Photo courtesy of IBM.
So how exactly does one become a master inventor? What makes someone qualified to be a master inventor? Those are exactly the questions we asked Andy Stanford Clark, IBM Master Inventor and home automation guru.
Andy looks like a pretty unassuming guy, but don't let the smile fool you. He's a visiting Professor at Newcastle University, a member of MIT Media Lab Steering Committee, has been granted 11 patents, has 33 patents pending, and has 30 additional invention disclosures. Whew... and that's not even the tip of the iceberg.
Do you know about home automation? No? Well, Andy is the perfect person to tell you what it is and why it will be the way we'll all interact with our environment in the future. He's developed technology that monitors and reports on power consumption and what your appliances are doing at the moment.
Illustrated example of something an object may tweet.
Although Andy's home automation system has been online for a while, it has recently been pushed to the limelight via Twitter, the microblogging service which asks you "what are you doing?" Except in Andy's case, he's not the one who answers -- Andy's house and the objects within it do. Andy even took it even a step further and Twitter-enabled the Red Jet Ferries which travel to and from the Isle of Wight, where he lives. Now talk about a useful service.
What's most impressive is that this is only the beginning of Andy's career. In asking what the future of home automation is and what he thinks the greatest invention of the 21st century will be, he gave some pretty inspired answers -- which you'll have to get from watching the episode. ;)
All in all, after meeting Andy in virtual space, I'm really happy there's someone like him who's thinking out-of-the-box to find solutions for impending real-life issues. And yes, he's definitely the nicest Master Inventor I know... even if he's the only one I know.