Friday, 20 March 2015

An inspirational morning...

This morning's session was brilliant - 4 excellent speakers, and we started with a solar eclipse!  A couple of weeks ago we'd decided to put the start time back, to allow people to watch it, and I've spent the last few days worrying that it would be cloudy and we wouldn't see anything. But, the sun was out - before the moon moved over it of course, and delegates got a great view - through the special glasses of course - don't they look cool!

We had four speakers - the first three talking about future trends and the last truly inspiational. Because of staring late we didn't have a break, but well done to all the delegates, and speakers for sticking with it. I was chairing the session, so wasn't taking notes for this blog, so these are just a few of my thoughts and memories.

The first session was Nick Jones from Gartner talking about trends in mobile technology. He covered the different platforms, operating systems, apis, app development tools etc, and what we should be looking out for. Secure the app and the data, don't try and secure the device was a key point. Watch the consumer space, that's where the innovation is. And we need to up our game in terms of user experience. Think gamification and employ psychologists for really good UX.

Next was Michael Wignall, National Technology Officer for Microsoft UK, who talked about when Digital Life meets Digital work. I think I can best illustrate the world he described by sharing the video he showed. Two different women, one a scientist looking for project work, and one an executive looking for a scientist.

What was really cool about that - all the technology in it is either in beta or in development right now. And no-one logged in to anything!

Third up was LJ Rich, presenter on BBC Click, journalist and musician. Boy was she lively. Her talk was pure "presentational caffeine".

 It was a brilliant, manic look at so many different examples of new technologies, especially around the internet of things. Who could forget the device that makes cauliflower taste of chips.

or brain controlled wearable cat ears (I so want a pair....).

Or this water based interface - great for playing games in the bath!

Out final speaker was Baroness Grey-Thomson. Luckily she didn't mind being called Tanni. One of the greatest paralympians ever. Winner of 11 gold medals, holder of over 20 world records, and 6 time winner of the London marathon.

She was truly inspirational. The whole room was engrossed. Very funny, interesting, personable, and some great anecdotes with serious messages.  Ejected at the age of ten from a cinema for being a fire risk in her wheelchair, she was taught the most appropriate response by her mother  "I have never spontaneously combusted in my life". She told us to always do the best we can, to be nice to people around us, that "technology can help me to make the best contribution I possibly can", and that parking in a disabled space without a blue badge should be a criminal offence! Truly inspiring end to the conference.

No comments: