Last week I joined a group from a hackerspace called Noisebridge to show some of my VR demos at an event proclaiming to be the best show and tell on earth. Read on, for some impressions about Maker Faire.
Maker Faire is a strange combo, many individual creative makers come together to show their stuff and connect with others but also some more established businesses and companies are there with their pretty standers sale pitches.
I was there with a group of people from Noisebridge we had a VR booth with demos we created. Some of the group created a virtual Noisebridge with a 3d scanner and also a a 3d model you could switch between. I was showing my MindMoVR experience and also a demo with a leapmotion camera where you could use your own hands in VR and interact with actual objects. A pillow became a giant teddy bear and the HTC Vive controller became a buzzing butterfly you could catch.
There was also another group from the space showing this crazy contraption they made, a type of printer that was just holding a sharpie pen and moving it on a page to create a very unique style of drawings based on photos you could take at the booth.
Besides us there were hundreds if not thousands of other booths. Here are some trends I notices.
Robots – lots and lots of robots made from anything imaginable including cardboard. One of the biggest highlights was the giant MegaBot unavailing. This Robot is supposed to fight a Japanese Robot sometime soon. The robot was swinging its giant arms and crashing into a car but the transfer of momentum was more of a pushing then punching.
Drones – there was a drone race track as well as a drone fighting. Mostly these sports seem to be about picking up the fallen drones and fixing them. But I guess letting out human aggression this way is pretty harmless unless these drones or robots actually get sentience.
Blinky – a whole room filled with blinky LED stuff. Not much new for anyone who’d been to burning man, but still pretty.
Personalisation – on the more commercial front there was a little trend of personlising daily objects by using scanners and 3d printers. Print your own perfectly fitting shoes or glasses for instance.
Tools – laser cutters, 3d printers and lots of other tools that are the maker’s version of crack. There was even an automatic knitting machine.
Some nostalgia – among all this futuristic stuff there was also a bunch of steam engine machines and an old style photo booth with one of those box cameras and film!
Even for an “old cynic” like me there was enough novelty and interactivity to make the event worth it. And seeing strangers play with the stuff I made was pretty amazing. I’ll be showing MindMoVR at Figment interactive art festival on june 10th in Oakland. Come say hi.