Solid Conference: Hardware and the Networked Home
By Patrick Sisson / Published by Dwell

Positioning itself at the nexus of hardware and software, the first Solid Conference (May 21-22 in San Francisco) will unite makers, thinkers, designers and developers from Google X, MIT and an array of tech firms to discuss developments such as smart sensors, networked homes and adaptive intelligence, all of which have the potential to disrupt and reshape the world of design. It’s “software and hardware uniting to bring intelligence into our lives,” according to O'Reilly's Jon Bruner, who chairs Solid with MIT Media Lab's Joi Ito. 

Solid Con 2014—a conference promoting "software, hardware, everywhere"—arrives in San Francisco on May 21, 2014, and presents a range of speakers from Google, MIT, and more.

Multiple factors have brought us to this nexus of technology, according to Bruner: better supply chains, pervasive networking and cloud computing, a growth in wifi connectivity and the evolution of machine-learning algorithms. A wave of intelligent hardware and software technology and devices will bring about new concepts of connectivity and new ways to interact with previously passive objects.

“The interesting thing is you’ll see intelligent products intended to interact with us less,” says Bruner. “Think about how the Nest thermostat learns from your behaviors. Interaction will become natural and pre-emptive. It’ll work beyond the screen. Lighting appliances and energy saving applications are a compelling place to start.”

Guest speakers include Astro Teller (Head of Google X research division, i.e. “Chief of Moonshots"), Ivan Poupyrev (Google research scientist, interactive technology), Nadya Peek (MIT Center for Bits and Atoms), Tim O’Reilly (Founder of O'Reilly Media), Andra Keay (Founder, Silicon Valley Robotics), Joi Ito (Director of MIT Media Lab), Hiroshi Ishii (Computer scientist, Tangible Media Group at MIT), Neil Gershenfeld (Director, Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT), Renee DiResta (Associate at O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures), Rodney Brooks (Founder, Chairman and CTO, ReThink Robotics), Ayah Bdeir (Interactive artist, engineer, and founder/CEO of LittleBits), and Carl Bass (President and CEO, Autodesk).

Click here to learn more about the Solid Conference.

Patrick Sisson


During the course of his career writing about music and design, Patrick Sisson has made Stefan Sagmeister late for a date and was scolded by Gil Scott-Heron for asking too many questions. His work has appeared in Pitchfork, Nothing Major, Wax Poetics, Stop Smiling and Chicago Magazine.

Everybody loves feedback. Be the first to add a comment.
The author will be notified whenever new comments are added.
Dwell Life © 2016Download our iOS App

We’re inviting you to join us to create a place where we can inspire and share with each other every day, collaborate on collections, projects and stories, ask questions, discuss and debate ideas.

Log in