Brady has put together an interesting call for proposals for ETech 2008. The CFP closes on September 17th so submit soon! The conference will be held in San Diego from March 3-6, 2008. This poses a challenge by overlapping with Mix08 happening March 5-7, 2008 in Las Vegas, and immediately followed by SxSWi 2008 March 7-11, 2008. This could be a busy 2 weeks on the road.
- Energy: At ETech 2007 we heard about Google’s solarification plans; when the presentation ended, the speaker was swamped with curious attendees. This year, we’ll examine how far we are from where we need to be, what we can do in our own houses, and what awesome things architects and others are doing to advance the cause of energy conservation and generation.
- Human Enhancement: One of the key talks from ETech 2007 was Quinn Norton’s Body Hacking. We’ll take that trend further this year, exploring what hackers, the military, and private industry are doing to extend the abilities of our minds and bodies. What are these parties doing about overall health? Who wants to trust their health to a doctor they see once a year? How are you taking your health into your own hands?
- Steal From The Seedy: Porn is full of early adopters. What can we learn about tomorrow’s tech from porn? From the military? From botnets? From spammers? From Al Qaeda?
- Visualizations: As we build and acquire data, new techniques for visualizations are needed from viewing the body or a map of the Internet to modeling cities and crowds—and beyond. Java-based processing is one of the favorite tools for this work, but what else can be used?
- Abundant and Ubiquitous Computing: Our lives are starting to assume access to large-scale computing systems. Google Earth serves its data from a bank of massive servers. What else will be created with abundant computing? How will it be managed? Will virtualization be the method used?
- From Virtual To Physical: Generating physical prototypes is an iterative process. We’ll further examine cheap manufacturing in China and elsewhere. How does it actually work? What is the process? What are the pitfalls?
- From Physical to Virtual: Sensor networks and RFIDs enable us to interact with the real world virtually. Shotspotter uses sensors to determine the location and type of gun fired via sensor networks. Designer Manolis Kelaidas’ hand-bound book uses conductive ink and BlueTooth to enhance the reading experience and objects’ movements become tracked and the real world is recorded. What are other doors opening into virtual worlds?
- Learning From Games: Strong Angel is an annual, week-long event that creates virtual catastrophies in order to train and evaluate disaster-relief agencies. Jane McGonigal’s World Without Oil gave people the opportunity to prepare for an energy crisis in advance of it happening. What other industries use games? Where are they most useful?
- The Emerging World: Resource constraints and cultural differences can foster innovation we can learn from. Microsoft Research India is using SMS servers to replace PCs to create mobile commodity auctions for farmers. What are other examples of doing more with less? What do hackers in China create and how does it compare to work generated in India?
- Policy: Increasingly, the business models encouraging new technologies are being hampered by bad political decisions. We’ll learn who’s fighting back and how.
- Useful Research: Materials science, HCI, synthetic biology, and psychological ideas will let us design better software and hardware products in the future. We’re going to investigate some that will actually make it to products.
I hope that I’m challenged and inspired by ETech in 2008.