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April 22-25, 2003, Santa Clara -Explore. Invent. Connect.


Physical Computing
Tom Igoe, ITP/NYU

Track: Nanotechnology and Hardware
Date: Friday, April 25
Time: 4:00pm - 4:45pm
Location: Lafayette/San Tomas/Lawrence

One of the more liberating ideas that's come out of the past couple decades is amateur software development. Instead of seeing software as something that's handed down from "the professionals," we see it as a very flexible toolkit. This attitude hasn't yet taken hold on the hardware side. The basic physical interfaces we've got for the computer don't meet the demands of every profession, and there are many needs that go unmet because there's just not a big enough market for a hardware vendor to bother making a specialized widget. We've already accepted the idea that if no one makes the software you need, you can develop it yourself. The same is true, or can be, with hardware. This is the spirit behind physical computing. The aim of this talk is to give an approach to sensor hacking, and an introduction to a few tools for doing it.

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