Wearables + Things 2014 Trip Report: @MrRIMP and I Had a Blast!

“My choice for best of show would go to Mr. RIMP.”

During the last couple days I had a blast at Wearables + Things 2014 just across the Potomac from Washington DC. Pete Erickson and Jaimey Walking-Bear threw a great conference about the union and intersection of wearable technology and the Internet of Things. I was there to show off my little “Peds-bot” called Mr. RIMP (Mr. RIMP Is Looking For Few Good Pediatricians & Child Life Specialists: Robot-In-Your-Pocket!) and to network and learn as much as I could, which turned out to be whole a lot!

The numbers and statistics and dollars associated with, and predicted for, Wearables and the Internet of Things are astounding. One of the great things about W+T was how it combined “Golly-Gee-Wow” with more sober assessments of both opportunities and obstacles to wearables everywhere on our bodies connected to (potentially) everywhere in the world.

I gave a couple of presentations, plus had a demo table for putting @MrRIMP through his paces (though he has no feet, RIMP stands for Robot-In-My-Pocket).

Here’s the abstract from one of my presentations…

There was a fun fashion show. My wife got a kick out of this photo of a bride in a wedding dress wearing the white (Cotton) Google Glass.

(Do I get to go some great parties, or what!)

One of the great things about in real-life face-to-face conferences is the importance of luck and serendipidy in who you happen to meet and what you happen to talk about. But luck and serendipity can still use a bit of shepherding and that was what Pete and Jaimey do especially well. For example, at 7:50 AM on Tuesday, Pete walks over to tell me that the Undersecretary for Science and Technology for Homeland Security will be having a conversation about potential for use of wearables and IofT tech by early responders to rapidly emerging and evolving disasters. Pete says, hey, maybe personnel might find uses for Mr. RIMP in engaging with, and reassuring, anxious children. So I walk over, wearing Mr. RIMP in my pocket. Someone greets me at the door, asks about Mr. RIMP, and we talk about the exact idea just proposed to me by Pete. Turns out I was talking to Reginald Brothers, Ph.D. (EE/CS MIT) the Undersecretary himself! He even mentioned Mr. RIMP and pediatric early responders in his remarks. Afterwards I got to talk to the Deputy Directory, First Responders. Cool. Luck. Serendipity. Plus a nudge! :)

One of the coolest themes about W+T was how people identified themselves. At least three people who stopped by my demo table self-identified themselves as “Inventor.” One proudly noted they were a third-generation inventor. And I get the following selfie with Lonnie Johnson, the inventor of the Super Soaker.

Here’s another inventor. I told Sean about this Paper Airplane Machine Gun.

And Sean said he was going to create a robot dog that poops origami! Which in turn led to a flight of whimsical ideas, hilarious at the time, which I’ll spare you (a proverbial you-had-to-be-there moment). Turns out he wrote the first Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) app for the Motorola i85s phone I had in 2001. It was a tip calculator I remember using! I was in the developer program, which he ran. #SmallWorld

All the W+T presentations were fantastic. W+T has so much potential for the healthcare. Health IT can learn so much from what makes wearables “usable.” Platforms and architectures “behind” the hardware to make it usable are really pushing the envelope of security and workflow management. I’ll close with just a couple tweets about several talks that have lingered in my thinking about the conference.

I was especially delighted to hear Timothy Jordon, of Google, who is sort of Mr. Google Glass Developer in my mind, talk about such topics as notifications and glancibility.

These are topics I’ve frequently tweeted about with respect to what electronic health records and health IT can learn from the wearables space.

I’m involved in occasional discussion on Twitter about application programming interfaces and workflow technologies. So I attended an interesting presentation from @ClickSlide about the layer of software they’re creating between APIs and user interfaces. It’s fascinating to me to see how #LessCode declarative approaches to app creation (resembling, to me, how workflow tech can be used to manage software business logic complexity).

And I caught an overview of wearable security issues, and corresponding best practices, in which the following was IDed as the “take-home slide.”

Serendipitously, :), I saw a tweeted link to a previously unpublished essay about creativity from the great science fiction novelist (and Ph.D.ed scientist) Isaac Asimov. Everything he describes, about creativity, inventors, and meetings to share and stimulate innovations, are true of all the MoDev conferences I’ve attended.


Finally, I’ve to give a shout out to some folks who stopped by tell me what they’re up to in this space:

P.S. I’ve just got to add the following screenshot of logos from the MoDevWear. The blue Robot-In-My-Pocket logo on the middle row right is Mr. RIMP’s logo!


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