A couple of weeks ago, I had the great opportunity to participate at this year’s Samsung Developer Conference held at the Moscone West Center in San Francisco. I was in attendance at the invitation of Samsung to represent and support the OCF organization. As a first time attendee, I wasn’t really sure what to expect here versus my other developer-facing experiences over the years, such as the various open source conferences I’ve attended. That said, I was very impressed by the overall event, from pre-event planning to coordination/logistics, a robust and full-featured agenda, a diverse and engaging audience and even the social and networking opportunities built into the conference.
OCF had a booth on the third floor prominently located in front of the escalator landing, which conveniently created a natural vector for developers to see and engage with us. We were also in the natural corridor that flowed to the entrance for the keynote theaters, which was helpful as well. Regardless of our prominent location, it seemed to me that the attendees were especially engaging and eager to reach out, connect and learn. Often, this is not the case when it comes to events and exhibits, so it was especially nice to meet and speak/demo to so many different folks. Joining me in the booth area was Donshing Jung from Samsung and Kyle Olive from Microsoft, both of whom were outstanding partners in our OCF mission and who helped make this event a success for us.
Our demo and message focused first and foremost around the charter of OCF: to drive a worldwide standard for IoT connectivity and interoperability. The demo showcased a variety of connected devices interoperating in a smart home-themed scenario. The configuration included a lot of different things all working together, with OCF technology serving as a resonant platform for this menagerie of devices. The list included a native OCF/IoTivity Smart TV from Samsung, a Puma-based home gateway from Intel, an IoT core hub from Microsoft running on a MinnowMax board, a Surface tablet with an IoT device explorer and universal Windows IoT control application, an EnOcean switch, a SmartThings AC plug controller (with popcorn attached), various smart lights including LIFX and Phillips Hue, an August smart lock and a Honeywell Lyric thermostat. The Surface tablet could be used for individual device control and settings, but more importantly, it showcased the device interaction by generating a trigger event that would then put rules into motion, such as leaving the home, turning off the lights and TV, setting the temperature, locking the door and more. This demo was an effective platform to drive conversation and helped the developers appreciate the opportunity that comes with such IoT connections. A key point that resonated across most of my conversations was the fact that we are talking about heterogeneous device automation via IoT and OCF, and not just ‘remote control’.
On Wednesday afternoon, I had the privilege of delivering a presentation on OCF at the Spotlight Theater. This was a great opportunity to deliver an overview on OCF, informing the audience about what we are doing and encouraging them to come by the booth and meet with the OCF representatives and learn more. While only 20 minutes long, the session went well and I had a number of folks that stayed around afterward to ask questions and chat more.
My most noteworthy conversation was with a young lady who is working with her contemporaries to educate them on programming and encouraging them to get involved through hands-on participation at maker events, robotics competitions and more. As she described to me, her approach is to get the kids hooked on some fun stuff up front, like crashing robots, then get more involved to make them faster, smarter, etc. I was most impressed with this conversation and I enthusiastically encouraged her to continue.
l left the event with terrific memories and a strong feeling of accomplishment. It was time well spent and, in my opinion, a very productive and valuable experience. I’m looking forward to a repeat performance next year if we have the opportunity to do so. Here’s to #iheartsdc 2017!