ThingsCon Berlin 2015


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On May 2015, we were invited to attend Thingscon, the Europe’s leading Internet of Things (IOT) conference and we were lucky enough to get the opportunity to exhibit our Social Object’s project there. The project’s deadline is going to be on June and the ones that we brought to ThingsCon was our work in progress. Some of us brought projects that are working and some of us, like me, had a project that was not fully working. It was a shame for me not to get my project working and on the first day, I was a bit embarrassed to show my project and I was hiding it at the back of the counter but Nicolas told me that I should put my project in front and talk about it because it is still work in progress.

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The shy Social Gun behind the counter

Following what Nicolas said, I put my project in front and people who passed by started to ask about the project because of the look. They were surprised and interested when I explained the ideas behind my project. They said that the look of it and the purpose of a gun is to kill which is disconnecting people but I used it to connect people. I gain a few contacts and even got an offer to exhibit my project maybe in September because the guy who I spoke to is going to organise an exhibition and he said that my project would be spot on for the exhibition. There were also two Palestinian who came to me and said they are also interested in projects that are using tech to spread awareness and this gave me an idea for my thesis for my final term of the MA course.

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David helping out with my project

On the second day, my project was still not fully working because it doesn’t shoot at people but I managed to get it moving to track people with the help from David. The tracking bit made people to walk back and forth trying to get the gun not to be pointing at them and even though it was not fully working, people had fun just with the gun’s aggressiveness pointing at them. This also made people asked me about the tech that I used and how the thing work. They were so impressed with the idea and some of them said that this is a good way to encourage people to interact with others they don’t know, especially in this kind of conference where usually people tend to do their own thing by themselves or within their group.

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The Social Gun in action

I did get the chance to attend some of the talks and workshops at ThingsCon even though I was quite busy to get my project working and it was an eye opening for me because there were a lot of things that I learned from this conference where I didn’t even know some of things exist such as the Casa Jasmina project by Bruce Sterling. I was also invited to join the Hebocon Battle, a battle of DIY crappy robots for the finale of the conference. I improvised my Social Gun project to meet the requirements of the battle but unfortunately, it didn’t even work as planned and I lost the battle by raising a white flag.

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One of the talks

Anyway, ThingsCon Berlin 2015 was so much fun and informative. I learned new things and skills, met a lot of people and gain some useful contact in the industry, which one of them was kind enough to invite me to exhibit my project on September and also offered to introduce me to one of his contacts for a job opportunity. By hook or by crook, I will definitely finish this project and make it fully working, and then share it to all of the contacts that I made at the conference.

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