Thursday, January 23, 2014

Maker Culture and Internet of Things at Fundación Telefónica

Last January 21st I went to a very interesting round table at Fundación Telefónica about the Maker Culture and Internet of Things, with well known speakers in these areas of knowledge at Spain.

The Speakers, from left to right:

  • Carlos Domingo (@carlosdomingo). CEO of Telefónica I+D 
  • Juan González (@obijuan_cube). Innovation Manager at BQ. Founder of Clone Wars.
  • Vicente Vallés (@VicenteVallesTV) Moderator
  • Rosa María Sainz (@rosreporter20)
  • César García (@elsatch), Founding Partner of Makespace Madrid. Founder of the group "Internet de las Cosas de Madrid".
  • Alicia Asín (@aliciaasin), co-founder of Libelium.
  • David Cuartielles, (@dcuartielles) co-founder of Arduino.

About Internet of Things

As the Wikipedia explain us, "The Internet of Things (or IoT for short) refers to uniquely identifiable objects and their virtual representations in an Internet-like structure. "

According to Gartner there will be nearly 26 billion devices on the Internet of Things by 2020 (more info). According to ABI Research more than 30 billion devices will be wirelessly connected to the Internet of Things (Internet of Everything) by 2020 (more info). Therefore you could imagine the importance Internet of Things could have for Telephone Companies like Telefónica.

Carlos Domingo, CEO of Telefónica I+D explained how they are working with the Arduino platform and the distributed sensors from Libelium to implement different solutions, like a net of 20.000 sensors connected to internet in Santander (North of Spain) that help the city to be more comfortable (smart cities) by for example informing drivers were is space available for parking outside between other things. Also they are working in drones with 4G connection for inspection of fields.

About the Makers

As the Wikipedia explain us, "The maker culture is a contemporary culture  representing a technology-based extension of DIY culture. Typical interests enjoyed by the maker culture include engineering-oriented pursuits such as electronics, robotics, 3-D printing, and the use of CNC tools, as well as more traditional activities such as metalworking, woodworking, and traditional arts and crafts. The subculture stresses new and unique applications of technologies, and encourages invention and prototyping. There is a strong focus on using and learning practical skills and applying them creatively."

Juan Gonzalez, a Maker,  Innovation Manager at BQ and expert in modular robotics explained us his experience as a Maker at BQ, where he proposed and implemented solutions for automated quality tests in a very short period of time. As he explained, a Maker is a creative person that is able to get technical solutions to problems. His recommendation "Every company should consider having makers"

César García talked about the maker culture and about Makespace Madrid, a place were every tuesday meet makers to talk about their ideas and implement solutions.

One of the most important tools used by makers nowadays is the 3D-Printer. A quite slow machine that allow producing pieces of plastic for prototyping.