ThingMonk 2016: Rainey David – Watson and Alexa Hack at ThingMonk

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It was only right and fitting that we should conclude the proceedings at Thingmonk 2016 with a pretty impressive live demo with Amazon Echo, IBM Watson and a Raspberry PI running Node-red presented by Rainey David, @TechGiver and member of #womenintech. Although it might seem trite to emphasise that she attended Thingmonk as one of our diversity scholars, she was such an awesome ambassador for the newly developed ThingMonk Diversity Scholarship made possible by OpenSensors that we can’t resist celebrating it.

It was inspiring to see how she took everything the event had offered, from a giveaway of a raspberry Pi to  workshops on programming with IBM Watson, Pycom and Amazon Alexa Skills and ran with it. The concept was to run 3 flows analysing the tone of tweets relating to Thingmonk and display them as a colour on the PI’s LED panel. A victim of her own success she had tried to rework one element of the hack at the last minute and as she said ‘broke it’.  However she was still able to present the application successfully. Her manner was totally assured as she made bright quips, engaged the audience and formed a comedy double act with Alexa.

Not only did Rainey pull some of the technical elements together but what was more inspiring was the way she drew a team together to work the hack with her. More than once the talk at this conference has turned to the lack of developers necessary to bring about the next stage of the current IoT revolution. We have also touched upon the concept of the citizen developer and the potential benefits of collaborating in cross disciplinary contexts. Perhaps the answer doesn’t simply lie in developing increasingly autonomous systems on the edge, croudsourced data sharing and opensource platforms but actually in opening up the community.
@RaineDe @andysc @knolleary

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