Past Meetup

Thingscon Salon #5 - The Internet of Toys

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On October 7, Thingscon Amsterdam will organise a Thingscon Salon with the theme ‘’The internet of toys’’.

Connected objects that invite their users to play with them have a special set of design rules. In this Salon, a selection of designers will present case studies on connected toys they have developed and the design decisions they made.

Do you have a connected game idea or project you want to pitch? Or do you have connected toys at home you could bring along? Tell us! Send an email to Monique van Dusseldorp via [masked]

The best 5 proposals will be invited to present at the event - and we will have a small play area for all the toys we can find...
[masked] Hardware & Coffee. If you are attending the Salon, you may also want to visit the Hardware&Coffee meetup (http://www.meetup.com/Thingscon-Salon/events/234245800/) initiated by Matt Webb, which will take place at the same venue from 3PM-5PM.
[masked] Coffee / drinks / meet delegates and speakers. Anyone who brought connected toy can set it up on the main table

17:15-17:30 Welcome to Makerversity

17:30 Justyna Zubrycka, chief designer and co-founder of Vai Kai (Berlin)

17:50 Wouter Reeskamp, Creative Director Studio Sophisti (Amsterdam)

18:10 Dana Cannam, Dana Cannam, of DANA CANNAM DESIGN (Rotterdam)

18:30 Helma van Rijn, designer and founder of LINKX

18:50 Ismael Velo Feijoo, a recent TU/e graduate working on MISC. Magic Toys (http://ismaelvelo.com/portfolio/misctoys/)

19:10 Matt Webb, R/GA Internet of Things Venture Studio UK

19:25 Conclusion

19:30 Drinks and pizza kindly offered by R/GA Internet of Things Venture Studio UK (http://www.rgaiot.com/)

With presentations by

Wouter Reeskamp, Creative Director Studio Sophisti (Amsterdam), a connected product design studio that connects physical objects and digital media by combining skills from industrial and interaction design, software and electronics development. Studio Sophisti is known for its focus on games, and have developed connected games platforms like the NFC game board (http://www.studiosophisti.nl/en/dvsr/), the Game changer gameboard (http://www.studiosophisti.nl/en/gamechanger/)as well as the Verzis game controller (http://www.studiosophisti.nl/en/multiplayer/).

Dana Cannam, of DANA CANNAM DESIGN (Rotterdam), a multidisciplinary studio specializing in exploring the relationship between craft and technology. Dana will present Qmod (http://www.myqmod.com), an educational platform that teaches the fundamentals of generating, harnessing and utilizing alternative energy. The platform focuses on engagement into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) related learning through interactive story telling and hands-on experiences.

Justyna Zubrycka, chief designer and co-founder of Vai Kai (Berlin). The Berlin-based Startup Vai Kai (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vaikai/avakai-the-magical-play-companion?ref=nav_search) (Lithuanian for 'children') makes crafted wooden toy twins that enable kids to discover free play and a connected world without screens. The question of how to create something for children that toes the line between tech and play, drove the duo to create their first product.

Helma van Rijn, designer and founder of LINKX, which combines wooden tags with an app. Parents and teachers can use these to help children learn new words. They can add words and tags to the child's environment.

Ismael Velo Feijoo, a recent TU/e graduate will present his graduation project MISC. Magic Toys (http://ismaelvelo.com/portfolio/misctoys/). “What if there could be something that mixes the charm of wooden toys with the enchantment of the interactive ones in the context of special education?” The screenless interactive toys are tangible user interfaces that serve both as inputs and outputs, with no computers or devices involved in order to prioritise tactile, multi-sensory exploration of the play objects.

Matt Webb, MD of R/GA's Internet of Things startup accelerator (http://www.rgaiot.com/) in London. Matt was a co-founder of Berg, the design studio that did the design, build, manufacture and support of one of the world's first consumer Internet of Things devices, called the Little Printer. Matt is looking for start-ups interested in being part of the R/GA acceleration program.

Moderator: Monique van Dusseldorp

Interested in reading about connected toys? Here a few relevant background articles about the industry. Please note that our Salon is more about design issues, and less about industry developments. Nevertheless..

• The Guardian, 16 July 2016: How smart are connected toys? (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jul/16/how-smart-are-connected-toys)

• Forbes, 21 April 2016: Connected toys are only just getting started; here's what's next (http://www.forbes.com/sites/andyrobertson/2016/04/21/connected-toys-venture-capital-report/#72e03afe39f0)

• Tandem Capital in the US has done research on the market for connected toys. Techcrunch published some of their results in the Serious Business of Play (https://techcrunch.com/2016/02/15/the-serious-business-of-play/) and their is a long interview on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qo8LV2z0L0E) with the authors.

Curated by the Thingscon Amsterdam team: Iskander Smit, Marcel Schouwenaar, Monique van Dusseldorp