Shedding Light On Kickstarter, Open IP and Moore’sCloud

I’m a big fan of Kickstarter as it’s empowering entrepreneurs to come up with a whole range of interesting products that may not have seen the light of day through traditional funding mechanisms.

I’ve personally backed a Kickstarter project called Light by Moore’sCloud. The product is billed as:

Beautiful, intelligent, connected light. Open hardware, open software, endless possibilities for play and delight.

Not only are they developing a fun product, but they are pioneering the way intellectual property is distributed as well. As the team says in their latest update; they are an organization dedicated to sharing all of our intellectual property as freely and as widely as possible.

I caught up with Mark Pesce, the Sydney-based serial entrepreneur behind this project and asked him a few questions:

>What prompted you to build this?

It’s something I’ve attempted several times over the last decades, but only now have we gotten to high-performance (what used to be called ‘workstation class’) computing at an incredibly affordable price point – around $12 in components. It opens the door to entirely new design methodology. And it’s why we’re named Moore’sCloud.

> What is the biggest challenge you face in getting the product to market (not including fundraising)?

There are a lot of subtle UX issues involved in creating a device that has a lot of interiority; how do you present that depth in a way that is not confronting to people without deep technical skills?

> When can I expect my own Light – in the Xmas hamper?

We hope to have them rolling off the assembly line in May.

> Is this the first of a range of products you plan on releasing – what else do you have in mind?

Christmas lights, for one thing. And room lighting. But we see ourselves as getting a toe into the pond of the Internet of Things. We’ll learn a lot that can be applied to other possible forms and appliances.

Thanks Mark! I am certainly looking forward to playing with the product.

They’ve currently got 1,721 backers with $202k pledged towards their $700k goal. 13 days to go – sign on and make a pledge!


The Future of Media is Salient

I went along to Ross Dawson’s Future of Media Summit yesterday. Kudos to Ross for pulling off what appeared to be a seamless transcontinental event.

My only piece of event-management related feedback is that in keeping with the culture of participation theme running through the media these days it would have been good to have had a roving camera and/or pans so that the audience in Sydney could see and engage with the audience in Mountain View.

To some degree this was achieved in true guerilla-style by the uber presence of Phil Morle’s conference chaser. His chaser approach is to hook up ustream to tangler to create a livestream of an event together with a rich seam of commentary. He did this to great effect at the Sydney MySpace Developer Platform launch a few months back and again yesterday.

Yesterday however, the chaser took a cool twist. Phil was located near the back of the room in Sydney and wasn’t getting good video. So he tapped into the video feed from Stilgherrian, who was seated near the front and mixed this with his audio on ustream.

My biggest take away from the time I spent at the event was captured in a comment by Mark Pesce – “Content requires Salience”. I’ll let you ruminate on that for a while.

Stephen Collins has a great wrap up of the event.