IBM Hursley’s grotto of delights

by danhon

I was out at a work meet-and-greet trip with Mind Candy’s VP Bizdev, Lisa Long, to IBM Hursley last week to meet metaverse gurus Roo Reynolds and Ian Hughes, both of eightbar.

It was a great trip, one of those where you meet a couple of people, hit it off, and before you know it, far too many hours have passd, you want to stay and knock around ideas (because, hey, they’re pretty damn good), but if you don’t get home pretty soon your wife’s going to be rather annoyed that you haven’t turned up for the weekly poker game you’re hosting. (And as for the poker: I lost quite quickly. Good job it was only a fiver).

I really hadn’t expected (though, should have, if I’d given it more thought), that there’d be that many toys (and such wonderful toys!) at Hursley, given that, well, Hursley’s an R&D lab as much as anything else. There was the why-can’t-we-have-it-yet demo of a shopping cart RFID scanner so you could just pack up your groceries and go (been waiting for it ages), lots of demos of physical objects plugged into the pub/sub plumbing at Hursley (lightswitches, cameras, well, anything, really), never mind the fertile-cow-pedometers, Second Life llamas, Japanese water garden, stories about how 3,000 people at an IBM campus are a bit of a jolt where the nearest village has around 70 people (and a story about flooding and orders not to flush toilets lest the village sink), and oh, just about everything.

Needless to say: minds spinning. It’s great when we can walk around an R&D lab and say: “we could so use that” in what we do (live events we run, for example, can use as much cool technology as anyone wants to throw at them, provided they’ve been field tested at least a little). It’s even better when we’re knocking around ideas, marvelling at how much the cost of 3d printing has come down and then have some seriously cool thoughts about what (and there are lots of whats) that you could do with an alternate reality game and access to, say, modeling in SecondLife and being able to bankrole the production of lots of fabbed objects.

So. Brain spinning. Interesting people met. Lots ot ideas.

Not manic at all around here, or in my head, at all, then.