I was at InterConnect last week in Las Vegas, the IBM user conference for Cloud and Mobile. I was personally involved in Dev@, a special area on the EXPO floor dedicated to developer interested in technical content and activities on Mobile, Cloud, DevOps, Watson, and Internet of Things.
Dev@interconnect is a mix of education and entertainment. People can learn from Lightning Talks, talk to SMEs at the Ask me Anything Demo Stations, or do hands-on labs. The entertainment, the fun part, comes with “Techtivities” and receptions. This year we had the following playground activities (of course all related to IBM technologies):
- Rock, Paper, Scissors: Play RPS vs Spark. Good luck. (Play against Pepper, the amazing robot - picture below)
- Mind Control BB-8 Drone: Drive a drone with your thoughts
- Robot Beacon Scavenger Hunt: Bluemix IOT scavenger hunt via Smartphone and iBeacons
- IOT Foosball: Play foosball, IOT sensors track score, Watson cheers
- Golf Swing Analyzer: IOT device attached to club analyzes your swing
- Polite Candy Machine: Talk nicely to machine to get a candy
- Code Rally: Java coding AI for racecars
- Bluemix Arcade: Play latest video games on Bluemix
(Pepper, a robot that uses Watson to be clever and beat you at Rock, Pepper, Scissors)
I worked at the Mind Control BB-8 station to demonstrate and explain the technologies used to move a Star Wars BB-8 with the Force (your mind!). The main objective of this station was to highlight Bluemix and the IoT Foundation a fun way. Using an Emotiv headset, people can move a BB-8 droid back and forth with their "thoughts".
Magic? No. The Emotiv Insight tracks brain signals (EEG) to measure six different categories: Attention, Focus, Engagement, Interest, Excitement, Affinity, Relaxation and Stress.
For this Dev@InterConnect demo, one category was used. Engagement level is capture by the Emotiv device and sent to Bluemix (IoT Foundation). Then the data is processed in Bluemix to be transformed into BB-8 commands (using the Sphero SDK).
Et voilà….. Brain to Bluemix to BB-8 Droid communication. But this is just an example of the IoT support in Bluemix. If you can connect a brain to a robot toy, imagine what you could do with your own devices. Make your own ideas real by exploring the IoT Foundation platform: https://internetofthings.ibmcloud.com