Philly ETE 2015 #24 – Keynote – Tom Igoe – Physical Computing, or How Software Meets Christmas Trees (and more)

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Slides from Tom’s talk are available here.


The internet has moved a long way beyond the command line. Nowdays, it connects everything from our cars to our toothbrushes, door locks, and keychains. It’s no longer possible to think about software without considering the hardware on which it runs, the sensors and actuators that are its nerves and muscles, the form in which it’s encased, and the physical behaviors of the people and devices involved. Open source hardware and digital fabrication tools are enabling a wider audience to engage in building all aspects of interactive technologies, regardless of their backgrounds.

In this talk, I’ll present an overview of some of the tools of physical computing and discuss how and by whom they’re being used to create new connected devices.

About Tom:

Tom Igoe is an Associate Arts Professor at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP).

Coming from a background in theatre lighting design, Igoe makes tools that sense and respond to a wide range of human physical expression. He is the head for physical computing courses, and teaches courses in networking as well. He is also interested in how to lessen the impact that making things has on the environment, and how open hardware development can contribute to that. He has written four books for makers and he is an occasional contributor to Make magazine as well. He is a co-founder of Arduino, an open source microcontroller environment built for non-technicians. He has consulted for various museums and interactive design companies as well. He is currently living a personal dream of working with monkeys, and wants to visit Svalbard someday. Tom blogs at