Collaboration starts today – 16.4.2014, by kryobot

Since the beginning of knowable we wanted to connect people with great ideas, let them share their knowledge and enable them to join forces and collaborate. With our latest version we finally found a great way to enable you to share what you’ve been building in your labs and Makerspaces – but the collaboration was still lacking. Even though we took some steps in that direction, our vision and promise of a truly collaborative tool was never really fulfilled.

That finally changes today.

I’m super excited and happy to announce that we just released the first open beta version of our collaborative tools! Starting today you’ll be able to set-up a workshop area for your projects, give team members access in order to collaborate on your ideas, discuss your thoughts, document what you’ve been working on and easily share all the necessary files with your team.

A lot has changed, so let’s take a closer look at all the new things!

Fig1 “Workshop Area”: Split your project into more manageable areas and topics. We call these areas “Workspaces”



Fig2 “Workspace & Files”: Each Workspace allows you to write a text, add files and discuss ideas with your collaborators.



Fig3 “Markdown”: Descriptions support Markdown formatting: That makes it easy to style the text you write.



Fig4 “New project creation”: Our new project creation interface makes creating projects a snap!



This is still a beta, though, and there is a lot more to cover. But we decided that it doesn’t make sense for us to develop all of this hidden away in our secret labs - your feedback and your suggestions make knowable what it is! We couldn’t wait to get this in your hands as early as possible and are eagerly awaiting your feedback.

We hope you enjoy the new features and give them a spin on this easter weekend. Happy Making!

Collaboration starts today – 16.4.2014, by kryobot

Since the beginning of knowable we wanted to connect people with great ideas, let them share their knowledge and enable them to join forces and collaborate. With our latest version we finally found a great way to enable you to share what you’ve been building in your labs and Makerspaces – but the collaboration was still lacking. Even though we took some steps in that direction, our vision and promise of a truly collaborative tool was never really fulfilled.

That finally changes today.

I’m super excited and happy to announce that we just released the first open beta version of our collaborative tools! Starting today you’ll be able to set-up a workshop area for your projects, give team members access in order to collaborate on your ideas, discuss your thoughts, document what you’ve been working on and easily share all the necessary files with your team.

A lot has changed, so let’s take a closer look at all the new things!


Fig1 “Workshop Area”: Split your project into more manageable areas and topics. We call these areas “Workspaces”


Fig2 “Workspace & Files”: Each Workspace allows you to write a text, add files and discuss ideas with your collaborators.


Fig3 “Markdown”: Descriptions support Markdown formatting: That makes it easy to style the text you write.


Fig4 “New project creation”: Our new project creation interface makes creating projects a snap!

This is still a beta, though, and there is a lot more to cover. But we decided that it doesn’t make sense for us to develop all of this hidden away in our secret labs - your feedback and your suggestions make knowable what it is! We couldn’t wait to get this in your hands as early as possible and are eagerly awaiting your feedback.

We hope you enjoy the new features and give them a spin on this easter weekend. Happy Making!

"Maker Tales” is an ongoing series on knowable, where we highlight outstanding Makers and their projects.

Maker Tales: Micro Experimental Growing (MEG) - the indoor greenhouse – 8.4.2014, by kryobot

Hi Carlo, great to have you here! Can you tell us a bit more about your background?

I’m part of Yradia, an innovation agency dedicated to Lighting Design. Our background is in industrial design engineering with strong skills in lighting technologies. MEG - our indoor greenhouse - is a self-innovation project combining our skills (industrial and lighting design), and our passions (IoT, growing, open knowledge).

Yes, and MEG is currently knowable’s „Project of the Week“! Can youTell us more about it? How did you come up with the an open-source greenhouse? What fascinated you about the idea?



From Wikipedia: “Photosynthetically active radiation, often abbreviated PAR, designates the spectral range (wave band) of solar radiation from 400 to 700 nanometers that photosynthetic organisms are able to use in the process of photosynthesis. This spectral region corresponds more or less with the range of light visible to the human eye. “

Actually we started from a research on optimizing a photometric spectrum to maximize a targeted Photosynthetic Active Radiation - scary huh? 
Some interesting tech details can be found in our third Kickstarter update. After that we started adding functions, investigated the usability, and thought about the whole experience of self-growing. It has been a smooth, natural process so far!

Haha, yes - “Photosynthetic Active Radiation” does indeed sound scary! Can you tell us a bit more about your main challenges so far? How did you go from prototype to Kickstater?

The main challenge for us is being… heard. We do not have the power of a communication agency neither have budget to afford a proper one. But we’re not afraid. From prototype to Kickstarter, the path was quite smooth: after bootstrapping some several thousand Euros from our other activities, we felt that we needed crowdfunding support.


  The main challenge for us is being heard.


You have to consider that MEG is a complex and delicate project, involving design, engineering, implementation and development of parts in the following fields:  photometrics, mechanical and industrial design, electrical design, PCB design, GUI and UX design, as well as several Arduino-related applications.

If your Kickstarter succeeds, what is the road ahead? What will be your next steps?

First step will be fulfilling our backers rewards. In parallel, we’ll then have enough resources to finalize the Source Documents and to (hopefully) invest in the Online Platform. From then on, well… maybe is just too early to talk eight now.

In the light of crowd funding and open-source business models – how do you see the Hardware and Maker scene in general evolve in the future?

In my opinion there is a big shift in implementation power and decision making going on right now. I’m talking both money-wise and about manufacturing capabilities. 
It’s sort of like when we shifted from asking people for directions to always having our  personal GPS ready. We can finally fully control our paths.

If people want to learn more - where do they find you?

We are really responsive with interesting questions and people. Drop us a line at meg@yradia.com or reach out on Facebook. And we have a Twitter feed, too!

Thank you for your time!

"Maker Tales” is an ongoing series on knowable, where we highlight outstanding Makers and their projects.

Maker Tales: Micro Experimental Growing (MEG) - the indoor greenhouse – 8.4.2014, by kryobot

Hi Carlo, great to have you here! Can you tell us a bit more about your background?

I’m part of Yradia, an innovation agency dedicated to Lighting Design. Our background is in industrial design engineering with strong skills in lighting technologies. MEG - our indoor greenhouse - is a self-innovation project combining our skills (industrial and lighting design), and our passions (IoT, growing, open knowledge).

Yes, and MEG is currently knowable’s „Project of the Week“! Can youTell us more about it? How did you come up with the an open-source greenhouse? What fascinated you about the idea?

From Wikipedia: “Photosynthetically active radiation, often abbreviated PAR, designates the spectral range (wave band) of solar radiation from 400 to 700 nanometers that photosynthetic organisms are able to use in the process of photosynthesis. This spectral region corresponds more or less with the range of light visible to the human eye. “

Actually we started from a research on optimizing a photometric spectrum to maximize a targeted Photosynthetic Active Radiation - scary huh? Some interesting tech details can be found in our third Kickstarter update. After that we started adding functions, investigated the usability, and thought about the whole experience of self-growing. It has been a smooth, natural process so far!

Haha, yes - “Photosynthetic Active Radiation” does indeed sound scary! Can you tell us a bit more about your main challenges so far? How did you go from prototype to Kickstater?

The main challenge for us is being… heard. We do not have the power of a communication agency neither have budget to afford a proper one. But we’re not afraid. From prototype to Kickstarter, the path was quite smooth: after bootstrapping some several thousand Euros from our other activities, we felt that we needed crowdfunding support.

The main challenge for us is being heard.

You have to consider that MEG is a complex and delicate project, involving design, engineering, implementation and development of parts in the following fields: photometrics, mechanical and industrial design, electrical design, PCB design, GUI and UX design, as well as several Arduino-related applications.

If your Kickstarter succeeds, what is the road ahead? What will be your next steps?

First step will be fulfilling our backers rewards. In parallel, we’ll then have enough resources to finalize the Source Documents and to (hopefully) invest in the Online Platform. From then on, well… maybe is just too early to talk eight now.

In the light of crowd funding and open-source business models – how do you see the Hardware and Maker scene in general evolve in the future?

In my opinion there is a big shift in implementation power and decision making going on right now. I’m talking both money-wise and about manufacturing capabilities. It’s sort of like when we shifted from asking people for directions to always having our personal GPS ready. We can finally fully control our paths.

If people want to learn more - where do they find you?

We are really responsive with interesting questions and people. Drop us a line at meg@yradia.com or reach out on Facebook. And we have a Twitter feed, too!

Thank you for your time!

"Maker Tales” is an ongoing series on knowable, where we highlight outstanding Makers and their projects.

Maker Takes: Open Mirror. – 2.4.2014, by kryobot

Hi Juan Pablo! Great to have you here with us. Please, tell us a little bit more about your background.

My name is Juan Pablo and I work for Habit(s) Studio - a design firm from Milan, Italy. I am part of a team of industrial designers and engineers there. As a studio, we’ve been working quite a lot for ‘regular’ business clients but right now we are shifting our attention more and more to the Open-Source sector. We are designing and building a lot of DIY, Open-Source products in our own FabLab at the moment.

And you have a very cool project on knowable at the moment: Open Mirror - a music playing, Arduino powered, gesture controlled mirror! Can you tell us a bit about that? What was the idea behind it?

OpenMirror started basically with some experiments concerning gestural interfaces. Thanks to Arduino we had the opportunity to develop a such an interface relatively quickly. The results of that experimentation were pretty good - so we kept going. This lead us to the idea to use that interface in a stereo for the bathroom, that you can control without making it wet and ruining the electronics. That’s how OpenMirror came to life, basically.

If you want to control the music in your bathroom, just walk up to the mirror and use gestures to change what’s playing. You can for example just swipe beneath the mirror to change the song that’s playing or keep you hand steady in order to adjust the volume.

How do you see this project evolve in the future?

We’ve been working on this project for quite some time now. It has been going through a lot of iterations and changes. But we are pretty happy with it as it is right now. This is the version we are releasing - both, as a product and an Open-Source project on our homepage and here on knowable.



That is really interesting –  what is your motivation for going Open-Source?

We are fascinated by the idea that there are other modes of producing things. Open-Source offers us a way to design and release completely new and different products. We don’t need to go ‘big scale’ and use industrial fabrication, but instead we can choose to do low volume fabrication runs and offer customizable products. It also allows us to experiment with different price points: You can get the fully assembled OpenMirror in our store, but you’ll also be able to get the self-assemble kit for a lower price. Or you just download the schematics and build it on your own - completely free. I think this is a great way to allow for diversity and customizability in your products: People who want to have an individual product can simply build it on their own.



So, are you planning to incorporate ideas from you customers?

Yes, we are certainly willing to do that. But it’s actually a bit early to say now - but I think we are watching what the community is doing very closely. I believe that this is the beauty of Open Source: The company and community are growing together.

Thank you very much for your time and the interview

"Maker Tales” is an ongoing series on knowable, where we highlight outstanding Makers and their projects.

Maker Takes: Open Mirror. – 2.4.2014, by kryobot

Hi Juan Pablo! Great to have you here with us. Please, tell us a little bit more about your background.

My name is Juan Pablo and I work for Habit(s) Studio - a design firm from Milan, Italy. I am part of a team of industrial designers and engineers there. As a studio, we’ve been working quite a lot for ‘regular’ business clients but right now we are shifting our attention more and more to the Open-Source sector. We are designing and building a lot of DIY, Open-Source products in our own FabLab at the moment.

And you have a very cool project on knowable at the moment: Open Mirror - a music playing, Arduino powered, gesture controlled mirror! Can you tell us a bit about that? What was the idea behind it?

OpenMirror started basically with some experiments concerning gestural interfaces. Thanks to Arduino we had the opportunity to develop a such an interface relatively quickly. The results of that experimentation were pretty good - so we kept going. This lead us to the idea to use that interface in a stereo for the bathroom, that you can control without making it wet and ruining the electronics. That’s how OpenMirror came to life, basically.

If you want to control the music in your bathroom, just walk up to the mirror and use gestures to change what’s playing. You can for example just swipe beneath the mirror to change the song that’s playing or keep you hand steady in order to adjust the volume.

How do you see this project evolve in the future?

We’ve been working on this project for quite some time now. It has been going through a lot of iterations and changes. But we are pretty happy with it as it is right now. This is the version we are releasing - both, as a product and an Open-Source project on our homepage and here on knowable.

That is really interesting – what is your motivation for going Open-Source?

We are fascinated by the idea that there are other modes of producing things. Open-Source offers us a way to design and release completely new and different products. We don’t need to go ‘big scale’ and use industrial fabrication, but instead we can choose to do low volume fabrication runs and offer customizable products. It also allows us to experiment with different price points: You can get the fully assembled OpenMirror in our store, but you’ll also be able to get the self-assemble kit for a lower price. Or you just download the schematics and build it on your own - completely free. I think this is a great way to allow for diversity and customizability in your products: People who want to have an individual product can simply build it on their own.

So, are you planning to incorporate ideas from you customers?

Yes, we are certainly willing to do that. But it’s actually a bit early to say now - but I think we are watching what the community is doing very closely. I believe that this is the beauty of Open Source: The company and community are growing together.

Thank you very much for your time and the interview