Life of Pi

Very interesting meeting of Cambridge Wireless Future Devices SIG, hosted by ARM, with the title “The Future is Already with Us – How Younger Users of Today’s Technology will Drive the Technology of Tomorrow”

[Note: I have included links to each of the presentations but after an update to the Cambridge Wireless website these are at the time of writing (23 October 2017) no longer accessible. I have left those links in the text because at some later date the content might be made available, either publicly or to CW members only]

mbed LPC1768
ARM mbed LPC1768 platform

First off was an excellent presentation by Chris Styles of ARM tracing the history of computing platforms and the evolution of the ARM mbed OS and associated prototyping platforms, allowing platform-based embedded computing.

Chris was followed by Jason Fitzpatrick of the Centre for Computing History. Another story of the evolution of technology platforms, and how they have affected our lives. Jason reflected that we have moved from all watching our TV together, through solitary computer use in our bedrooms, back to all being together, but playing individually with our tablets and mobiles. As well as providing a home for historic computing and gaming platforms, the Centre for Computing History provides inspirational experiences for children and adults.

Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi

The highlight of the afternoon was Jack Lang, whose first-hand account of the development of the Raspberry Pi was informative and at the same time hugely entertaining. We learned about the reasoning behind its development, the surprise of its popularity, and how the manifold applications of the Pi have gone far beyond the original aspirations.

The final presentation was from Steve Marsh of GeoSpock, who expounded on the value of data with associated geographic reference as the number of connected devices grows. This concept can be expanded to include augmentation of the real world and blurring of the real and the virtual. We are moving from the world of the “glassholes” (users of the Google Glass) to the even more exciting HoloLens from Microsoft.

Microsoft HoloLens
Microsoft HoloLens

With thanks to ARM for hosting us, Cambridge Wireless for their usual excellent event management, and to the masters of ceremonies, John Roe and Peter Whale, who both happen to be ex-colleagues.

 

 

To see an example of the sort of innovative work that is possible on a Raspberry Pi platform, see http://www.argondesign.com/case-studies/2014/oct/21/stereo-depth-perception-raspberry-pi/