Take some of the brightest and most cutting edge developers in Australia, add a few high profile international speakers from companies such as Google, Financial Times and MailChimp, throw in cold beers, tasty sausages and a sunny balcony and you got the Reactive ‘Code and Snags BBQ’. As part of the renowned ‘Web Directions South‘ conference (currently underway in Sydney) we hosted an impressive group of technical experts who are busy creating the future of the web.
Walking through the crowd, you could hear our own Reactive ubergeeks discussing all kinds of questions with our guests, from the most pressing ones to the most decidedly esoteric. When was the last time you were chatting about musical robots, a metadata language for designers, the future of animation, why the Apple Newton lost to the Palm Pilot and finally the Internet of Things, all within an hour or two? Among our most esteemed visitors was Scott Jenson who used to work on the Apple Newton, Symbian OS, managed the Google mobile UX team and also spent time at Frog Design in California. Please check his blog for great thoughts on how to combine on- and offline in the Internet of Things (IOT).
Drifting through our event was not only the scent of our grilled snags. It was (more metaphorically speaking) the question of ‘what it takes to innovate’. And the answer was present in the group of guests: a lot of experience and skills plus an insatiable appetite for combining things in a new way. And we are curious what these bright minds will come up with next.
Art & About Sydney is a collaborative arts festival where every street, lane way, building site, intersection and thoroughfare is a canvas for creation and storytelling. And we at Reactive are gladly contributing with a free beginner’s workshop on digital design of urban spaces, in particular the Digital Future of Oxford Street. Our educational partner Tractor Design School is hosting our workshop where we explore a new digital perspective on one of the main arteries of Sydney: Oxford Street.
From Mardi Gras stage, night clubs and restaurants to thoroughfare to the beaches of the Eastern suburbs – what role will technology and digital design play in the future version of Oxford Street? We’ll explore digital design ideas for this multi-faceted space with many different kinds of users. We will be mixing the concept of wireframes and user experience with digital thinking and a bit of fun: http://thedigitalfutureofoxford-es2.eventbrite.com.au
Here is an interview I conducted with Dan Hill, now CEO of Fabrica, on How data is changing our streets and cities – listen to the audio here.
No prerequisites or experience in digital design or software is required. It is an entry level workshop which is supposed to show residents and visitors what sort of professionals work in and around the area of Surry Hills and Darlinghurst. So if you are in Sydney and are curious about learning something new, we are looking forward to seeing you.
Get your free tickets here on Eventbrite.
Creative Social invited its global members to join the Converse and Google+ ‘Hack A Chuck’ competition. And we at Reactive together with our friends at Toby and Pete have taken up the challenge.
The world’s first Google Hangout Shootathon is going down in a couple of hours at the Die Hard Paintball Range in Sydney. We call it “Chuck a Chuck” (named after the most dangerous man on the internet). And you can watch the results on Google+ in a week when we need your votes to win the whole damn thing. Wish us luck, hopefully it’s going to be quite a blast.
Reactive and Toby&Pete’s fierce paintball session
Below is a little photo update from the shoot this morning. The full doco rolls out on Monday on Google+
I attended TEDxSydney on Saturday which had moved to iconic Sydney Opera House as a venue. This year’s 2,200 attendees were deliciously catered for by Matt Moran and the grass roots movement ‘Grow it local’.
Telstra, Qantas, Samsung, U of Syd and NAB were some of the main sponsors, lending a more corporate component. At the same time the conference was still retaining a lot of the activism and volunteering spirit.
Best musical performer (IMHO) was Kate Miller-Heidke, best MC Jess Scully, most famous attendee Marc Newson and probably most powerful speech by Omar Musan.
The above photos are posted under CreativeCommons from TEDxSydney’s flickr stream.
The talks themselves are still being edited so I will update this blog with another post when they are available on their YouTube channel
Here are my personal favourites from the films they played in between:
This is a project we at Reactive worked extremely hard for over the last 2 months. It’s called ‘The Most Powerful Arm Ever Invented” and this is its story.
The Most Powerful Arm Ever Invented
Children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) suffer from progressive deterioration of their muscles. The kids lose the ability to use their arms and for example sign their name very early in their life. At the same time the Australian government does not have a policy on this disease, meaning there is no research support to help halt or cure DMD. This is why we created The Most Powerful Arm, a bionic arm with which you can help wake up the politicians. Please sign a petition to the Australian government, asking them to start supporting the important research on this crippling disease. Watch the trailer below:
The arm is publicly installed, first in Customs House Sydney, and now in Ariel Book Store. It takes your signature via your Facebook login, also accesible thorough your mobile phone if you happen to be in front of the installation. It then signs the petition for you, with a real pen on paper. It uses the original handwriting of one of the children affected, Jacob Lancaster, which we turned into a typeface. A photo camera will then take a picture of each signature and post it to the respective signee’s Facebook wall.
I really appreciate any help you can give to the cause. We have smashed the original target of 20,000 which was required to have the petition considered by parliament. But the more signatures we get, the more weight it will have. Please add your signature at TheMostPowerfulArm.com and if you want and can afford to, you can also donate to make the trials happen.
Below you find our Making Of The Most PowerfulArm that explains the whole signing experience in detail.
Here are some photos from our launch day in Customs House.
The Most Powerful Arm is a collaboration between Reactive, Finch and Havas Worldwide / Red Agency. Special shout out goes to Emad Tahtouh who heads the creative technology at Finch and who not only had the idea but also tirelessly worked on all the robotics, video, photos and backend technology to make the arm the most powerful ever invented.