“Extreme Exploration” at Maker Faire 2017 in Berlin
Maker Faire in Berlin, the festival of making, inspiration, creativity and innovation where Makers present their self-made robots, farm-bots, music instruments, drones, low cost routers and many more. This is one example of so-called “extreme exploration” – unconventional, crazy, bold and non-linear ideas and concepts that have business potential. They might be far off in the future but very important to start thinking and working on today for any established company. Inspiration, creativity and variability bring great innovation. T-Labs believe that this could be an exciting cornerstone of its future set-up and visited this year Maker Faire in Berlin. Enjoy and share our onsite impressions at Maker Faire Berlin on the 10th of June, 2017.
The old freight station building near the Gleisdreieck which hosted the Berlin Faire gave an impression as if the visitors were entering laboratory or garage of a Maker (exhibitor, inventor). The Faire is an exhibition for young and old showing inventions made by people from all over the world. One can discover there not only interesting futuristic ideas and solutions but also meet quite crazy looking tech enthusiasts, such as, university teacher with moving angel wings. The main sponsor of the Faire pi-top from the UK showed computers based on a Raspberry-Pi which teach school children in a simple and intuitive way how a computer is built and works – thus, not only the lessons become more interesting, but also the “developer spirit” is awaken in the little ones. It gives the necessary freedom and creativity for children to build, tinker, invent. Young adults have their fun with new music devices, for example, cubes that play different techno sounds depending on which side they are positioned, or one can make cool photos in a rolling photo room. Adults and elderly can learn a lot about how they can simplify their daily lives, for example, the idea of an intelligent mirror which displays all important information for the day – weather, calendar, relevant news.
New Technologies encourage the Maker movement
For T-Labs, the Maker Faire is an important event to get inspiration, refresh the minds and explore the future with different kind of experts. “With advancements in AI, robotics, 3D printing, IoT, the Maker movement has been growing significantly over the last couple of years. We clearly see that this great potential of unique “tinkering” spirit and skills turns common people into great makers and inventors”, – Michal Dunaj explains the motivation to be the part of event. T-Labs visited the Maker Faire in Berlin to check out fresh extreme exploration ideas (Biohacking was one!). “This is paradise for prototyping and testing ideas by giving them form, not just PowerPoint slides and endless workshops”, – according to Michal.
IoT – Internet of Things / Internet der Dinge, which is designed to simplify people’s lives, plays a particularly important role in our modern world. Thus, garbage cans become intelligent and motivate you to throw less away, coffee machines are connected to the internet, and a carpet or mirror become an interactive user interface. Everything DIY (=Do It Yourself) built by the Makers, and mainly available as an open source.
Workshops connect know-how from different domains
But here comes something special – in addition to the exhibitors’ booths, the visitors can participate in the workshops connecting different knowledge domains, for example, biology, chemistry and technology. It is exciting to learn about the impact of biotechnologies on our future. A small group from T-Labs participated in the workshop on “Sustainable Pigments”. It was dealing with the decomposition of natural colors such as those from flowers and fruits. Imagine a spectrometer built by one of the biologists and connected to open source software, helping to analyze the color pigments und see exactly how many color pigments, for example, a blueberry contains. A lot of Makers deal with not only such topics as combination of communication and biotechnologies in consumer life scenarios but also in agriculture and health of our future.
Bringing together students, hobbyists, engineers, innovators, out-of-the-box thinkers, tech enthusiasts, Berliner Maker Faire represents a unique event and experience not only for families and children but also for the business. Makers, their prototypes and skills, are invaluable source of creativity, genuinity, innovation, and futuristic ideas. We are convinced that the companies, which recognize the potential of this fast-growing community of creative, engineering and handcrafting Makers, will be among the winners of the future. And we feel that we are, and we make us, a part of it!
If you want to see some of the inventions, click here!