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Smart Objects on the Cheap: DIY Interactive Digital Exhibits
Library 2.011 Worldwide Virtual Conference (2011)
  • Jeremy W. Kemp, San Jose State University
  • Bernd W. Becker, San Jose State University
Interactive digital exhibits in libraries can cost $10,000 or more. These exotic installations are created by experts, often when the library is first constructed and do not change over time. Now several trends are converging that may allow libraries to offer interactive physical computing devices without spending large amounts of money and still engaging their patrons with the "Internet of Things."
The popularity of expositions such as the Maker Faire have generated a great deal of interest in using microcontroller kits to build technology enabled devices (known as smart objects or embedded computing).  Vibrant geek communities have developed around the perspective that we can be both the designers and users of the high-tech objects we interact with on a daily basis. This presentation will explore why there has never been a better time for librarians to bring homegrown, smart objects into a library or other information spaces.
The presentors will provide librarians a first look on the subject, and discuss potential applications of using microcontrollers in objects such as interactive installations. The presenters will share examples, illustrations, and narratives on designing and implementing smart objects in a library space. The cost of materials is low and the objects run on open-source code, which is supported by communities of online programmers. Anyone with a willingness to learn and explore their own creativity can be successful in this endeavor.
Publication Date
November, 2011
Publisher Statement
Link to recording (will download Blackboard Elluminate session)
Citation Information
Jeremy W. Kemp and Bernd W. Becker. "Smart Objects on the Cheap: DIY Interactive Digital Exhibits" Library 2.011 Worldwide Virtual Conference (2011)
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