One of the things that has struck us in recent years is the level to which digital technology is becoming pervasive. Only two decades ago the Internet was a novelty used by a small (but growing) clan of geeks, and now not only does everyone carry it around with them in their pockets, all the things we use are starting to get connected up.
Behind a lot of these developments are a group of large corporations who supply the technologies and are always looking for new applications for it so as to expand their market. In general this is a good thing as it’s accelerating progress, and the benefits are going beyond smartphone applications, reaching into all the corners of our lives such as better milk production, self-driving cars, lower air pollution, and better volunteering.
For us, though, the benefits will only be fully realised through participation. We want the technology not just to be available to everyone, but for everyone to be comfortable using it; and if people don’t keep up with what’s available and get the chance to explore it all in a supportive environment, they won’t feel properly connected and then they won’t exploit the opportunities that the new technology brings them.
ThingsCamp is the start of an effort to bridge that gap: by connecting people with the technical know-how to those that are simply curious, we want to begin dismantling the barriers to participation in these emerging fields.