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Techmakers U: #IoT, Google #Polymer & Collaboration Tools

Posted on March 22nd, 2015

GDG North Jersey

03/22/2015 @Saint Peters University, Jersey City, NJ


A half day of activities presented by Women Techmakers and GDG North Jersey included presentations, group activities and tutorials. Of the activities, I summarize two of the many sessions.

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In the keynote address, CK Kerley contrasted the world when the web was first introduced versus the connected world of smartphones today. She then presented a view of the world where networks of things talk to each other and to us.

This is the Internet of Things: Nike+ basketball shoes that track performance. Umbrellas that tell us when rain is in the forecast. Never look for your luggage again. Never look for parking spaces again. Bottles remind us when to take pills (glowcaps). Inhalers tracking high risk areas.

Currently we live in a world which has already been changed by mobile devices: More mobile devices than people, on-demand everything, selfie-nation, showrooming (comparison shopping), couch commerce, NoMoPhobia (panic when we are away from our mobile phones – constant connectivity)

CK then talked about the components of smart products

  1. Physical
  2. Sensors
  3. Connectivity

And their value proposition

  1. Products become solutions – Nest is a home efficiency product
  2. Revenue generating services – lifetime benefit – monthly services for pet monitoring dog collar – razor blade proposition
  3. Data-driven customer experience – customer engagement drives loyalty. Smart golf clubs give you real time advice
  4. Optimization & personalization – constantly improve services and profits.

She summarized by saying that the last 25 years were a time when data and connectivity became available to everyone. The next 25 years will be a time when all things become smart.

Later in the afternoon, Lucy He of Google, presented web components as extensions to html tags. These tags make it easier to create customizable elements. The functions of these elements can range from customizable buttons on web pages to toolbars for mobile devices and objects formatted in accordance with material design concepts (link to a previous post on the material design).

Since all browsers do not yet support web components, Polymer is a transition library giving them web component functionality.  Lucy grouped the Polymer elements into

  1. Core-elements – general purpose elements e.g. <core-toolbar> and <core-header-panel>,
  2. Paper-elements – incorporate material design concepts such as <paper-input>, <paper-checkbox> , <paper-ripple>, <paper-shadow>, etc.

Here is an example of UI built with polymer. This link is a simple introduction to writing html using Polymer.

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