, but this is of no benefit to householder. Talking about seasonal pricing. He says start talking about per second pricing and then canenable people to use data within their use (shouldn’t be proprietory to company). Information is power!

Next version of iPad – will be able to use that and create all the objects you can control. e.g virtua remote control. Don’t need real remote control. This can also change how we design houses. Separate power cirucit in house and the lighting circuit. Looking at technology and how can migrate. How to retrofit. Getting away from electrical element. Have correct sensors in right place. LED lighting to run off 40 volts. Use sensors all around lighting surfaces. Control heating remotely with theromostatic valves. Hot water only goes where we need it. Much more macro management of all the elements of the house. Away from house can also do management. Can see if have left something on!

Hippo – free open source client.

Mike also uses SnowGlobe

All fairly new in Beta. If have Skype your Avatar can actually talk. Can also show videos

Smartmeter – change way you interact with your home when you’re in and outside it.

Modelling – can model things can never do. E.g house built in second life, can play around with different ideas of it. Sustainable prototyping. Remote control – different interfaces not possible to use in real world. Not free of cost though.

G2ReactionGrid – Company has links between US and UK. Have the aim of running worlds for educational purposes (free), services for businesses (chargeable).


Barriers to bringing these technologies in – businesses not keen to change

Could be more likely to come from community. HomeCamp for example. Londonhackers part of Hackspace. Can rent it as a member to use their workshop facilities.

Small businesses also – Mike would like to see engineers of experience and graduate to come together and build partnerships and have a fluid business. Need to work out a way of renumerating people for their time. Need to get to pools of funding – need to make these available for things like start up businesses etc. Assign money for hours spent in a project. Looking to a more flexible way of doing things.

Issue of getting to know people for real so can develop strong real relationships. Importance of trust. Value of creating partnerships – wider range of skills. Need for people wanting to work in a more flexible way to organise themselves better. MB and MediaCamp delegate identify potential for sharing ideas on this area.

Mirroring things to an abstract 3D environment – can have practical and decorative items on in a virtual world. Concept of light switch is an important metaphor for its function. Virtual world could be your main object. Could model everything you want. Musical instruments – mentions Brian Eno enthusing about don’t need instrument to make music any more. Don’t need to learn instrument. But would make sense to have concept of guitar. Air guitar. Garageband can create waveforms. Thinking about analogue synthesiser. Can create waveforms. Jean-Michelle Jarre. Light, sound and video controlled. MB points out that instrument doesn’t really exist, but all good to think about.

Reactiongrid – simulator. Free.