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08 Nov

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Days 3-4: Shanghai

November 8, 2016 | By |

This and the following blog posts aims to document a trip to Shenzhen, to the cradle of things. To read all blog posts in the series, click on the viewsource tag.

Please note: These are quick notes typed up while traveling. Apologies for any typos, missing links, etc.

Day 3 starts with early calls with Europe and the US. Time zones dictate that the times are somewhat awkward, but it’s good to get on the local time and have an early start.

Today it feels like connecting to with Western Internet is like shooting for a moving target. It’s usually doable, but it might take more effort. Calls with the US and Europe are tricky that way.

Day 4 is a big day: Tonight’s our ThingsCon Salon, the first ever in Asia.

The morning is for errands. Our wifi hotspot seems to have ceased service. So back to Aunn Café for an email sprint. Is our hotspot issue due to the device, the VPN, or did we just run out of data on our prepaid sim card? We have no way of finding out. We track down a small phone store for a top-up, and end up replacing our sim card with a new one. Passport required, but we didn’t carry ours. Ah well, no prob. Local business people don’t let bureaucracy get in the way of sales.

The first ThingsCon event in Asia

Our event is hosted by no other than Simone Rebaudengo, inventor of Addicted Toasters and Teacher of Algorithms ThingsCon Salon Shanghai was the very first ThingsCon event in Asia ever and a resounding success!

ThingsCon Salon Shanghai Simone kicks off ThingsCon Shanghai

ThingsCon Salon Shanghai was the very first ThingsCon event in Asia ever and a resounding success!

Around 50 people joined for the event at Naked Hub, one of Shanghai’s hottest coworking spaces. Thanks to Simone and Shine as well as the Naked Hub gang, we had a blast. After a short intro by Simone about dilemmas in IoT and his work in the field, Michelle and I both talked about responsible and open IoT as well as how we advocate for both, and our mission for this visit to China—namely to listen and learn how Shenzhen and the European independent IoT ecosystem can learn from one another and collaborate, and how the Shenzhen approach to open source hardware might be applicable in the European IoT ecosystem for innovation as well.

ThingsCon Salon Shanghai Full house at ThingsCon Shanghai, kindly hosted by Naked Hub

Alvin Chang, founder of smart bottle startup Gululu spoke about his vision for a kids product that solves a real issue.

Design Technologist Saurabh Satta (Frog, automato farm) explored the history of networks, and how speculative design can help navigate the questions posed by technology.

Rocky Liu introduced his project OSG (Open Source Glasses), an open source build of smart glasses that he’s involved in making.

It was fascinating all around, and the conversations continued long after the presentations ended, deep into the night.