Week 3.0 Maker Faire (17 Sept 2011)

This was my second time going to Maker Faire, so naturally the brain starts to make comparisons between the first visit and the second visit. I was a little bit disappointed by the Maker Faire here this year because the vibe was incredibly different. It wasn’t as festive and fun. There were makers, but no faire. I was expecting to see more cool, crazy projects, but most things were pretty scaled-back, and commercial.

However, there were some very interesting projects.

MakerBot Industries 3D Open Source Printer

For $1399, you can buy and build your very own 3D printer that takes an average person about 14 hours to build. It’s not a bad price considering the cost of other 3D printers in existence. When talking to the MakerBot representative, I found out that the printer takes 3D renders from programs like Google’s Sketchup, because they want to keep things as open source as possible. The plastics used to “print” are also relatively affordable. I’m all about saving money, so I think this 3D printer is a very good value, possibly investment.

The MakerBot rep hooked Ping up with a little license plate.

After seeing the printers, we went to check out the Shell Racers made using MakerBot Industries’ 3D printers.

Also there were a lot of training sessions going on. I made an LED flashlight at the RadioShack booth, watched the ITP Processing training session, and watched people learn soldering skills. I spoke with one of the representatives from HTINK, who provide Arduino training classes for children and adults. I asked him if they have tutoring classes in Arduino in case I absolutely suck at it. And if you’re interested, he said we can work something out.


Oh, and this fire-breathing dragon was pretty cool.

Final thoughts

Overall, it seems as if the trend I noticed at Maker Faire is towards open source, which I think is great. It’s a nice little culture all with the goal of helping other people make things.

I was curious as to what my boyfriend (a copywriter in advertising), thought of Maker Faire, since he works with a lot of creative people, but not in the industry. He said, “The Maker Faire was a spirited exhibition of community, creativity, and a thriving subculture. From remote control robots to lifesize firebreathing dinosaurs, the festival is truly a healthy collection of collaboration and likeminded people. Regardless of one’s background, Maker Faire provides a sense of belonging to anyone who has an itch to scratch that can only be filled by making things the good, old-fashioned way: with two hands and an inquisitive mind.”


Myemo – social network redesign


Emotions can be a great deal to a lot of people. And taking this element into social network websites and highlight it can be exciting because everyone has emotions. My social network redesign which is called “Myemo” – the combination of My and Emotions, are telling a story that people can actually project their emotions online through an easy click of changing the color of their current status. The website also gives people a chance to eliminate their posts by time and they won’t be labeled by posts they haven’t clear of the consequences.


Reading response – week 2

Mashups: The new breed of Web app

An introduction to mashups

As long as there are pretty much of technical terms, I was a little lost in comprehending this article. However, I definitely agree with the author that with this new technology of mash up which enables us to collect a huge amount of data through different web providers and browsers, we can have better access to knowledge and information. Imagine that if we can have a website allows us to brows Ebay and Amazon integrating information without limitations, how useful it will be! And it’s also important to mention that there are surely some inevitable challenges emerging like all the other technical things. As my perspective, data pollution can be one of the most serious problems. If corporations are going to manipulate the mash ups, bringing the correct information will be the top priority. And also for academic use, we should also pay more attention on finding the right reference coming from websites like wiki.

Grey Album Producer Danger Mouse Explains How He Did It

Corey Moss

The mash up here in this article is realized in a musical way, which is broadly understood as the term itself. To combining two different genres of music, Brian Burton took The Black Album from Jay Z and The White Album from Beatles. What makes this so interesting is that through the magic of mashing up these songs together in a subtle way makes time and type limitations disappear. By adding Jay Z’s song perfectly right on the Beatles’, the outcome of music can be unpredictable.  This also received a huge attention from the public that how interesting the work is, just to make a song so different even like giving it a second life. Meanwhile, on the other hand, it shows a concern that can people understand the effort spent on this single project? Or can it be more meaningful if a work is done? I personally think that this work’s execution is great. Although it might be discussed frequently, the work clearly speaks for itself.

Calm Technologies 2.0: Visualizing Social Data as an Experience in Physical Space

Michael Hohl

Calm Technology mentioned by the author is a very intriguing idea to me. In defining what is calm technology, he says” calm technologies utilizing information visualization where data is not rendered as graphs, charts, or diagrams on the screen , but as a sensual experience in a physical space.”. I am so convinced in this and really looking forward to see a better future he introduces in the article. I am sure that most of people here have already complained enough about how technologies have invaded their life and taken away their original happiness without it. What I want to emphasize is that if we don’t start abandon part of our applications in hand and change our habits to adjust it, the real calm technological world will never come. The examples in this article all indicate a fact that we can be closer to each other as humans. But are we getting closer and closer? Or we are just stepping far away by time? It is truly a big question mark for us to think of.

A Manifesto for Networked Objects: Why Things Matter

Julian Bleeker

In this article blogject is widely discussed. How blogjects are tracking and tracing where they are and where they’ve been? How blogjects have self-contained (embedded) histories of their encounters and experiences? And how blogjects always have some form of agency? If it is possible and executed in life, I definitely think this could be a great option for us to retrieve information easily. The pigeon example mentioned reminds me of the Discovery Channel which always capture endangered species and record them in long term. At last, researchers will get enough data indicating how they live and how we can protect them for death. Things matter for a reason, and here is truly do. So how are we going to implement this into our daily life? We probably need to take the first step – to define which thing is really essential to us and which are not.

Maker Faire!!

Coming from an industrial design background and really interested in physical computing, the Maker Faire was a very fun experience for me. A live show of dissolving Mentos in Coke Zero, a huge dragon made entirely of junk that breathes fire, lamb gyros, products made by Arduino, 3d printers, toys playing instruments through MIDI, etc. are just some of the things I saw at the Maker Faire. Because I wanted to see how Arduino could be used, I first headed towards the Arduino tent.

The product that got me most excited inside the Arduino tent was a product entitled “Keyglove by Jeff Rowberg. This is because during my industrial design studying days, I remembered a concept mobile phone that used fingers to represent keys. What intrigued me the most was the possibility of Keyglove’s further development. Although people are used to QWERTY-based keyboards, it doesn’t necessarily mean it HAS to be the most comfortable. Because the wearable computing market is becoming very popular I believe the Keyglove will impact the world of gaming, design, art, music, etc. I’d love to see a further developed Keyglove where if I made a certain shape with my hand while putting on Keyglove, a 3D CAD software would automatically create the shape I’m making with my hands.

As I entered the indoor section of the Maker Faire, the work that first caught my eyes was the “Lumarca” designed by Matt Parker. Using a projection, Lumarca used a volumetric display to show viewers a three dimensional image in motion. When I first looked at it in the dark, I initially thought that it involved high technology. But once I asked the artist on the mechanism of Lumarca, I realized it was just a calculated projection in motion towards strings attached to boards. When I researched for Lumarca on the internet, I also realized the creators incorporated Kinect into Lumarca. They created a 3d projection portraying the exact movement of somebody moving infront of the Kinect. What’s so interesting is that the Lumarca need not require a 3d glass in order for people to see 3d.

Although it doesn’t require much technology, I also found “Hidden Messages – Magnetic and Polarized” by Robert Hermes to be very interesting. This was a good example to show that use of materials can make a big difference. People can view a hidden message once viewed with polarized viewers. In places such as airports where so much information is given such as different flight numbers and different timed flights, the use of polarized material where people can see through would be highly effective. People can have polarized tickets that allowed them to only see the information in airports that represented their specific flight.

Because I have an industrial design background, every time I passed by a 3d printer, I just wanted to buy it. Just last year, I had paid $2000 to create a fine mockup of one of my product designs in Korea. Seeing that a 3d printer now only costs about $1600 shocks me. There were 3D printers that worked by addition while there were 3D printers that worked by subtraction. Because I’ve already seen many printers that work by subtracting from the raw material, I was more interested on those printers that worked by addition. An example would be the “Ultimaker: the fast, affordable, large build volume, open source 3D printing” made by the Ultimaker. Just like its name, it was indeed a fast, affordable, open source 3d printer. It would accept almost any type of CAD file and would print in such detail that I couldn’t believe it. It created what seemed to me like a billion layers of shape in order to achieve the detail of the final product. It was very fun to see. There were just so many 3d printers!

I want to buy everything from Maker Faire!!!!