“Find people like you.”
From the editors of Make:, the Maker Pro Newsletter is about the impact of makers on business and technology. Our coverage includes hardware startups, new products, incubators, and innovators, along with technology and market trends. Please send items to us at email@example.com.
THE INTERNET OF CONSORTIA GROWS
There’s now a third consortium for providers hoping to connect to the Internet of Things: the Open Interconnect Consortium, which boasts Atmel, Dell, Broadcom, Intel, and Samsung as members.
The new group joins previously announced consortia: the AllSeen Alliance, backed by LG, Qualcomm, the Linux Foundation, Panasonic, and Sharp, and the Industrial Internet Consortium (AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM, and Intel).
In addition there are platforms from Apple, Google, and Quirky/GE.
Obviously, we’ve got some sorting out to do.
Best advice to makers with an IoT product: be sure to build in the capability to do over-the-air firmware updates. You’re going to need them to keep up with the changing landscape.
SPARK LANDS $4.9 MILLION IN FUNDING; LAUNCHES NEW CLOUD-BASED OPERATING SYSTEM.
Spark, which is known for its tiny development kit for creating wi-fi connected products, is launching a cloud-based operating system that will enable users to take their products from prototypes (its current primary user base) to mass manufacturing.
The Spark Core kit has always had a cloud component, but the new operating system will pair that with new development tools and resources that are designed to power a new level of partnerships with both startups and major enterprise companies.
The relaunch will be financed by a round of funding, totaling $4.9 million, from Lion Wells Capital, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, SOSventures, and Collaborative Fund as well as a consortium of strategic angel investors.
You can read more about it in Make:, including Spark’s plans to interoperate with all of the consortia and big platforms mentioned in the previous item.
NEW YORK’S NEXT TOP MAKERS RAMPS UP FOR YEAR TWO; NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
New York City is looking for Big Apple makers to apply for Year 2 of its New York’s Next Top Makers program.
The application period began on Wednesday, July 9, and extends until September 3.
Six teams will be chosen to take advantage of a customized 12-month Studio Incubation Program, which includes access to networks, tools and space, legal counsel, product design, supply chain and manufacturing guidance, and more.
The program is run by New York City’s Economic Development Corporation, and is designed to increase New Yorkers’ access to new technology, assist a cohort of makers to establish their product businesses in NYC, and connect makers to the current surge in prototyping and production activity in New York City.
The place to get more information, and apply: the program’s Web Portal (nexttopmakers.com).
More in Make:.
MAKERS GATHER IN 3 EUROPEAN CITIES
Just a few weeks after Maker Faire Paris, two more European cities had maker events last weekend. Hannover, Germany hosted Maker Faire Hannover, and Barcelona was the site of Fab10, the annual conference on the state of digital fabrication and open source hardware. Make: captured both events in slideshows; you catch them in those two hyperlinks in the previous sentence.
THE FAB FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES FAB ECONOMY NETWORK
At Fab10, the Fab Foundation announced a new organization, the Fab Economy Network. It’s about creating a novel economic paradigm for everybody, where local fulfillment and customization take the place of mass production and global distribution. Not a lot of details yet, but worth following.
WHO’S MATRICULATING AT BOLT
Bolt, the Boston-based seed-stage fund that invests capital, staff, equipment, and expertise in startups at the intersection of hardware and software, has added a number of companies to its portfolio in the last few months, including:
- Kuvée – Reinventing wine distribution and consumption
- Dipjar – The tip jar and donation box for credit cards
- Helmet Hub – Making helmet rental kiosks and logistics software for bikeshare programs
Currently Bolt currently has 12 portfolio companies. You can check out the complete Bolt roster here.
OFFER THE LARGEST CROWDFUNDING PERK IN HISTORY, AND OTHER ADVICE FROM SPROUTEL’S CAMPAIGN
When the campaign went live on Indiegogo, it had an unusual perk: for $3 million you can buy 12,000 bears, which would give one to every child between the ages of 3 and 7 diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the coming year in the U.S.
Aaron Horowitz, the CEO of Sproutel, thinks it’s the largest crowdfunding perk ever offered.
At the same time, the overall goal of Sproutel’s campaign is just $20k.
So what’s behind the spread?
Sproutel has demonstrated marketing smarts before. The two-year-old company has already gotten 250 bears, sold individually for $300 each, into the hands of children with diabetes. The team was one of the companies invited to this year’s White House Maker Faire.
So we asked Aaron how the team approached their crowdfunding campaign. You can read his tips in Make:.
Maker Pro Adventures
BERG’S TRANSITION FROM CONSULTANCY TO HARDWARE SHOP
After thousands of orders, they were hooked.
Now it’s a hardware company, selling connected products and a connectivity platform.
Fast Company chronicles how Berg made the transition, which still seems to be an ongoing work in progress.
One of the most valuable resources, a product designer says, is other people who are working on similar hardware projects. That’s a big reason why makerspaces are growing, he adds.
“Find people like you,” Little Printer creator Matt Webb (@genmon) advises. And learn from them. “This stuff is so new.”
PROTOTYPING A TENNIS TRACKING DEVICE IN SHENZHEN
Sergey Feingold, co-founder of Shot Stats, makers of Challenger, a tennis swing tracking device, walks us through the prototyping process he and his co-founder went through in Shenzhen, China. Read more in Make:.
A REAR SIXTH SENSE FOR CYCLISTS
Franz Struwig tells how he’s been working to build Backtracker, a “rear sixth sense for cyclists,” which indicates when a vehicle is approaching from the rear.
If you think it looks promising, take a crack at it yourself: the creators are offering both the open API and development support and schematics.
Maker Pro Tool of the Week
HELPING HANDS W/ MAGNIFYING GLASS
Stop chasing your circuit board around around the table!
Use these helping hands to get a good grip on it. Then use the magnifying glass to get a close-up look at your magnificent (or not) soldering.
- 6 ball joints that lock at any angle
- Nickel-plated fittings
- 2x power magnifying 2.5″ glass lens
- Two alligator spring clips
- Magnifier, clips and joints rotate 360 degrees!
- Heavy cast-iron base
Just $6.99 in the Maker Shed.
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
The next big thing always starts out looking like a toy MT @pmarca: Almost all big world-changers were dismissed by critics as trivial
— Mathew Ingram (@mathewi) July 7, 2014
— Brendan Schulman (@dronelaws) July 7, 2014
— Postdigital Node (@postdigitalnode) July 6, 2014
Upcoming Maker Faires
Here’s what’s happening over the next month or so:
- Bilbao Mini Maker Faire (Spain): July 12 & 13, 2014
- Kingsport Mini Maker Faire (TN): July 13, 2014
- Rogers Mini Maker Faire (AR): July 19, 2014
- SolarFest Mini Maker Faire (Tinmouth, VT): July 19 & 20, 2014
- Anchorage Mini Maker Faire (AK): July 26, 2014
- Singapore Mini Maker Faire (Singapore): July 26 & 27, 2014
- Maker Faire Detroit (MI): July 26 & 27, 2014
- Manchester Mini Maker Faire (UK): July 26 & 27, 2014
What’s ahead further down the road? Check the Maker Faire Map to find the closest one to you.