Samstag, 19. März 2011

simon at GSoC 2011

I've just been officially approved as a mentor for KDE. There are three ideas already for simon on the ideas page.

It's the first time I'll (hopefully) be participating in GSoC (as a mentor) but I am very much looking forward to it.

I hope to find a few students interested in simon so if you want to do anything that has to do with speech recognition at all (even if it's not mentioned in the ideas page), just contact me.

Want to voice-control your lawn mower? Talk to your Roomba? We can do that :)

Let your ideas run wild!

CeBIT 2011

I've been to quite a few conferences in the past year including cooperate stuff like the AAL Forum in Denmark but also this years Akademy, the OpenSUSE conference and the LinuxTage in Graz (where I'll be again this year, btw.). However, I've never been to anything like the CeBIT.

We arrived a day early to inspect our booth space and to set up our equipment. I then had a quick stroll through the rest of our hall. That "quick stroll" took about an hour. And that was only "our" hall (hall 2) which isn't even the biggest one of the 17 - again: seventeen - halls in use.

But you all probably knew that the CeBIT, the biggest IT fair in the world, was quite big :). Still, it's something entirely different to walk through the halls yourself. Not that we had a lot of time to explore the exhibition - no, we were plenty busy :)

The simon booth had an ideal position in one of the most frequented halls right in the middle of the open source area. That meant we got a lot of foot traffic and had lots of interesting conversations. We also had a lot of people coming up to us telling us that they already use simon. This included stuff like home automation - a first for simon AFAIK.

We also met quite a few people how work in nursing homes that were quite impressed with simon and exchanged contact information with us.  We got amazing feedback and of course a lot of feature requests so we won't be running out of ideas any time soon :)

As a little thank you to all the people behind simon we sent out invitations to simons many testers, contributers and translators including free tickets for the event. Many had to decline because they live too far away but some could make it and met us in Germany. Among them was John Ambeliotis, author of jaNET a personal assistant powered by simon.

John and me next to the simon listens booth

I think it's great to meet contributers up close instead of just communicating per e-Mail and want to thank everybody again who came to visit us and expressed interest in simon!