Wrapping up Picnic after day 3

Today the last day of Picnic 2008. I can’t report on any highlights today, so I will take the change to do some overall wrapping up and drawing some conclusions of Picnic 2008.

Before doing so, I have to be honest; it was not all bad this friday. I had a good time at the service design lab in the morning and discovered the similarities between our work at Info.nl of designing online services and the design of service concepts in the broader – process driven – way. I think it is a good initiative to start the Service Design Network in the Netherlands and I will follow them closely.

The presentation of Metaio on augmented reality added some examples to the theme of thursday on the internet of things. And I should mention the talk of Jim Stolze on virtual happiness he is going to investigate; a real interesting topic.

But now for some wrapping up…

If I should distill a central theme of this Picnic it will be the reconnection of the virtual world to the real world. In different levels. We can see that the developments the last years dealt with the possibilities of the online world, social media etc. But now we see there is a reconnection to the physical world:

  • the drive to visualize the virtual data. Visualizations are everywhere in the conference. And there where some nice ones.
  • with the internet of things. Literally with the Nabaztag and Nike+, and also more abstract in the urban impulses.
  • the emphasize on the connecting devices, in first instance the mobile. With or without augmented functions.
  • And just like the other years; the IRL meet-ups outside the conference where as important as the conference itself.
    Despite the lack of real new insights, the Picnic conference fulfilled it’s role to be the inspiring centre of cross-over online media again.

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    I am a design director at Structural. I curate and organize ThingsCon Netherlands and I am chairman of the Cities of Things Foundation. Before I was innovation and strategy director at tech and innovation agency INFO, visiting researcher and lab director at the Delft University of Technology coordinating Cities of Things Delft Design Lab.

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