A tangible Lab 2018

https://ecosystem.iota.org/projects/iota

Warning:

  1. Anything that has to do with “Blockchain” is pretty hard to grasp for regular (especially non-IT) people
  2. People (especially Germans) tend to overthink projects and make it perfect in their minds first before they ever start actually doing anything

Tangible Distributed Ledger Technologies

Working with Distributed Ledger Technologies is one of the most exciting hobbies (that can turn into addictions quite fast), which you can have as of today. Every day there are new things to discover, developments that have been thought of being impossible a few weeks ago and a growing global community. After experimenting with Bitcoin, Ethereum Smart Contracts, voting based on NXT, blogging on Steemit, etc. IOTA has become our main passion, because it integrates the physical world like no other project so far. Avoiding a technical deep dive analysis on purpose here, it was such an adventure to connect sensor devices to the IOTA network and see your heart rate on the Tangle or connecting a weather sensor to check the surfing conditions for day…

A physical space to co-create

Since IOTA is open source, you do not have to ask anybody for permission to get started with your experiments. Using your own computer and Wifi at home or adding a Raspberry Pi your initial costs can be as low as 0–100€. This is absolutely great and there are more and more community driven projects every week. During our past projects and lots of productive MeetUps and discussions on (Slack now) Discord, within the IOTA Evangelist Network and with a few members of the IOTA Foundation, we came up with the idea to actually create a physical space to co-create and even add further value to the IOTA community: IOTA Lab.

Some people have a clear vision in their head how such an IOTA Lab would could like, others start asking questions about what, when and why and some people don’t know at all what we are talking about here. And this, besides the motivation that we want to see if we can actually do this, should be the main and sole reason to do this project: to make it tangible in way that everyone can walk into a space, where he is able to see, touch, take pictures and experience IOTA and what it can actually do in the real world! (You could also approach such a project by endless, exhausting arguments, overpriced presentations, take this through budget processes and political evaluations for ever, sucking all the initial joy out of it and open the first Lab either in a few years or even never)

We have a lot ideas already what we want in our perfect space for every IOTA fan, dev or evangelist. Here is a list of things that came up during a few brain storm sessions:

  • Raspberry Pi, Arduino, ESP32
  • Physical Full (Perma) Nodes
  • Workstation (Display, Docking Station, Keyboard, Mouse, Chair, Locker)
  • Meeting Room (Team Meeting, MeetUp, etc.)
  • Tech Room, something like a Maker Space that has all the required tools
  • Show Room to display PoCs, prototypes, etc.
  • Receptionist (2 for back up)
  • Community Manager
  • Web Developer
  • TV Displays for permanent monitoring and demonstration
  • Webcams for live broadcasting and PoCs
  • Coffee Machine (that has to be hacked to pay for coffee with IOTA)

An open, community driven, replicable Space

As you can see there are a lot of people, skill sets, hardware and especially space needed in order to bring this project to life. We have to focus on the main things with are really important to open the doors to the first IOTA Labs this year, but at the same time there needs to be the right balance of being able to show a few things, too. This process is ongoing and we are encouraging the community to participate in this project, like it already happened for the IOTA Lab logo contest (Winner @Qyvxz1):

Since we are putting a lot of work into this and other locations/ countries have similar ideas or asked us for advice, we are using this project as a blueprint for further IOTA Labs to be opened and connected afterwards. The idea here is to provide a basic set up that and the network to setup IOTA Labs like Starbucks branches, but also to respect and integrate local differences.

In order to make this project a success there are many forces involved already and it depends on the community. AKITA will lead on the management of this project and also take care of the often overlooked, but necessary evil documentation to provide a written blueprint/ guideline in the form of an IOTA Lab Whitepaper. At the same time the work on all topics continues and we will update you here on a regular basis from now on.

IOTA Ecosystem Project

We have applied for funding for this project at the IOTA Ecosystem, which is currently reviewing all the applications and hopefully supporting us soon.

At the same time there has been this very generous person, who donated 10 Gi (=10.000 MIOTA), which we decided to spend on the most needed things to get this project to the next level (like rent for the space, 2 people, some hardware).

Feel free to comment, participate and shape the future with us now and make it this space tangible in real life.