What Happened at Gadgetoff 2005?
At our last Gadgetoff, our group held in aggregate thousands of patents and had a collective net worth easily in excess of $12 Billion. Yet, this is not an event that caters to the wealthy nor pretends to offer cures to what ails mankind. It’s a collegial, informal experience with leading professors, researchers, artists, designers, real-estate developers, media people and "children of all ages" in attendance. Even the wealthy business-people attending must present something fascinating to be invited. No spectators attend the Gadgetoff.
Gadgetoff has historically been held in a private townhouse in Manhattan and we expect to use the change of venue to Governor’s Island to expand our displays to include innovative vehicles (most never before revealed), robots, and other prototype devices. We believe bringing a group of highly intelligent, innovative people (in addition to a large amount of material and intellectual wealth) to Governor’s Island that we will, in some manner, further its future development.
Early December 2005, we celebrated the last Gadgetoff with an evening of exceptional serendipity, generosity, and unmitigated coolness. It was magical as we wandered around my brother’s lovely home admiring the myriad of gizmos… everyone connecting… wearing those scrolling LED badges.
It’s impossible to briefly list highlights of the event, so here are just a few:
Sandy Pentland demoed his jerk-o-meter and elevator-rater (which measure people's social dysfunctionality); Neil Gershenfeld had a "fab" presentation of his self-fabrication theory;
Dave Gallo, of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, showed stunning demos of deepest-underwater life; Paul Boyle, of the NY Aquarium, blew our minds with discoveries of what monkeys and dolphins know about themselves.
Online security expert Mark Seiden left us in stitches revealing hacker-trickery; then, in our robust gadget emporium, fabulous hack-meister Pablos showed various hack-and-play tools (not to mention his absurdly wonderful "portable phone" in the shape of a old-style rotary-dial telephone.)
Hao Le brought his latest "visual browser" (newly redesigned to navigate between more than 30 live video sources.) Plus robots aplenty as Rod Brooks, Helen Greiner, and Colin Angle brought the latest hacker-enabled Roombas and Scooba vacuum cleaner-robots. We also had the robotic-design-and-electronic- graffiti "stylin’s" of James and Michelle Powderly. The great and wonderful Eric Demaine showed some of his latest play regarding paper folding, origami, and mathematical dexterity. Which worked wonderfully with Bruce Gitlin and Haresh Lalvani’s artistic revolution in folded metal.
We also featured chef Homaru Cantu whose edible printing experiments were experienced by all. (We ate customized business cards, mine flavored like a mohito.) Who could forget the 200 pound submarine, used to film surfers in the waves, berthed in the dining room? Or the sneak-peak and rides on two new Segway prototypes: the stabilized unicycle or the off-road four-wheel Segway? (Thank you, blessed Doug Field and friends, who schlepped them down from New Hampshire!) There was so much more: more robots; more gadgets from our-man-in-Akihabara, Doug Krone; more demos on screen and off. So, a lot of fun was had by all, and too much shrimp went uneaten.