Matthew Haugh | Services Product Marketing Manager
May 19, 2014

The Internet of Things that Matter Most: O’Reilly Solid Sessions of Interest


I mused recently about the potential for the Internet of Things (IoT) to serve as catalyst not only for innovations that grow bottom lines, but also as a springboard for advancing social good. I received some great feedback, spanning the gamut from preventing food shortages to improving urban planning. I see IoT evolving from ‘isn’t it great’ to ‘isn’t it great we addressed X social problem.’ Call it the Internet of Things that Matter Most.

Some of the best minds from around the globe are converging on San Francisco May 21st and 22nd for the O’Reilly Solid conference.

In the spirit of the Internet of Things that Matter Most, I’ve compiled a short list of talks that look to be right in my wheelhouse.

I hope to see you at Solid!

Wednesday May 21

The Machine Whisperers: Why Our Machines’ Inner Lives Are the Key to the Next Economic Revolution
Beth Comstock, GE
Location: FESTIVAL PAVILION 12:05 pm

Beth Comstock is passionate about change and innovation. She leads GE’s growth efforts via marketing, sales, licensing and communications and oversees GE Ventures. Her current priorities include partnering with and investing in start-ups, developing new markets in analytics, energy and affordable health through GE’s industrial internet, ecomagination and healthymagination initiatives, and making connections that spur a culture of inventiveness and grow brand value.

Humanizing the Industrial Internet
Michael DelGaudio (frog design)
Location: Conference Center - Golden Gate Room 1:45pm - 2:05pm

Connecting infrastructure via sensors and wireless networks is cheap and easy, but understanding the human motivations, desires and values underpinned by the Internet of Things is a challenge. This talk explores the evolving Industrial Internet through the lens of human behavior, using frog case studies as examples while offering methodologies and frameworks for design teams.

tinyPipes: An Electrical Utility that Goes Where the Grid Can't
Alex Hornstein (TinyPipes)
Location: FLEET ROOM 2:05pm - 2:25pm

TinyPipes is an electrical utility that provides power to off-grid areas. The utility is a collection of solar panels that can be installed all over the world, but are all connected to the internet through a local cellular network. Our users buy electricity that the panels generate - in that sense, we're just like a normal utility, but we reach places that no other utility can go.

Data Vehicles for Open Mobility in Cities
Kamal Farah (MIT Media Lab)
Location: FLEET ROOM 2:35pm - 2:55pm

Open Mobility transcends spatial boundaries in cities, enabling simultaneous movement in physical and virtual networks. Unlike traditional automobiles for urban spaces, Data Vehicles are designed for real time correlation of geographic locations with online content. This talk explores designing Data Vehicles for Open Mobility, and emergent points of interest at the intersection of data and cities.

Democratizing Innovation through Open Hardware
Gabriella Levine (OSHWA (Open Source Hardware Association))
Location: FLEET ROOM 2:55pm - 3:15pm

Open-source hardware allows others to use, modify, and distribute hardware based on the original design. This talk will address the meaning of DIY & the Open Hardware movement, explore its history, the rise of OSHWA (open source hardware association), and the implications of sharing technology to facilitate local community approaches to environmental exploration and preservation.

Pardon Our Dust: Bringing Air Quality Sensors and Data to the People Through Fab Labs
Matthew Schroyer (
Location: Fleet Room 6:00pm - 6:20pm

When sensors are dirt cheap, yet air is dirtier than ever, how can you make a difference? Fueled by rapid prototyping and community fab labs, a journalist’s quest for data leads to a global initiative to cheaply quantify cancer-causing particulate matter. Case study and demo covers the DustDuino project from a toxic tire fire, to testing kitty litter, to training journalists for global deployment.

Thursday, May 22

How Can I Help You?
Danielle Applestone (Other Machine Co.)
Location: Fire House 3:45pm - 4:05pm

Compassion, access to raw materials, and software are the last remaining technological barriers between us and an empowered society. Magical objects can be designed and built, but not everyone has the means and the permission to create them. What happens when these barriers are overcome and the only thing standing between you and the needs of your community is your desire to satisfy them?