It's not often that I manage to blog before an event - but the next week sees some great get-togethers for the Open Systems community in the UK.
The first of the events is the one day open source hardware camp OSHcamp on Thursday 27th. This will be held at the Centre for Creative Collaborations C4CC which is 5 minutes walk from Kings Cross station. There are still tickets left - visit Eventbrite for full details.
The second noteworthy event takes place over next weekend - and is the fourth annual meeting of the Homecamp Community - HomeCamp4. This is also being hosted at C4CC, and will take the form of an unconference, with presentations, demonstrations and workshop/hack sessions. The theme this year is "Hack the House" - with the aim of illustrating how everyday gadgets, systems and appliances can be repurposed or improved with the aim of better efficiency, better usability or new functionality. Last few tickets remaining are also on Eventbrite. This is now a FREE event - thanks to a generous sponsorship from AMEE.
Homecamp aims to bring together proponents of open systems - whether software, hardware or data, in an opportunity for them to share their ideas within the wider community. Saturday 29th will primarily be a presentations day, starting with several key speakers in the morning and then opening the discussion to the floor and offering the opportunity to present or demonstrate in a series of themed break-out sessions. Likely themes will be open systems - including the interaction of hardware and software, and the use of simple, smart open systems around the home to provide better energy efficiency, greater comfort or convenience.
Presentations already confirmed include:
Moixa Technology - a renewables powered - domestic low voltage power supply system
Pachube - Cloud based open data hosting
Megni - an open source energy monitoring system
Project Nanode - Low Cost, Open Hardware for Monitoring and Control
AMEE - an update on platforms and applications for Environmental Intelligence
If you would like to do a short pitch or presentation - please add yourself to the Homecamp4 page on Lanyrd.
Sunday will be more of a hands-on hacking and mash-up day, with the aim of installing an open energy monitoring system at C4CC, and showing how that energy data can be passed via the cloud and used in several interactive applications to improve efficiency and comfort. It will outline the ways in which open hardware and software interact with web hosted open data platforms to create a full end to end open energy monitoring system. If you want to gain hands on experience of home energy hacking - then Sunday will be a must.
If you are working on anything that is easily demonstrated - please bring it along - there will be an opportunity to show and tell.
If you are into Open Hardware, you may wish to have a look at Solderpad - a repository for the design files of open source hardware designs. Solderpad was created by Paul Downey and Andrew Back - who are leading lights in the UK open hardware community and organisers of the Open Source Hardware Users Group - OSHUG - which has regular monthly meet-ups in central London.