Back 2 making: the new philosophy to create connected devices
Wednesday, 03 April 2013
The cost of producing hardware has decreased dramatically. Now there’s no need of pouring lots of money in designing and creating connected devices, just a small team of individuals with complementary skills is able to create new ways of connecting things between them and to the Internet. At the laboratories of Telefónica R+D in Madrid, this is how prototypes are created.
Salvador Pérez, Xavier Capellades and Javier Zorzano call this paradigm “Back 2 making”. Production is turning digital thanks to the optimization of processes and the spread of the use of robotics, and this is changing the ways things are created.
The “new garages” where innovations are born now, have laser cutters, 3D printers and development stations.
With these tools and ingenuity and knowledge, any prototype can be manufactured. This is how Thinking Things were created. Just a handful of people were responsible for the creation of all the prototypes up to the final commercial version:
One of the pillars of the Back 2 making philosophy is enabling people to make their own connected devices easily, like Thinking Things or the Arduino GSM Shield, which Javier Zorzano used to create a chair that sends tweets and SMS whenever someone sits down. It’s just plugging the device, programming a very simple code and it is ready.
Manufacturers that want to implement intelligence in their production will benefit from open hardware and Arduino. These tools allow to implement connectivity in almost any object, but it is the Back 2 making philosophy the backbone of this laboratory, because it allows to spark innovation with creativity that is not bound to obstacles like costs or complex processes.