electronica 2014

As part of the prize for winning the Forget Me Not Design Challenge, I was invited to attend electronica. It was a busy week, but here’s a summary of some of the highlights of my trip!

Monday 10/11

The day I was travelling to Munich. Even though the flight itself is only about 1h30, you quickly spend half a day travelling.

I started off by taking the train to the airport, getting checked in and through security. I arrived in Munich in the early afternoon, where the taxi driver was waiting for me.

After some trouble with the parking ticket, we finally managed to get on the way. About 45 minutes later, I arrived at the hotel, where I met Christian.

In the evening, I went to the element14/Farnell offices with Christian, which were not so far away from the hotel.

There was a briefing event on the trade show, with something to drink and to eat. I met the people that arranged my flight and taxi, and got to talk to many interesting people.

After the briefing event, we headed back to the hotel and got a good night of sleep, as we were expected to be ready to go at 7:45 the next morning!

Tuesday 11/11

Day 1 of electronica. After spending some time at the element14 booth, I started exploring the other booths and halls.

Electronica is BIG. I didn’t grasp how big it was until I visited a full hall and realised there were twelve in total!

The following picture gives you an idea of the size of a single hall:

photo 3

Somewhere in the afternoon, I received a text message from Christian asking if I could pass by the booth. I hurried back, expecting to meet one of the sponsors of the challenge (EnOcean, Tektronix, …), only to find out that my wife was sitting there chatting with Christian. Apparently, they had, in all secrecy, arranged for my wife to fly over for her to be able to attend the award ceremony on Wednesday. As I didn’t fully grasp what was happening at first, my first reaction when seeing her sitting there was “what are you doing here?!” in my best west-flemish (something like “wuk doej gie iere?!“).

We continued exploring electronica together for the rest of the day.

Wednesday 12/11

The big day. I had the pleasure of meeting some people from EnOcean before the award ceremony. We talked about my project and how I used their sensors.

My wife had made a photo album of the project, which made it easier to explain the different stages and components of the project.

There were originally two albums, but someone must’ve thought it was a freebie of some kind, because one of the albums disappeared …

Then came the time for the actual award presentation by Christian together with Markus Kreitmair from EnOcean.

Photo by EnOcean International

After the award presentation, we did a short interview. The award presentation and the interview are already available on youtube.

I’m not the greatest speaker, and even less so with a camera pointed towards me, but it looks like it turned out OK.

With the formalities done, I was then free to further explore electronica until it was time for my wife to catch the shuttle back to the airport, as she was working the next day.

At the end of the day, I headed back to the element14 booth, as they were having their “stand party” which involved music, food and beer (lots of it).

Thursday 13/11

The Robox 3D printer was on display that day. There were some example prints and some software and printing demonstrations.

It looks like an interesting printer and I’m curious to see what the road testers will think of it.

photo 3

Eben Upton also came by the booth. Christian had foreseen a duplicate of the award I received the day before so we could have it signed by Eben.

In the afternoon, there were some presentations on IoT security. One of the more interesting talks was by Kerry Maletsky from Atmel.

They have come up with a hardware solution called “CryptoAuthentication“. It looks promising and worth giving a try.

Friday 14/11

The last day of the show, also known as “student day”. It’s also the day that the element14 crew could swap the suits for more comfortable polo shirts.

It was clearly calmer that day compared to the previous days, which is not necessarily bad, as it was easier to walk around.

I spent some time at the booth that day and got the opportunity to talk about my project.

In the afternoon, the time came to say goodbye to electronica and the element14 crew, as I took the taxi to the airport and headed back home.

It’s been a great experience and I’m glad I got to be part of this. Thank you!

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