Hack-a-thon at Digital Atlanta: The report (part 1)

Digital Atlanta was last week. What a blast! Digital Atlanta is an annual event which brings hundreds of digital professionals from Atlanta and beyond for a week of socializing, learning, and designing. THINK participated in the conference, and we also hosted a hack-a-thon where we created prototypes of interactive technologies and thinking about the future of work and play in a connected world.
We augmented our teams with an amazing set of hackers and designers from Georgia Tech (From the GVU center and the Georgia Tech Industrial Design program). They helped us use Arduino boards and a series of sensors and output devices to learn about programming, and, over the course of the morning, five teams created simple prototypes of interactive functionality.
Digital experiences do not have to be screen-based. Beyond computers and phones, sensors can read attributes from the physical world and use computation to react to it. This is called ubiquitous computing, a wider technology and societal trend to imbue environments, situations, and everyday objects with intelligence and interactivity. As a design exercise, we circled around finding the sweet spot between people’s desires and the technological capabilities that are supported by this new world. Experience designers will need to take into account a very wide set of new inputs, deal with new trade-offs, and manage (and influence) new user expectations. It’s going to be a big deal for the next decade — ubiquitous technologies are starting to appear in home life, work life, travel, and play. 
Here’s a smattering of our slides from the morning…