By Lisa Seacat DeLuca
Patents are the proof of unique ideas, even if the everyday use of those ideas aren’t realized until well into the future.
For example, I have more than 150 patents in my name but many of them have not yet been productized. That’s fine, though, because all innovations start with a spark of an idea. Capturing those sparks is what’s critical to the process.
These days I get to work on the open source software project, Apache Cordova, as a committer, or a trusted member who can add to and/or approve the code that others submit. The growing adoption of open software development is allowing more and more developers inside and outside of organizations to share code and build off that code to create new things, especially in the realms of mobile and cloud computing.
Like crowdfunding and self-publishing, open source also cuts out the middleman and makes it easy for developers to produce working code quickly. It also allows us to do things like “fail fast” because we can push out code changes quickly making it possible for anyone with an idea to make that idea a reality.
Apps like If This Then That, for example, lets every day folks “listen” for a trigger condition in a first app and when it happens, ask a second application to perform a task – all without having to write a single line of code.
Recently, to demonstrate the ease of open software development, I used Apache Cordova to build a function into a pendant (necklace) that would light up, literally, whenever a specific hashtag was used on Twitter.
Kelly Stoetzel, content director at TED, will wear the pendant at the first of a kind, TED@IBM event on Sept. 23. Throughout the day, every time someone tweets #TEDatIBM, her pendant it will light up.
The little device cost me $35 for the metawear board and it connects via Bluetooth to a Cordova hybrid app I wrote. The app knows when #TEDatIBM is used, and sends a signal to the metawear’s sensor that turns on its LED for about a second – like a spark.
It’s just a little example of the big impact that mobile software development – and open software dev, in particular – will have on the emerging mobile and wearable computing markets.
So, check out TED@IBM and tweet about the future. Your thoughts will be read…and seen!
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