Who is Canberra?

Goldilocks Zone does GovHack!

Like I mentioned yesterday, Goldilocks Zone competed in GovHack this weekend. It’s a 48 hour competition that gets coders, data analysts and designers together to make great stuff with open government data.

This weekend, we prototyped a game for the coming big screen in the Canberra CBD.  We used data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics to make a quiz about Canberrans’ heritages and countries of origin. Each round finishes with a photo of people from the relevant culture, showing some great stories of the cultures and demographic diversity of Canberra.

The game works as a stand-alone display for the Canberra big screen or users can play online via phone to get feedback on their guesses, contribute to total scores and play from anywhere around the world.

Here’s Tina with our pitch video. Keep in mind, we’ve done all this in 48 hours, so we were tired, tech-limited and very short on time when we made it:

Excitingly, we were awarded the Most Collaborative Team for our efforts during the event. So proud!

What augmented reality feels like

If you’re not sure why augmented reality is a something to be excited about, check out this great little story:

There’s a lot in this video that doesn’t represent augmented reality – the graffiti and the hacking of someone else’s brand being prime among them. But the power of a moving, vibrant scene where there was previously an everyday streetscape is immense, and something I’m really enjoying exploring with my partner and our friends through our work on Goldilocks Zone.

Goldilocks Zone: now with added website!

Goldilocks Zone, the start-up I’m working on with friends, now has a website! It’s up just in time for our next event in Garema Place, Canberra at 10am-4pm this Saturday.*

There’s still a few bugs, like the logo that’s persistently covering the title of each page no matter how small I tell it to be in the back end. But these will be sorted out in the next few days, and we’ll have a website that we’re proud to show to everyone we’d like to work with.

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*If you’re wondering why my posts have been shorter lately, look no further.

Showing off the tech of the future!

We survived our first Goldilocks Zone event!

The Future’s Future exhibition yesterday was equal parts exhilarating, inspiring and exhausting. We met a lot of people (some of whom we hope to work with in the future), and put on a great show which inspired a lot of people who came through.

While the team’s yet to do a formal debrief, here’s some of the highlights of the day, as well as some things I wish I’d thought of yesterday morning:

We had a constant flow of people watching the live 3D modelling demo:

Some moments from yesterday that stand out in my memory:

  • Putting a 3D printed object in people’s hands for the first time and watching their expression as they think about what they could do with the technology
  • Watching people’s faces light up as they realise the big digger mech on screen is the same as the 3D print on the table
  • Watching the kids (interestingly, all boys) stand at Tom’s shoulder for ages to watch him making a 3D model
  • Talking to people from a huge range of ages and backgrounds about their visions for future vehicles, communities, etc
  • Best of all, the moments when I stood back and appreciated everything the team did to bring the display together as a cohesive piece that drew a lot of attention, getting excitement from tech professionals right through to little kids.

I was not above riding the standee of our solar powered dirt-bike of the future:

Among the excitement, we also had some moments we’ll learn from when we’re planning for our next event:

  • When an organiser tells you they’ve got a TV on a stand for you, they mean a 5cm tall stand, not a 150cm stand.
  • Setup will always take longer than expected. Guests will arrive earlier than expected. Set up ridiculously early.
  • Check the footprint of the event before telling people where you’re situated. Our stand turned out to be much harder to find than we’d expected. We’d put precise directions on our flyer, but a lot of visitors tried to find us using the event’s own map, which wasn’t as specific.

Finally, here’s our team at the end of the day, with huge grins and a glass of bubbly to celebrate!

Meet the Satyr

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You’ve seen the Satyr in the ‘Future’s Future’ poster that I shared earlier this week, now here it is as a 3D printed plastic model!
It’s one of three vehicles that my partner, Tom, has designed for the Art, Not Apart exhibition tomorrow.

It’s been very exciting having the model arrive today – all the 3D printing we’ve done for previous projects has taken weeks to arrive because it’s been shipped from overseas. This time it took a little more than a day, thanks to Combustible Props‘ amazing effort.

Having the model turn up so fast feels a bit like magic. Yesterday it was a huge file of points and vertices; today it’s sitting on our breakfast table as a big piece of plastic and design savvy.

Edit: Chris (the person who is Combustible Props) has pointed out that it took twelve hours to print, spread over four days. It only felt like a day from this end because we sent him a fix for some problems with the print a little bit more than a day before we got the final model. To my mind, this ability to work around a problem that came up says a lot about the technology (and the person wielding it!) in itself.