For those that program (or are learning to program), the convention is that one's first program is called "Hello World," where, as the name implies, the quest is to get the display (whatever it may be) to show "Hello World." In this case, this is my first blog as the Community Manager for Intel® RealSense technology. I step into this role, taking over for the wonderful Bob Duffy, who is moving on to the roll of being the manager of community managers. That said, it felt like, similar to meeting someone at a party, it would be useful for me to give a quick background of myself, explain a little bit about why I'm so excited, and then, get to the important stuff: The #GDC2014 Party Cheat Sheet!
My 3 minute Bio
I grew up in a small town in Connecticut, graduated from the US Naval Academy with a BS in Physics, did my grad-work through the Navy on Nuclear Engineering so I could serve as a nuclear submarine officer (as a point of trivia, I'm a plank owner of the USS Santa Fe, SSN-763). From there I did a shore duty reporting the SEAL Delivery Team ONE (SDVT-1) to serve as a program manager for about $50 million in construction projects - it was a great job. I left the Navy 1999 and joined a small semiconductor company as a PME (Product Marketing Engineer), then transitioned to being a Senior Analyst for a market research firm know as In-Stat. After for years of that, Intel hired me into the Embedded group (those things that use processors, but are not a server, computer, tablet, or smart phone), where I worked in various roles (my two favorites being the originator & technical lead behind the Intel® Chopper & running strategic marketing for http://ARK.intel.com). After learning my fill of the embedded space, I was able to join the software group where I worked on marketing for various communities before now transitioning into this role of being a Nerd Herder!
Why am I excited
Like many geeks (yes, my Twitter handle is *actually* @CaptGeek), I love science fiction. But I especially love it when science fiction starts to become science fact! One of my favorite scenes in all of the Star Trek franchise is this one:
Yes, I know there are critical flaw in term of the buttons he pushed & the reaction the computer had, plus the fact that "transparent aluminum" already exists & it's called sapphire, rubies, emeralds, etc. But I loved the scene because it so sharply contrasted how "we" (the folks of our time) interact with computers compared to how "they" the people in science fiction) do. Not once did you ever seen Spock, Hon Solo, or Capt Mal type on a keyboard? Not only did they tend to talk with their computers ("hellooo computer!" << that still cracks me up!), but they'd also tend to interact differently with them. Star Trek the Next Generation had Holodecks, Minority Report allowed Tom Cruz to wave his hands around, and even Babylon 5 (arguably THE most realistic science fiction show ever made) allow its characters to connect with the computer thanks to a little "communicator" on the back of their hands.
But the point is, we are ready for a change. We are ready for a quantum leap in the quality of computer interactions. That probably means a different approach. For those old enough to remember (see our #GrumpyOldCoders meme on Facebook), coders used to program computers with punchcards (and even more painful approaches before that). Then there was the keyboard & display, which WAS a huge upgrade & eventually the GUI (Graphical User Interface) that we are all familiar with today. But the next stage will be RealSense (formerly known as Perceptual computing) - allowing things like your facial expressions, your hands, your voice directly interface with the computer to get it to do what you want. Which, in the end, is really what we all want. But, as it evolves, it may be able to tell when you are sad, or tired, and start to actually preemptively do things for you, like show you a cat picture, or suggest that you stand up & stretch. And this is where it gets really exciting - the point where the computer anticipates your needs and makes the quality of computer interactions improved by an order of magnitude. In essence, for those old enough to remember, cars of the future will be like KITT from Knight Rider, anticipating our needs & approaching the level of being a friend!
#GDC2014 Party Cheat Sheet
And this brings us full circle. In many ways, the job of a "Nerd Herder" is to be a friend to developers. So, as part of being a pal, here is a list of all the (free) parties that I've found relating to #GDC2014 if you are in the area. Of course, these are just things I've found. These are not parties sponsored by Intel & I have no "pull" to get anyone in if they sell out of tickets, so click the links early to improve your chances of getting in!
So, there you have it, my "Hello World," a little bit about me, why I'm excited to be in my new role, and a list of all the parties I've found. If you know of other great parties, feel free to add them in the comments below. If you're at GDC & want to connect - hit me on Twitter (@CaptGeek) because I use it a LOT when at trade shows! Or, if you want to connect in other ways, they are all listed here: http://About.Me/EricMantion
Let me know if you have any questions on the above and I look forward to getting to know the RealSense community much better in the future!