At the Strata Conference in Santa Clara in February 2013, we added more sensors (which included rebuilding some that had been damaged in transit, for a total of around 50 sensor motes), real-time visualization, and a new interactive feature for attendees: the “Awesome Button,” a giant red button outside of each session room, which attendees were encouraged to push as they exited if they thought the talk they had just seen was awesome.

The six of us who run the Lab occupied a booth in the Expo Hall during the conference, making ourselves available to interact with attendees and answer questions about what those blinky lights all over the conference venue actually were. Makers Alasdair Allan and Kipp Bradford manned a couple of soldering stations for assembling motes, as well as a MakerBot Replicator that was printing cases for our sensors; Rob Faludi of Digi sat next to the gateway that was routing our data to the iDigi backend, and presided over the data stream; Kim Rees and Andrew Winterman of Periscopic had a large screen showing the real-time data visualizations they were building; and editor Julie Steele talked with attendees about Allan and Bradford’s new book, Distributed Network Data (O’Reilly), which shows readers how to recreate everything we’ve done in the Data Sensing Lab.