Announcing Home Camp 4 “Hack the House”

It’s time for another event!

Home Camp brings together members of the technical community interested in using open systems and low-cost, often repurposed hardware to bring about a positive change in the way we use energy and appliances around the home.

With ever-increasing energy prices, the race is on to develop ways to utilise smart technology to help offset domestic energy consumption and lower carbon footprints.

Home Camp 4 invites those working with technology (software, hardware or web-based applications) to meet at an informal “unconference” in central London to offer presentations, workshops, mash-ups and hack sessions with the aim of sharing information and furthering the development of the open energy community.

Presentations this year will include the following provisional topics:

  • An Open Energy Monitor – Trystan Lea and Glyn Hudson
  • A Low Voltage DC Power System – Simon Daniel or Chris Wright, Moixa Technology
  • Nanode – an Open Hardware Success Story – Ken Boak, Arbour Wood Ltd.
  • Pachube – Open Data for Energy Monitoring  – Usman Haque, Pachube

The event will again take place at the Centre for Creative Collaboration, at 16 Acton Street, London, WC1X 9NG (nearest tube is 500m away at Kings Cross)
This bright, modern venue offers ideal facilities both for presentations and working in small groups.

Lunch will be provided in the form of a buffet. Refreshments, including tea, coffee, soft drinks and beer will also be available.

Provisional Schedule

Saturday 29th October
09:30  Open for refreshments and meet and greet
10:00  Keynote presentation
10:30  Presentation Slot 1 – To be decided on the day
11:00  Presentation Slot 2
11:30  Presentation Slot 3
12:00  Morning workshop session 1
13:00  Lunch
14:00  Regroup and arrange Unconference – session 1
15:30  Refreshments
16:00  Unconference session 2
18:00  Day 1 de-brief

For those staying in London there will be an evening pub visit :-)

Sunday 30th October
09:30  Open for refreshments and meet and greet
10:00  Hacksession
10:30  Presentation Slot 1 – To be decided on the day
11:00  Presentation Slot 2
11:30  Presentation Slot 3
12:00  Morning workshop session 1
13:00  Lunch
14:00  Regroup and arrange Unconference – session 1
15:30  Refreshments
16:00  Unconference session 2
18:00  Day 2 de-brief

The cost is £10 per day, or £17.50 for the full weekend (plus booking fees) – to include lunch and refreshments.
Due to the capacity/safety limits at C4CC the event is restricted to a total of 95 attendees.

Want to get involved? Get your tickets on Eventbrite!
Once you’ve signed up we also invite you to contribute to the crowdsourced Lanyrd event page.

September 1, 2011 at 2:46 pm 16 comments

HomeCamp 3 programme – last few tickets

If you are quick, there’s just a little more time to grab one of the last few tickets (around 20 as i post this) for the event in London next Monday afternoon and evening.

We’ve got (more-or-less) full details for you now. The event is going to be a little different to the previous two, with some pre-arranged tracks due to the shortened timeslot not providing quite so much scope for the unconference format to work.

Homecamp 3 Presentation Track
4:00 – Registration
4:30 – Welcome and Introduction: James Governor, Co‐founder Redmonk
4.45 – Presentation Track: 3 speakers
6:15 – Break
6:30 – Presentation Track: 2 speakers
7:45 – Closing presentation
8:00 – Pub :-)

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Chris Dalby: Lead Software Developer, Current Cost
  • Andy Piper: WebSphere Messaging Community Lead @ IBM
  • Usman Haque: Pachube
  • AMEE: James Smith: Lead Developer, Clients & Community @ AMEE

Mike’s GreenTech Spaces Spotlights

There will be a separate area with displays about GreenTech, HomeTech, HackSpaces & much more, run by MikeTheBee.

If you are creative, enjoy tech & automation or would like to meet up with those featured in Mike’s Podcast, this is your chance to get together, to socialise in a special space, to learn about what each does, the technology and how to create with it, to explore opportunities to collaborate for fun or the future. If you are a member of a group, please have someone bring info about your group for a display to represent your Space.

More Info
Beers & Pizza sponsored by Redmonk & Greenmonk – Thank You! :-)

Contact @mikethebee @yellowpark or @monkchips on Twitter if you want to know more…

December 8, 2010 at 10:34 pm 1 comment

HomeCamp 3 – it’s coming – sign up now!

An exciting couple of weeks in the HomeCamp community as the rumours began to circulate on Twitter that MikeTheBee had pushed things forward and found a venue for HomeCamp 3. Mike is the man behind the HomeCamp podcast, so if you weren’t already subscribed to that, you should check it out!


So here’s the big reveal: HomeCamp 3 will be on December 13th 2010, 4-8pm at the Centre for Creative Collaboration (C4CC) in London. There are suggestions of an evening social gathering as well…

Mike posted a short note about the event in a comment here on the blog. The full announcement is posted in the Google Group. If you’ve never been to the venue before, Mike says:

… it is an a place with a real  buzz, not for the building itself, which is intended to be ‘a blank canvas’ but for all the creative work going on in the corners. Electroluminescent clothing and Arduino controller being sewn in one corner, people bouncing on paving slabs to generate power in another, more Arduino’s controlling bits of a re-constructed piano awaiting it’s next performance, and there are always new surprises.

Sounds pretty cool! So, it’s all go. You can go ahead and sign up right now at the EventBrite page, and also track the event on the uber-cool new social conferences site, Lanyrd (you can also find HomeCamp 1 and HomeCamp 2 on Lanyrd as well, and add your coverage if you attended them).

While we’re in the mood, we’ve tidied up some of the web presences around the HomeCamp community, fixed the About page, the links in the blog sidebar have been updated to point at the current location of the wiki, Flickr group etc, and we’ll probably switch across to a funky new Facebook page (instead of a group) in the near future.

So – check out the discussions, follow the tweets, and most importantly, get your free ticket NOW. Looking forward to seeing you there!

December 2, 2010 at 4:06 pm Leave a comment

HomeCamp 3 and 4. #evilplans.

Hey Guys

I just wanted to touch base and let you know some plans I have, and to
make sure they won’t upset the community, which is of course the most
important HomeCamp asset.

I believe I mentioned to the group before that I think we can
professionalise HomeCamp – indeed it will be hard to sustain it
otherwise. Camps 1 and 2 were very time consuming for Chris and me to
organise. With Chris now employed by Current Cost, running events will
be even harder.

Clearly the community has a mind and a spirit of its own – mike the
bee stands out as a stalwart for his work on the podcasts and so on.

So here is the plan. I have spoken to Tinkerit about a partnership.
Georgina Voss is really great at all the admin and operations stuff I
am notably crap at. The idea is we will look to run HomeCamp3 in the
Autumn with a v similar format to the first two- with sponsorship
being a matter of beer and pizza. Aim for 100 people again.

But then in the Spring we’ll run the first “professional” HomeCamp -
aiming for 250 delegates, with significant sponsorship.

All things being equal that will be the basis for an ongoing event
series (which may also syndicate in the US), which will remain free to
you, will be more high profile, will include more policy work (such as
for example focusing on inclusiveness and smarter homes- how can we
help gran and grandad to run energy efficient homes and understand
what utilities are telling them?), more partners- folks such as Arqiva
and Greenwave reality, MS and GE, with any luck.

My proposal then it to keep it free for you all, make companies pay,
and hopefully foster and grow the HomeCamp community as we see more
and more lower power homes coming on stream.

Obviously there may be opportunities to share some of the proceeds -
thus for example if Mike The Bee is the ongoing podcast king, he
should get a bung.

Would love your thoughts and ideas. Perhaps a beer meetup soon to
discuss?

July 16, 2010 at 2:28 pm 8 comments

Home Camp news round up

April 5, 2010 at 10:43 am Leave a comment

Home Camp news roundup

  • A little bit of research here to remind you, in case you’d forgotten, that smart meters are BIG, and they’re only going to get bigger. If you like your reading long, dry and sub-divided then this is a helluva one stop shop for the latest on where smart meters are at.
  • Excuse me while I just wipe the drool off my chin, you can now check out what Intel *might* look like when it’s released to the grabbing hordes.
  • Interesting perspective on why Google’s PowerMeter is one of the shorter kids in the class. Still, slow-growth could be beneficial to working through the niggly little problems that usually come about with mass implementation.
  • Looks like the Aztech device will feature big in the US’s smart meter picture. Having read the brief article, I was expecting something a bit more whizzy than this. It was never going to be long before the smart meter boom resulted in the god, the bad, and the, well, a bit boring.
  • At the other end of the design spectrum, DIY Kyoto are hosting a competition to re-create the oh so sexy must-have-if-you-have-cash-to-flash Wattson. Deadline is 12th March. Get scribbling.
  • Watch out, your kids will soon all be smarty pants with the introduction of smart meters to all schools in the latest Government “carbon cutting” initiative.
  • Well, hello there, the latest BlueLine PowerCost monitor seems like a smart little fella – liking the appliance tab and predictive feature!
  • And another new kid on the block over in the USA, even though it’s still in beta the WattVision is already winning over followers. I like the fact that it skips the display part to go straight to your computer web browser or smart phone. Who needs extra clunk after all?
  • Coffee and chocolates, wine and cigarettes, roses and empty wallets, as if we needed Valentines day to remind us that the best things come in pairs. Well, it looks like the first outing of a pairing I’ve been waiting for has finally arrived. GEO’s Duet, the loved up coupling of gas and electricity monitoring, is being advertised to buy here.
  • The next step on the path to Google Energy has been taken. Beware and don’t say we didn’t warn you.
  • How do you visualise energy consumption? For some people even the length of time it takes to say home energy monitoring is enough to switch them off, so we should be paying attention to these cool ideas on how to make it just that bit more eye-catching.
  • Did you make it down to HackSpace for a look at how arduino fits into the home automation world? Well if you did, I hope you said “cheese”.
  • And just for kicks, check this out if you’ve made it to the end of the round up this month.

February 23, 2010 at 4:39 pm 1 comment

Home Camp news round up

Wow, you take your eye off the ball for a couple of weeks and the news just goes and snowballs (UK residents – no pun intended). So here’s the latest round up for anyone who, like me, is only just waking up to 2010 half way through January…

  • Over at the Guardian, Adam Vaughan has been finding PowerMeter easy to use if a bit of a shock to the system. Admittedly, seeing your electricity consumption on iGoogle at 8am on a cold winter morning might not be best way to start the day. But I’m with Adam on the big question – how can we start to share this data socially?
  • Europe has plans for a super grid linking renewable power supplies which could weather proof our future energy supply.
  • Over in the US and Canada, Oracle Utilities are touting for clients. A new report, ‘Testing the Water’, highlights consumer demand for more sophisticated information about their water use and water conservation. Smart meters could have a role to play here although utilities companies are unsurprisingly moving slowly due to concerns about the costs of implementation.
  • @andypiper tell’s us that Intel have been showcasing a glitzy Atom-powered home monitor system. I’ve got to say, from just a glance at the screen shots, I want one. Judging from the slavering comments on this page, everyone else pretty much agrees. Shame it’s all still in the dream sphere.
  • Grassroots home energy monitoring of the kind we HomeCampers love – Say hello to the Picowatt, a Wi-Fi enabled smart plug developed by Tenrehte Technologies that can provide just the same amount of consumption crunching love as you’d get from your smart meter
  • Meanwhile, UK start-up PassivSystems have launched their home automation system at CES Unveiled. By learning from your regular behaviour, PassivEnergy will automatically control your energy consumption so that it is more efficient, cheaper & carbon cutting.
  • The latest step on the path to Google world domination was taken with the announcement of Google Energy. Good Google says this is to help meet their corporate carbon reduction goals. But over on the other shoulder, Scary Google may be hatching evil plans to move into utilities, despite denials to the contrary. Anyone feeling complacent about Google’s increasingly godlike powers over our digital lives should read @benjaminellis’s blog about a week without Google.
  • And finally, if you haven’t already spotted it, check out the below blog post about the HomeCamp meetup tonight at the Windmill near Old Street.

January 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm 1 comment

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