GBTN Spring Newsletter

It’s starting to look a bit like spring but for me I only call it spring when I see the robins on my front lawn and that has yet to happen, so come on robins! And yes I know people have seen Robins already nearby but they aren’t in my yard yet 🙂

We followed up our successful first meeting of 2018 with our first Tech Showcase, which was also the first official meeting at our new home in the offices of KP9.  The idea of the tech showcase came out of a parking lot conversation after our meeting with Georgian College last fall.  Matt Langeman suggested it and the idea stuck with me. Once we had a home base with the appropriate tech to have presentations I knew we had to have one.  It turned out to be our most attended event so far.  The first ever tech showcase featured presentations by Eric Busch and Aaron Mader.  Eric presented his product called datafeedr.  Datafeedr allows WordPress site developers/owners to easily setup an online shop which connects to datafeedr’s massive database of products (450,000,000 +!!). It automatically adds products to your online shop based on the user’s desired search criteria. It also automatically keeps products up to date with the latest pricing information. Lastly, it removes products from the user’s online shop if the product is no longer for sale.  Aaron’s presentation was of a photo sharing / story telling application that leveraged machine learning to categorize/organize photos which you could then associate with an audio recording.  The idea is to capture those times when you sat around a photo album with your parents/loved ones and stories about the photos were shared.  Aaron wants the audio capture to be unobtrusive to allow for those truly genuine stories and moments to be captured. It’s a work in progress for Aaron who took a 2 month sabbatical from his existing customer projects to focus on this very personal project.  The discussion around both presentations was filled with great questions and ideas.

We met again on March 20th at the library where we were given a demonstration of 2 technologies soon to be available in the library’s makerspace. The LulzBot Mini 3-D printer can print objects up to 6”x6”x6”.  Object design files, STL extension, are readily available from a number of online repositories. Should want to create your own you would need to have the 3D design exported to an STL file.   It’s not a fast machine and requires proper temperature settings but for the tinkerer looking to make a gift or prototype it’s certainly a great resource for the community. The Cricut is a smart cutting machine that will cut designs out of paper and fabrics.  It uses the Design Space app to load, edit and execute your designs. Patterns are readily available online.  I see this being very handy for the scrapbook/craft minded folks, library staff made some very nice cards during the demo. The library plans to have its makerspace in the auditorium along one wall.  The space will have workbenches and cabinets for storage.  You will be able to book time on the equipment after some instruction and training.  Thanks to Tim and the library staff for hosting us.

Our next meeting is on the calendar. We will meet Tuesday April 24, 2018 – 7pm at KP9 Interactive. Lynda Chiotti will be presenting on her work in User Experience Testing. As part of this presentation she is doing a case study on Aaron Mader’s software which he presented at the last tech showcase. Lynda attended our tech showcase in January and a number of us were very interested in learning more about her work in User Experience Testing so I hope that we have a full house for this exciting topic.

Looking forward there are a few other events on the horizon that are worth mentioning.

Tuesday April 3, 2018 – Grey County – Breakfast Mixer – Investing In Innovation

Wednesday April 25, 2018 – The Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre and the Bluewater Angels are proud to present: Mentor Mash!

I can’t wait for spring and I hope we see it and you at our meeting on April 24th.

Happy Easter!

Cheers, Mike



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