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Friday Links

Gentle Reader,

Since joining Berg in January 2010, I have written 30 blog posts on the Berg London blog. This is my first and shall be my last entry on the BergCloud blog, since today is my last day as Studio Manager. New adventures await me, but I shall leave you with a little taste of what’s been grabbing the attention of my esteemed colleagues (whom, it must be said, I shall miss terribly) over the last week or two.

I have been having a great time experimenting with this play-in-your-browser theremin that Adam alerted us to.

Joe found this collection of gifs made to look 3D by simply adding a vertical white line or two.

Andy brought to our attention this nifty door. (Shame about the creaky floorboards…)

And because the studio list has frankly been a little quiet lately (we’ve been BUSY and preoccupied), I’m going to round this out by stealing a couple of links that came over the Twitters from former Bergians.

Via Simon Pearson, a first edition tiny engineer superhero emergency kit for all those times when you desperately need a 1KOhm resistor to fix an amplifier at a party. The kit was made by another friend of Berg, Saar Drimer.

And finally, via Tom Armitage, a very cool Arduino thing: using a piano keyboard as a controller for an XBox360.

It’s been real, y’all. Enjoy your Friday and peace out!

—Kari

Friday Links

Being told, “Durrell, it’s your turn to do Friday links”, reminds me of being the uncool teenager queuing to get in to a club in 1980.

There’s no point in pretending I know the cool and interesting web links, so instead…

I loved a small exhibition by Barber Osgerby at the Design Museum called In The Making. It shows the beautiful half-formed stages of products being manufactured, and followed up my curiosity with videos of the processes in action. It reminds me of Corneilia Parker’s Embryo Firearms.

The other thing that keeps bouncing around in my head (and keeps me up late at night) is the possibility of bringing drawing to life in Algodoo. I think the aesthetic potential of this program is amazing despite all the examples looking like school experiments in a physics class.

—Durrell

Friday Links

Last week’s redux of Friday links ended with a tube map, so I’ll start this week’s with one…

A map of London cafes near tube stations.

A somehow not rapidly cooling cup of coffee

…followed by a slightly less useful but ever-so-pretty video. Here is an in-depth explanation and wonderful render of the pale blue dot we live on, accompanied by the music of Zoë Keating.

If you’re looking to extract some data from places on the web you frequent and are lamenting the demise of RSS, Kimono might be able to help.

Given Bieber’s infamy this week you may have already seen this, but if you have a webcam (and who doesn’t nowadays?) you can stick Justin’s or the Queen’s face on your own with this Face substitution demo.

The Jade Rabbit on the lunar surface

Ending on an incredibly sad note, the Chinese lunar rover Yutu suffered a rather crippling problem and can’t enter sleep mode to survive the freezing -40° night on the dark side of the moon. It live blogged it’s final moments.

—Adam

Friday Links are Back!

We’re kicking Friday links off again! (I know, it’s Monday… I have no excuse). So, as an introduction, here are some interesting links that were floating around the office mailing list this last week.

Illusion songs — A collection of auditory illusions found in indigenous folk practices, popular music, and scientific research.

3D Printable kids’ book — Leo the Maker Prince is a twee tale about a Brooklyn-based engineer-in-training named Diana, and Leo, a 3-D printer robot that transforms her drawings into functional objects.

Japanese Bike Storage

Incredible paper sculptures

Little Printer in Selfridges

Clearleft’s Chune

And, as I like to do at the end of Friday links, this week (well, today) I’ve mostly been listening to ‘An auditory tribute to Harry Beck’s Underground map, the skeleton which has long lent shape to the city in the minds of Londoners. Here, sounds were collected from along London’s canals and lesser rivers. Completed in March 2012.’

Until next time…

—Alex

BERG Raises $1.3m Round and Announces Public Launch of BERG Cloud

We’re taking funding to make the technology, services and design thinking behind Little Printer available to everyone.

London, UK – 28th October 2013

BERG Cloud is the world’s friendliest and most complete platform for connected devices; secure, stable and extendable – and now available to everyone. BERG’s London-based team has scaled the proven platform and technology behind Little Printer to offer a complete suite of integrated hardware and services for the development of web-connected products.

According to the recent Cisco ‘Internet of Everything’ report, total corporate profits from connected devices globally will be in excess of $613 Billion in calendar year 2013. Our research shows that of the design and technology Kickstarter projects successfully funded for over $0.5m, 30% were for connected devices.

Whether you’re an individual maker, a college or campus, or an established product company, BERG Cloud is perfect for easy experimentation and product development, and for outsourced infrastructure when in production.

BERG Cloud will help you reduce the cost of invention and increase speed to market, making it simpler and cheaper to prototype and develop your own web-connected products.

Matt Webb, CEO of BERG said,

“Our mission with BERG Cloud is to make it as easy to develop hardware as it is to develop for the web. BERG Cloud provides solutions to the common problems of connected devices, allowing you to focus on what matters: product innovation and delightful user experience. We built this platform to make it easier for our own designers to invent and operate connected products themselves. Now we are making it available to everyone.”

In launching BERG Cloud, the company is transitioning from globally renowned design consultancy to fully-fledged technology company. In doing so BERG is proud to announce it has received investment from Connect Ventures, Initial Capital and Index Ventures.

BERG Cloud is the cloud-based ‘Platform as a Service’ (PaaS) behind Little Printer. Integrate it into your product using BERG Cloud Devshields, our custom-designed prototyping hardware that completed beta testing over the summer.

BERG Cloud Devshields require a BERG Cloud Bridge for connectivity and are compatible with Arduino, Raspberry Pi and ARM mbed. Each Devshield costs £20 / $32 ex tax and P&P.

The BERG Cloud Devkit comprises two Devshields and one BERG Cloud Bridge, and is available for just £80 / $129 ex tax and P&P.

Both are available October 31st from http://www.bergcloud.com

Images of the BERG Cloud Devshields and Devkit contents are available from http://cl.ly/3F06072U3W1a

For more info: http://www.bergcloud.com/media/

— ENDS —

About BERG

BERG has been developing products and inventing the future since 2005. Their base near Old St in London is at the heart of the cluster of tech and product companies known as Tech City, or more affectionately Silicon Roundabout.

BERG began life as a design consultancy working with clients including Google, Intel, Bonnier and Dentsu, and in 2012 was named by Fast Company as one of the world’s 50 most innovative companies.

BERG later self-funded and launched its own connected consumer product, Little Printer. Launched to great acclaim in December 2012, Little Printer has charmed and delighted families and social media addicts with its cute demeanour and handy functionality.

Little Printer was shortlisted for the Designs of the Year award by the London Design Museum in 2013.

BERG Cloud is the world’s friendliest and most complete platform for connected devices; a secure, stable and extendable operating system, developer tools and hardware for rapid prototyping, making it as easy and cost-effective to develop connected products as it currently is to develop for the web.

http://www.bergcloud.com

For further information:
Mark Cridge mark@bergcloud.com

BERG and Fabrica announce ‘Sandbox’

Treviso, Italy and London, UK – May 16th, 2013

BERG AND FABRICA ANNOUNCE ‘SANDBOX’

- A global collaborative prototyping and research program

BERG, the London-based creators of Little Printer, are excited to welcome Fabrica, the Benetton Group’s communication research center based in Treviso, Italy, as the launch partner for Sandbox – a collaborative research and development program for the prototyping and creation of a new generation of connected products and services.

Sandbox is a global program for academic and industry partners, based on BERG Cloud, the world’s friendliest and most complete Internet of Things and connected products platform. Sandbox comprises a campus-wide BERG Cloud network, dev boards, and product invention workshops enabling each partner organisation to prototype and develop their own connected products.

From their Italian headquarters, a seventeenth century villa restored and enlarged by Tadao Ando, Sandbox will allow Fabrica to work with their own researchers, partners and clients to prototype connected objects, spaces and experiences, as media, arts, government, retail, healthcare, community, built environment and other sectors continue to be transformed by communications technologies.

Dan Hill, CEO of Fabrica said “Sandbox is a unique opportunity for Fabrica’s researchers to imagine and prototype how these new connected objects and spaces will begin to radically change the way we live, work, play, organise and communicate. Going beyond the hype around ‘smart cities’ and Internet of Things, we are layering these technologies over our wonderful building to create a unique, open demonstrator – to help both us and our clients understand what it truly means to live and work with these exciting possibilities.”

As BERG opens Sandbox up to more partners over the summer, each is able to opt to share their experiences and insights with each other via quarterly round-tables. Partners are actively encouraged to show-and-tell their work and experience, and potentially collaborate together on connected products which make use of BERG Cloud.

Matt Webb, CEO of BERG said “Sandbox is a unique global collaborative effort that will link the sharpest and most inquisitive creative minds with BERG Cloud the friendliest and most complete platform for connected products.”

This collaboration with BERG recognises once again Fabrica’s role in exploring new approaches and possibilities in the creative use of technology, confirming the long tradition of interactive projects developed by the centre since its foundation in 1994.

– ENDS –

Download images of Fabrica and the BERG Cloud Dev Kit from http://cl.ly/0g0D3s0x433v

-About BERG-

BERG have been developing products for the future since 2003 from their base near Old St at the heart of the cluster of tech and product companies around Tech City and Silicon Roundabout.

BERG’s first connected consumer product Little Printer, launched to great acclaim in December 2012 and was recently shortlisted in the Design of the Year competition at the Design Museum in London.

BERG Cloud is the world’s friendliest and most complete Internet of Things and connected products platform – a secure, stable and extendable operating system, hardware platform and developer tools, making it as easy and cost-effective to develop connected products as it currently is to develop for the web.

www.bergcloud.com

-About FABRICA-

Fabrica is the communication research centre of Benetton Group. It was created in 1994 with the aim of combining culture with industry and offering young people from around the world an opportunity for creative growth and multicultural, multidisciplinary interaction.

Fabrica invites young artists and designers to its centre, offering them a one-year residency and providing them with a training opportunity and a wealth of resources and relations, by working on real projects for a wide range of clients. The young researchers develop cultural and social communication projects in the areas of design, visual communication, photography, interaction, video, music and publishing, working with Fabrica’s full-time faculty.

www.fabrica.it

-For further information:-

BERG
Mark Cridge
Ph: +44 7968 592550
mc@bergcloud.com

FABRICA
Angela Quintavalle
Ph: +39 0422 516209
angie@fabrica.it

BERG announces release of the BERG Cloud Dev Kit

London, 18th April 2013

BERG announces release of the BERG Cloud Dev Kit

BERG are excited to announce the launch of the BERG Cloud Dev Kit, the easiest way to prototype and build digitally connected consumer products, lowering the cost of invention and accelerating time to market.

The BERG Cloud Dev Kit should be the first choice for all makers, hardware start-ups and consumer product companies as the easiest way to quickly prototype and produce connected products for the home and business. BERG Cloud is perfectly suited to a one-off prototype, as the backbone of your next Kickstarter project, and finally as the platform powering your product when you go to market.

Matt Webb, CEO of BERG (@genmon) said, “The BERG Cloud Dev Kit is the latest step in our mission to make developing connected hardware products as easy and cost-effective as developing for the web.”

Twitter UK (@twitteruk) are the first company to make use of the BERG Cloud Dev Kit to quickly create a connected product.

#FLOCK is a unique and very limited edition set of connected cuckoo clocks, the first of which will be awarded to a trusted Twitter partner today, Thursday 18th April, at the #Twitter4Brands event at Tate Modern.

Each #FLOCK is wirelessly connected using the BERG Cloud Dev Kit, which enables the configuration and control of the birds’ behaviour to happen in the Cloud, with remote choreography via a Twitter account. Retweets, ‘@’ messages and new followers will all affect the clock in different ways.

The BERG Cloud Dev Kit comprises two Dev Boards and one Bridge.

Each Dev Board is compatible with both the Arduino and Raspberry Pi, delivering out of the box access to our suite of secure BERG Cloud OS services including messaging, user management, claiming and Web API access.

Find out more at: http://bergcloud.com/devkit

Download photos of #FLOCK here: http://cl.ly/2N1c2v0G0s2H

Watch Twitter’s video on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Haq4oP3B4rE&feature=youtu.be

Download the press release (PDF)

BERG Ship Little Printer

London, 30th November 2012

BERG, the London product invention and design studio, began shipping the hugely anticipated Little Printer, a smart printer for the home, to customers. Little Printer scours the Web on the owner’s behalf, assembling their interests into delightful, personalised miniature newspapers, printed only two inches across.

With content uniquely customised for each user, and the easy Little Printer publishing platform, publishers can reach users directly in their homes in an inventive and highly engaging form.

Little Printer content partners include the following:

  • The Guardian – News headlines: The latest news, customised according to interest, delivered precisely when the reader wants
  • Google – Integration with Google Tasks: Schedule a daily to-do list. Subsequent print-outs are updated as tasks are completed
  • foursquare – Friend and location data and recommendations: If you’re heading out for the evening. schedule Little Printer to deliver a timely list of your friends’ locations just before you leave. Or get regular restaurant recommendations based on your location
  • Arup – A collectable mini-series publication, cataloguing Arup’s renowned building projects such as the Sydney Opera House and the London Zoo Penguin Pool

Other publications include daily weather reports, horoscopes, and puzzles. Weekly birthday reminders, handy for keeping on the fridge or in the user’s wallet, are printed from Facebook. Other brands working with BERG on publications include The Times (London) and the BBC.

The second production run of Little Printers will begin shipping in July 2013.

Press release: Little Printer pre-orders, 14 August 2012 (PDF)

Read the launch announcement: 29 November 2011

Download the Publisher’s Handbook (PDF)

For press and media enquiries please contact us. For images, logos and further information about BERG, please see the links to the right.

Announcing Little Printer and BERG Cloud

Hi. I’m Matt Webb from BERG, a design studio in London, UK. We specialise in product invention. Quick intro! With Bonnier, we were behind Mag+ (the first magazine platform for the iPad). And recently, with Warren Ellis and Matt Brooker, we published SVK, a comic printed in invisible ink.

For the past year we’ve been working on our new product — and we’re delighted and excited to be able to take the wraps off at last!

Today we’re announcing Little Printer.

Little Printer lives in your front room and scours the Web on your behalf, assembling the content you care about into designed deliveries a couple of times a day.

You configure Little Printer from your phone, and there’s some great content to choose from — it’s what Little Printer delivers that makes it really special. We have an incredible group of launch partners, and in the run-up to shipping we’re working with them all on custom publications.

Our launch partners are Arup, foursquare, Google, the Guardian, and Nike. Thanks guys, it’s great to do this together.

We love physical stuff. Connecting products to the Web lets them become smarter and friendlier – they can sit on a shelf and do a job well, for the whole family or office – without all the attendant complexities of computers, like updates or having to tell them what to do. Little Printer is more like a family member or a colleague than a tool.

Plus paper is like a screen that never turns off. You can stick to the fridge or tuck it in your wallet. You can scribble on it or tear it and give it to a friend.

Little Printer will be available in 2012. Check out the website, and sign up to the email list if you’d like to know when pre-orders open.

Little Printer printing out

We’re actually making two announcements today.

Underlying Little Printer is our new technology for connecting and controlling wireless products in the home, and we call it BERG Cloud.

Little Printer’s brain isn’t on a chip in its body, but on the Web where it can reach out and touch other Web-enabled services, and where we can provide updates and improvements without you having to install anything.

In your front room, Little Printer wirelessly connects (with no configuration) to a small box that plugs into your broadband router. It’s this same box that will enable our other planned products in the BERG Cloud family. There’s no PC required, your phone is your remote control.

We think of BERG Cloud as the nervous system for connected products. It’s built to run at scale, and could as easily operate the Web-enabled signage of a city block, as the playful home electronics of the future. Not to mention the smart product prototypes that we work with our clients on, in the other side of our design studio.

So that’s what we’re announcing today: Little Printer and BERG Cloud.

Both are the distillation of everything we’ve learned working with some incredible clients here at BERG, and over the years on our own projects. How to make technology – and it’s difficult, cutting-edge technology – that you’d want to invite into your home, and products that bring delight. We’re enormously pleased to share this with you.

It’s the beginning of the journey, and I hope you’ll be with us the whole way. We’ll be sharing stories as Little Printer makes its way through manufacture and assembly, packaging and warehousing, new content development and new features, and all the way to beta product and beyond.

Thanks for stopping by, and we hope to see you again soon!