Mozfest 2016 and the Databox Launch

Last week was an eventful start for the Databox project, with a strong presence at Mozilla Festival 2016 followed by the official launch event at the IET, Savoy Place!

At MozFest we presented a Smart Kitchen demo with partners the BBC R&D Labs as part of the “A Tale of Two Cities: Dilemmas in Connected Spaces” session. In this we set up a number of smart utensils to work with a synced videos that guided participants in a bake-off competition. While the winning contestant found the interaction with the devices useful, some found it the smart utensils rather confusing — clearly plenty of scope of work to integrate IoT into future Smart Homes.

We also ran several hack-an-app sessions where participants were able to use our modified Node Red environment to build apps that processed IoT data streams. The level of engagement — some participants stayed for several hours on Sunday! — suggested that there’s plenty of scope for enabling users to build and publish their own apps. Perhaps this is what’s needed to release the IoT’s potential?

We also had our official launch event at the IET Savoy Place– a great venue 🙂 We hosted several community members, SMEs, industry partners, and NGO representatives — thanks to all for coming! — presenting a series of talks followed by demos of the prototype and the software SDK, and finally a panel session between the industry partners and advisory boards discussing the challenges and opportunities faced by the project. Some great feedback, and a chance for everyone to see what they’d missed over the weekend.

Finally, the Databox project was discussed as part of the “Turing Lecture: Data Science, National Security and Systems Challenges” at the Alan Turing Institute. You can find the video of the talks here, with specific discussions about Databox at 47′:10″.

Here are a few pictures from the Mozilla Festival and the launch event. A great job by the team, and thanks to everyone who participated during MozFest and who came along to the launch event. Exciting times ahead!

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