TechBash 2018

Featured

This year I will be presenting Enable IoT with Edge Computing and Machine Learning at TechBash. Here is the outline:

Being able to run compute cycles on local hardware is a practice predating silicon circuits. Mobile and Web technology has pushed computation away from local hardware and onto remote servers. As prices in the cloud have decreased, more and more of the remote servers have moved there. This technology cycle is coming full circle with pushing the computation that would be done in the cloud down to the client. The catalyst for the cycle completing is latency and cost. Running computations on local hardware softens the load in the cloud and reduces overall cost and architectural complexity.

The difference now is how the computational logic is sent to the device. As of now, we rely on app stores and browsers to deliver the logic the client will use. Delivery mechanisms are evolving into writing code once and having the ability to run that logic in the cloud and push that logic to the client through your application and have that logic run on the device. In this presentation, we will look at how to accomplish this with existing Azure technologies and how to prepare for upcoming technologies to run these workloads.

 

Announcing – Atlanta Medical Hackathon

Finally, the Atlanta Medical Hackathon will have its inaugural hack October 19th-20th. It will be held at the Pediatric Technology Center at Georgia Tech. The hackathon is open to students and graduate students focusing on information technology or medicine.

Medicine and technology go hand in hand but professionals of each speak a different language. The professions have different workflows, different standards, and different needs. The Atlanta Medical Hackathon plans to bring students from those different professions together to learn how to work with one another and remove the current barriers that exist.

The challenges of the hackathon are as follows:

  • Navigating Healthcare – Patients have great difficulty knowing where to get the care they need at the right time. Part of the challenge comes with having an incredibly complex health care delivery system. To help patients, create new tools to improve patients navigate through the health care system and obtain access to community based care, wellness programs, and other ancillary services that support individuals improve their health.
  • Transparency in Healthcare – Transparency, whether cost, data, or anything else, has been a great issue in health care. Without information patients cannot make the right decisions on treatments, doctors, or labs/imaging amongst a long list of other things such as wait times. Tackle problems in data transparency to allow for patients to discover what medical information is around them (providers, insurance acceptance, pricing, wait times, etc.). Solutions should consider open access and HIPPA compliance.
  • Accessible Healthcare – Patients need to be supported by tools that will educate and empower them to make the right lifestyle choices and help them stick to their treatment plans. They get some information from their physicians or other sources but a single source would dispel a lot of mixed messages and help patients follow suit with decisions that support a health life. Create a solution that allow patients to make better health decisions allowing for self-management of disease and condition and to know when to contact their medical provider. Think creatively on how to change patients’ thinking from “The doctor will see you now” to “The patient will see you now”,
  • Medical Imaging – Create innovative solutions using imaging technologies and data analytics to provide better patient care.
  • Transitioning to Adult Healthcare – Changing doctors is never easy. When you’re a teenager new to advocating for your own health care, or one who has a chronic illness like diabetes or cystic fibrosis, it can be even more challenging to make the transition. Create new tools to assist pediatricians, family physicians, and internists to support all adolescents, including those with special health care needs, as they transition to an adult model of health care.

Music City Code – IoT with Mobile

This year I will be at Music City Code presenting Configure, Control, and Manage IoT with Mobile.

Configure, Control, and Manage IoT with Mobile

Abstract

The internet of things allows for communication with devices through various means (without touch, mouse, keyboard, or a screen). Mobile devices give users a dynamic interactive experience with these devices by communicating over several different wireless protocols or through the cloud. In this presentation, we will see how to use Xamarin to create a cross platform mobile application to control devices of all shapes and sizes. After this presentation, attendees should be able to create a basic mobile application and have that application communicate with peripherals over Bluetooth and the cloud.

Description

This presentation is to showcase creating mobile applications with Xamarin and how those applications can interact with both off the shelf and with custom hardware. First, we will create a Xamarin Forms application; for iOS, Android, and Windows; that will interact with both Microsoft Azure and Bluetooth Low Energy to create an interactive experience with the hardware and the cloud. To get a better understanding, we will discuss mobile communication with the cloud and hardware to get a picture of how mobile can act as a bridge between the two.

 

Third Annual Internet of Things Startup Showcase

Join the Greater Atlanta Internet of Things at the Third Annual Internet of Things Startup Showcase on May 15th at Atlanta Tech Park.

We will host tables for IOT Startups, Innovation Teams, Companies and Hobbyists to show their IOT products and services.

12:00 pm to 5:00 pm – Atlanta Tech Park will host an open house for IOT members to learn about the ATP facility and its services to its members.

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm – Tech Connect Hub will host a Session on Collaboration between Startups and Corporate Teams

6:00 pm – Showcase will include tables for demonstrating IOT solutions for startups, hobbyists, Innovation Teams and Companies.

6:00 pm – Seminar for Startups and Sponsors to pitch their IOT Solutions (details will be forthcoming)

8:00 pm – Wrapup

Tables are still available
Sponsorships are available
Thanks to Atanta Tech Park http://www.atlantatechpark.com

http://ow.ly/xHLU30jHrt0

Mixed3d Scans

About four days ago Lamar and I went to Mixed3D to get some scans done for his birthday.  They have an interesting booth filled with Raspberry Pis that generate a 3D model. They also offer to print those 3D models in full color using sandstone (which we took them up on).  From the scans we picked 2 that best fit the theme of the day and were most usable in Lamar’s Unity projects.

Also, Adam got one done to use around the office

IRIS Conference

April 14th is the Integrative Research and Ideas Symposium (IRIS) hosted by the UGA Graduate-Professional Student Association. I will be speaking on three separate topics at the event:

  • Virtual Reality and IoT – Interacting with the Changing World
  • Enable IoT with Edge Computing and Machine Learning
  • Alternative Device Interfaces and Machine Learning

More than that though I look forward to hearing about the innovations and research provided by the graduate students and professionals at UGA. Here is their synopsis of IRIS:

The UGA Graduate-Professional Student Association is proud to announce IRIS 2018, a unique and exciting opportunity for students and other researchers from throughout the UGA community. 

This initiative’s focus on community-building, cross-pollination of ideas, transferrable skills, and service will:

  • Provide an excellent opportunity to enhance research communication skills and present research to an interdisciplinary audience. 
  • Expose students to cutting-edge scholarship, industry professionals, and rich professional development opportunities.
  • Help attendees refine the content and language of their C.V.’s and resumés through career workshops. 
  • Encourage shared scholarship, research, and service.
  • Equip attendees with new knowledge and skills which can strengthen teaching, learning, and career outcomes. 
  • Empower attendees to translate skills and research interests into career competencies. 

Azure Global Bootcamp Atlanta

This year will be the 4th annual Azure Global Bootcamp in Atlanta. If you don’t know about Azure Global Bootcamp here is their snippet:

Welcome to Global Azure Bootcamp! All around the world user groups and communities want to learn about Azure and Cloud Computing!

On April 21, 2018, all communities will come together once again in the sixth great Global Azure Bootcamp event! Each user group will organize their own one day deep dive class on Azure the way they see fit and how it works for their members. The result is that thousands of people get to learn about Azure and join together online under the social hashtag #GlobalAzure!

Join hundreds of other organizers to help out and be part of the experience! Check out the different locations worldwide and if there is no location near you, why not organize one?

I will be leading off the IoT track after the Keynote. All around there is an amazing line up of speakers and it looks to be a great experience for both developers and decision makers. There are a limited number of seats so don’t waste time waiting to sign up.

Home Control Flex Major Release

After nearly a year of hard work, the Home Control Flex application has finally reached a new release point. There have been major improvements around the use of Xamarin Forms and the use of mobile features. There were major changes around framework dependencies and utilization of navigation pages.

The major problems in the previous version was poor usage of navigation pages, dependencies on old frameworks, and lack of sharing of global resources. Adding all of these failures together resulted in an unstable application that crashed on multiple pages. Fixes to those crashes were a slow roll out of shims and hacks to keep the previous decisions working.

The largest problem was the poor usage of navigation pages. For some reason, to implement a tabbed page where the tabs were at the bottom on Android, the previous developers decided to use a ContentPage, and make the tab pages within the ContentPage  ContentViews and swap those views out whenever a tab was changed. This caused almost every major problem that could not be resolved in the app moving forward. To fix it, the BottomNavigationBarXF Nuget packages was used. The base renderer was overridden to implement some custom functionality but overall it was a clean integration or at least as clean as such a big overhaul to the navigation system can handle.

Since the pages were being swapped out whenever a tab was changed, the previous developers mush have decided that instead of needing navigation pages, they would just continue to change the view out and have their own navigation stack. Without using NavigationPage within their app, the page lifecycle was completely off and the were object disposed exceptions that were being thrown by the Forms framework due to the fact that the views lifecycle was not correctly managed. Xamarin Forms couldn’t track whether a view was to be reused or not and would collect on disappeared views that were going to come back later. Once NavigationPage was used this was no longer a problem.

When I inherited the app there were multiple frameworks being used in the application. It seemed to have a javascript approach where a framework may be brought in for some partial functionality or even a single method. Xamarin Forms Labs was the biggest offender when I inherited the app. The previous developers had referenced it to use it for one control and two converters. Once it was removed, the application was much more light weight on disk. At the time it was removed there was no noticeable performance gain but that was most likely due to the lack of utilization within the app and the fact that I had only been with the app for a month.

This app was riddled with copy and paste code reuse. Every page shared the same Style declaration with the same name (which was the style for that page). Every page had a declaration of a Converter for inverting a boolean. All these “shared” resources were moved to the App.XAML for reuse by every page within the application.

After fixing the above issues, changing a variety of pages within the app, and adding a load of new features, the app should finally be a stable release with market effects that was expected out of its first release. I hope to continue to improve on the line of applications from Telular including this app.

CodeStock

I’m proud to be presenting Alternative Device Interfaces and Machine Learning at CodeStock this year. With AI becoming more and more ubiquitous, it is important to note the effect on a user’s experience. This presentation is meant to show how to create modern applications using machine learning provided by a third party and showcase what some third parties provide.

In this presentation, we will look at the how users interface with machines without the use of touch. These different types of interaction have their benefits and pitfalls. To showcase the power of these user interactions we will explore: Voice commands with mobile applications, Speech Recognition, and Computer Vision. After this presentation, attendees will have the knowledge to create applications that can utilize voice, video, and machine learning.

Users use voice (Alexa, Cortana, Google Now) or video as a mode of interaction with applications. More than a fad, this is a natural interface for users and is becoming more and more common with the ever-decreasing size of hardware.

Different types of interaction have their benefits and pitfalls. To showcase the power of these user interactions we will explore: Voice commands with two app types: UWP and Xamarin Forms (iOS and Android). Speech Recognition with Cognitive Services: Verifying the speaker with Speaker Recognition API. Computer Vision with Cognitive Services: Verifying a user with Face API.

By utilizing UWP, Xamarin, and Cognitive services; a device with the ultimate in customization for user interactions will be created. Come and see how!