CTT Update – a Year or Three Later

The Creative Technologists of Toronto have now, officially been around for a year (unofficially for three years). We thought we would celebrate this occasion with a little bit of a look back and a bit of a forward outlook.

Three years ago, we were a group of five people that would get together once a week, drink copious amounts of alcohol and discuss the latest and greatest in the world of technology.  We would have big plans for things that we would eventually get around to building and tell ourselves that the group would start building things, though we just kept drinking.

Fast forward to a year ago, when a couple of us decided to step things up a notch.  We realized that while our day jobs were great, we were missing a certain creative outlet that they weren’t filling.  Thus, we decided to take the Creative Technologists of Toronto a little bit more seriously.

We started inviting more people, quickly formalizing a structure for brainstorming and starting a project based cycle.  Our first project didn’t work out so well, we had chosen Christmas as a target and had 4 – 10 people coming out without much consistency.  Towards the end of the project, we realized that we had to call the project a failure, but we had definitely learned a lot of things along the way.

For the new year, we took our learnings, and tried again.  We selected Pi Day as our target date and began our revised project structure.  This project ended in a fantastic success, with some serious effort we managed to pull the entire event together and have a great night at the Handlebar with our PiFighter 2 game.

Our third project was a success, but we have yet to publicly demo it. We are looking for a venue that can handle a 20′ x 14′ glow in the dark wall that we can hang.  The project was a giant glow-in-the-dark etch-a-sketch.  In it, we attached a UV Laser to the top of a Parrot AR.Drone and controlled the flight with turntables.

The most recent project cycle consisted of two projects.  One was using electromyography to read the electricity used by the muscles on a dancer’s body and send that wirelessly to another dancer wearing a number of vibrating motors that interpret the Myo values.  We never quite finished, but some of us are going to pursue this project further in our spare time.

The second project was for FITC Screens 2013, where we were asked to build an installation of sorts.  Inspired by the knowledge that Globacore’s PaperDude-VR was going to be present, we decided to build a mobile controlled game called Crack-a-Quack.  The game was built in a couple different technologies and allow a player to control a duck’s flight or shoot other people’s ducks.  This project brought our group together and we managed to build the game and had a ton of fun at Screens showing it to the attendees.  We thank FITC for their support of our group, it was a great experience.

Looking forward, we have once again honed our project plan and are opening an invite out to even more people!!!  We are looking forward to the next project and hope that we can inspire even more people to come out and learn / build with us !

Hope to see you this Wednesday!

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