Democratizing the Internet of Things is An Urgency
The Internet of Things is not coming, it's already here. On January 13th, Google acquired Nest for a whopping $3.2b -- making it clear that Intel's estimate of 31bn connected devices by 2020 may be too conservative. Before we know it we will be sold connected fridges and cars and toys and bike locks. As it looks now, the evolution of the IoT industry seems to be playing out just like any other technology industry: big companies investing tons of money making products they think we want, and we just purchase. The TV industry has been doing the same for years: most of us lost track of 3D versus 4D versus 4K a long time ago, we just purchase.
And yet, with the Internet of Things, we cannot afford to have this industry run our lives, our data, our homes, without understanding how it works, or how to participate. The Internet of Things space holds enormous potential for positive social and environmental impact if people are able to understand the technology, relate it to their lives, and prototype ground up solutions to real-world problems.
Ayah Bdeir is an MIT Media Lab alum, TED Senior Fellow and a leader in the Maker movement. In 2008, Bdeir founded littleBits, an open source library of electronics that snap together with magnets, for learning, prototyping and fun. littleBits has won over 20 awards and been heralded as the most extensive, most easy to use modular hardware platform out there, making electronics accessible to everyone without any engineering, soldering or programming necessary. In this talk, Bdeir will talk about how we can democratize the Internet of Things and enable 8 year old kids, corporate executives and professional engineers alike to understand, recreate and most importantly innovate in their connected world.
Ayah Bdeir is the founder and CEO of littleBits, an award-winning library of Electronics dubbed “LEGOs for the iPad generation.” Bdeir is an engineer, interactive artist and one of the leaders of the open source hardware movement. Bdeir’s career and education have centered on advancing open source hardware to make education and innovation more accessible to people around the world. She is a co-founder of the Open Hardware Summit, a TED Senior Fellow and an alumna of the MIT Media Lab. Recently Bdeir has been named no.33 on FastCompany’s Most Creative People in Business for 2013 and littleBits has been named as one of CNN’s top 10 Emerging Startups to watch. Originally from Lebanon and Canada, Ayah now lives in New York City.