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Welcome, Omer Kilic (@OmerK)
- Omer has an academic background. His thesis started off being about FPGAs.Towards the tail-end of his research, he started exploring Erlang for embedded devices.
- He programs using Erlang, which was created by former mobile phone giant Ericksson (device making has tailed off, they still do network infrastructure).
- They had a phone called the T28 that was well designed.
- Erlang can uses the “actor model” of concurrency, which maps really well into the hardware domain. It’s used for the backend of apps like WhatsApp. More info at http://www.erlang-embedded.com/
- Chris had spend the day at the London Science Museum. It was fantastic!
- Omer has worked with a few hardware companies in the past, including doing work on large manufacturing operations in China.
- Now Omer is the CTO and Chief Hacker at Den Automation.
- Nothing replaces being able to sit next to each other during development.
- While in China last time, Omer tried talking to big semi with mixed results. It was easier to get a few chips in the market as an experiment.
- Omer has talked about access to chips in the past at OSHUG.
- The main problem with intelligent devices is interoperability. How do you get multiple devices to talk to one another without loads of software?
- Setting standards aren’t the answer, there was a relevant XKCD about that very topic.
- Usually it’s companies saying “use ours!” and this only rarely actually works out in the end (like Motorola with SPI)
- The National Microelectronics Institute (NMI) will host a talk in May, falongside BCS (British Computing Society) and OSHUG. The event is called the NMI Open Source Conference.
- Open source can be something people hide behind and use as an excuse for mediocrity in their products.
- The company was started by Yasser, now only 20ish years old! They raised 500K of seed funding
- We put a chip in it!
- The Den Automation devices will be a connected wall switch and socket, along with a couple of auxiliary helper devices. Sockets in the UK have switches on them as well. At first they will only be making UK based devices.
- Each socket/plug will have power consumption monitoring and also will allow the user to “label” which device is plugged into it.
- The problem is that they are building the entire socket/switch from scratch. This means lots of regulatory hurdles. The British standards must be passed, as well as CE for RF.
- Den already is utilizing a PLM because of the impending regulation process.
- The decision to move production to China should not be taken lightly. There was a Wired UK series on production there.
- The initial funding for the project was raised on Seedrs, they are are raising a second round now.
- See more about the project at http://getden.co.uk/
- Omer has given another talk about IOT called “The IOT Hardware Kerfuffle“
Many thanks to Omer for talking about the connected device market and doing manufacturing with a small team! It turned into a constructive conversation about getting products to market.
Don’t forget about the tiny market down in the southern hemisphere, with our 240V AU plugs.