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“We are headed toward a robotic future”: Carla Diana at dd:Impact

Technologists explore how innovation will change the way we look back, live, shop and get work done.

Shopping panel at dd:Impact - The Connected Life, October 9, 2013 Photo by Brady Dale

Yesterday, in Dumbo, Digital Dumbo brought together the half day conference, dd:Impact “The Connected Life.” The event was organized to explore how technology is changing our lifestyles. There was a Hardware Demo of the newest version of Arduino, but Temboo, panels on Life Moments, Shopping, Health and Productivity and, finally, closing remarks by Jenny Lawton, President of MakerBot Industries. 

Folks posted a lot of highlights on Twitter at #ddimpact.

Hunter Lee Soik

The first panel dealt with startups helping people to capture life’s moments. Brian McGinnis, of Viewfinder, is helping folks to find ways in which other people have captured moments from their lives. Jonathon Wegener, of TimeHop, is helping people look back at specific chunks of their past. Hunter Lee Soik, founder of Shadow – Community of Dreamers seemed to capture everyone’s imagination with his quest to help people keep track of their dreams. He got the idea, he said, in a dream, after taking the first vacation he’d had in a long time, and sleeping more than he had in years.

Soik, pictured in the center above, also took the middle ground in a conversation about privacy and social media, offering that there may be a way for startups to help users maintain privacy, by storing data on servers in a country that protects it.

Sarika Doshi at dd:Impact


Imagine being able to wave your phone toward products for reviews.

Sarika Doshi, founder and CEO of Rank and Style, led a panel on ways in which technology will change shopping. Interestingly, this may have been the panel in which consumers would have found the technology discussed the most strange. There was a lot of talk about holding phones up to walls of products to see what sort of information or price competition brands might present, using Augmented Reality. Those sorts of widespread applications are a ways off.

Real-time online price wars are already here.

Ryan Charles, CEO of Consumr, may have surprised everyone though, when he explained that Amazon is constantly adjusting prices. In response to a question about whether or not shopping applications might lead to real time price wars between brands, Charles said that it is already happening, explaining that anyone who’s watched a product closely on the online retailer’s site at length will have noticed changes in price, even within a single day.

The Temboo team came in after the break to demonstrate a product built on the latest version of Arduino, which makes it easier for developers to interface real hardware devices with the API’s of websites. So, for example, a camera in your apartment could tweet you a photo any time it’s motion detector was tripped.

2013100919The Health panel was a fireside chat, between Nicole Sanchez, Founder of TendercaringLiam Ryan, CEO at GetHealth and Greg Mazanec of AgLocal. Whether or not technology can really change behavior is an ongoing question. Whether AgLocal can get people to eat better may still be an open question, but if their platform works it will also have the effect of delivering more of the profits for food to growers, which may make it possible to make better food more abundant as well.

The final panel got very futuristic, as Andrew Haarsager of Tellart led a talk about products and applications which simply make our lives work better.

Carla Diana at dd:Impact 2013Carla Diana, who we said we were looking forward to seeing, did not disappoint.

She talked about all kinds of ways in which technology is making the world a better place. We found her discussion of a platform that helps citizens compare and monitor environmental readings, Acrobiotic‘s Smart Citizen Kits, especially encouraging. She also exhibited her conscientiousness of the consumer experience, by discussing innovations that may one day make it possible for technophiles to have many devices without endlessly messing with power cords.

Chad Jones of Xively at dd:Impact 2013Then Chad Jones of Xively also discussed lots of exciting technologies he’s watching. He said that one company is working on a baby jumper that will alert parents if an infant has stopped breathing.

Expiring patents are largely responsible for the flood in 3D technology.

Lastly, the day ended with Jenny Lawton, of MakerBot industries, who described how 3D printing is ushering in a new industrial revolution. What some people may not have known before her talk, is that the massive boom in 3D printing has been brought on somewhat by legal developments. Lawton explained that much of what’s happened in the last few years has been enabled by patents expiring that are now enabling companies to move 3D printers into the professional and hobbyist market.

Jenny Lawton, President of MakerBot Industries at dd:Impact

Jenny Lawton, President of MakerBot Industries at dd:Impact

Everyone was excited to see some of the 3D printed items that Lawton brought with her to show off. That red high heel was an especially hot topic during the socializing that followed her talk.


Companies: Digital DUMBO / MakerBot
Series: Brooklyn

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