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Page history last edited by WalterKoppel 13 years ago



This is the current working list of issues we'd like to address, taken from the perspective of problems or inadequacies noticed or reported from the 2007 Austin Maker Faire. The following will ultimately be divided into the categories of A) Stuff Oreilly will take care of, B) Stuff that we'll need to organize local activity to address, and C) Stuff that won't or can't happen (for whatever reasons). In the next few weeks I'll be talking with O'Reilly to make these initial divisions. (C.Robison, 2008.06.01)


  • Audio/Sound
    • No real "audio infrastructure" (speaker or PA provisioning, etc) problems reported
    • Sound level incompatibilities were noted on several levels. In many cases, makers with simple quiet projects were parked unexpectedly next to extremely loud events or devices, and found the experience largely spoiled. Proposed solutions:
      • Sound emission and tolerance specification -- separate fields can be given on the application, in which makers can specify the level of sound created by their projects, and the level of sound they will tolerate. Ideally, these would be on a scale.
      • Physical arrangement -- Using above information, group noisemakers with the noise tolerant
      • Outdoor location -- Provide a field on the application where a display can be labeled as "prefer indoors" or similar. Very loud projects without such an indication could be located outdoors.
      • Temporal arrangement, scheduling -- For loud projects that only make sound at certain times (performances, etc), create and communicate a schedule, such that performances can be made less frequent, with higher attendance, and can be interleaved with other nearby loud performances or events.
      • Barriers -- Consider possibilities of sound barriers of some form in special situations (unlikely to be practical)
  • Electrical
    • Electrical power should be available in single-phase formats. At the 2007 Maker Faire, 240V single phase power was not available; all that was available to us beyond 120V/15A (standard outlet) power was 208V 3-phase at 30 or 60 amps. There may be a need for this, but it's far more likely that people who have developed something at home are going to need single-phase power such as what is found in homes. For high-power projects, this means 240V, at either 30 amps (like a dryer outlet) or 50 amps (like an electric oven outlet). For the electrical contractor, this is a matter of having the right transformers available.
    • It was suggested that normal electrical outlets should be made more available for attendees. Examples included recharge of personal mobility devices (handicapped, etc). Laptops may also benefit.
  • Lighting
    • As with audio above, fields to indicate necessity and acceptability of light (needs to be dimy lit, needs to be bright, etc) should be provided on the application form, plus the amount of light generated by the project.
    • Hanging solar window screen material proposed as a means of mitigating light problems from light producing and/or light sensitive projects
  • RF
    • Fields could be included on the application to indicate high emission of radio-frequency signals or energy, and high sensitivity to such emissions
  • Wi-Fi / networking
    • Improvements in reliability and throughput needed
    • Increase transmitter density by installing multiple access points (better) or installing repeaters (not as good)
    • include app field to indicate preference for ethernet, for high-bandwidth connection. May not be necessary (wifi may be sufficient for everyone)
    • note that there's going to be density issues (tens of thousands of people, highly tech oriented) -- how can we work around this?
      • wired internet connectivity and lots of outlets
        • access point cost issue
  • Handicap Access
    • `Discoverability -- Need increased signage to indicate wheelchair-compatible doors and passages
    • Obstacles - Higher general awareness on part of both planners and makers, to maintaining navigable pathways through the exhibits, free of essay writing service or significant bumps (cord crossings, etc) that hinder movement of wheelchairs, walkers, etc.
    • Surfaces - Where soft surfaces exist, workarounds should be made available for handicapped attendees -- temporary boards put down to create a hard surface, signage for alternative passageways marked, soft surfaces marked in alternate color on maps and layout diagrams
  • Location/Map/Signage
    • Proposal: Follow "You Are Here" shopping mall sign model, place identical signs at a regular spacing in all buildings and outdoor areas
      • Signs show a floor layout with all exhibits identified by a number, list of exhibits with numbers are shown below (Signs could be generated from now-available CAD data on facility?)
      • "You are here" dot indicates position of sign; of course this could be applied subsequently
      • A smaller diagram is shown of all areas (buildings, outdoor areas) , perhaps with some custom essay for the current building or area
      • Special (standardized) icons for important locations/features
        • handicap access entrances/exits, etc
        • Bathrooms
        • Information desks
      • Color coding or other marking of exhibit spaces, for noteworthy features
        • Child-oriented
        • Participatory
        • Commercial products
        • Exhibit has scheduled events
        • Schedule Stations (e.g. has realtime schedule posted)
  • Childrens' exhibits
    • Children's events and displays should be located together near the front or near very visible building entrances, so that families aren't required to walk through loud or otherwise child-unfriendly areas
  • Sun Shades for Outdoor Displays, Musical Acts, Etc
  • Realtime updates
    • A system to manage schedules and data for maker events and performances could provide "coming up soon" data to be displayed or disseminated in a variety of ways
      • Scrolling LED "beta brite" signs
      • Video screens
        • projectors, roaming monitors, signs and posters advertizing update HTTP addresses or phone numbers or streaming audio addresses
      • SMS messages (attendees can register for certain events, or all events (?) )
        • twitter or an alternative
      • IF we get good 'net coverage, booths with computers/screens can be designated (with a vivid sign) as Schedule Stations, places where people can stop and see what is on the schedule (kind of like "Safe Homes" in neighborhood watch communities)
  • First Aid and Emergency necessities
    • Supplies should be located at Information Desks, or at locations specifically marked on maps and signage with a special icon
    • In addition to normal first aid kit supplies, bottles/tubes/etc of sunscreen and insect repellant might be helpful


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