One device that I absolutely loved is called the Useless Machine. When you turn it on, all it does is turn itself off. It is absolutely wonderful in its uselessness.
I had the great opportunity to hear AJ Jacobs’ lecture. He is a writer and editor at large at Esquire magazine and specialized in writing books where he is personally the object of all sorts of experiments. He spoke about preparing and eating an entire meal made with a 3D Printer. A bonus awesome situation for all the lectures were artists taking visual notes on posterboard next to the speakers. I think it was such a creative, innovative way to visually represent the information.
In the Microsoft tent, they displayed a part of the Kinect system, where users move and punch and life sized robots carry out their actions and fight. Kids were lined up all around the tent to control robots larger than them. It was really inspiring to see a disabled kid take advantage of the technology and have an amazing time controlling his fighter. It reminds me what we’re capable of.
I really loved seeing all the technology aimed at children. (That sentence reads weirdly.) It was really exciting to see kids learning how to light led’s and being exposed to 3D Printers, but what I really loved is what I would call the low-fi tech. Essentially, these products are household items that kids could figure out how to put together and make a super cool toy or robot. One that I really liked was a Draw-Bot, that used a red solo cup, a battery, a cork, markers, and little else. Aside from fabulous MacGyver techniques, it teaches kids science and physics and that they are capable of creating all by themselves.
Another really cool thing I saw in the Microsoft tent was this guy made circuits that you can print on regular photo paper with conductive ink. #awesome
There was an insanely cool coffee machine that aims to wet all the coffee grounds to brew in a highly specific, apparently better way. I love that these two people built it three days ago out of nowhere and it was just ready to showcase. Great coffee too.
A few bonus items: awesome bike powered vegetable washer
and hilarious 1940’s style karaoke
I’d love to be able to repurpose supposedly dead technology like these guys.