Felt Lab Fridays

The Felt Lab in St. Jacobs hosts open-lab Fridays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm every week at 1440 King St. North in St.Jacobs, ON – N0B 2N0

To see the Google Street View of the inside of the Felt Lab, view the details page about the lab and our equipment

We are putting together a great line up of topics and speakers for our lunch and learn series. Please note that we will be offering our lunch and learns on a bi-weekly basis.

Stay tuned for details on future topics…

March 20 – Developing Mobile Apps for Restaurants – Join this term’s cohort of REAPsters as they share their experience in developing their restaurant notification applications using blueRover’s sensor data and API.

April 10 – Visualization and Sonification – In a world of big data, big hard drives, and big computer power, how do we make sense of all this information we are tracking? Matt Borland will provide an introduction to the power of data visualization, domain changes, and share some inspiration from the works of Charles Minard and Edward Tufte. Examples from his own graduate work in Piano Tone Mapping will also be presented, along with a crash course in the complex world of the wavelet transform.

April 17 – The Toolbox Project Workshop – Dr. Robert Gorbet, Associate Professor & Chair of the Department of Knowledge Integration will lead in this special workshop where attendees will learn about The Toolbox Project, a project led by group of researchers who are developing philosophical approaches to structuring dialog among interdisciplinary collaborators. Toolbox workshops are designed to draw out disciplinary assumptions for conversation among diverse groups who are planning to tackle interdisciplinary projects together. Please note this session will run longer than an hour.

April 24 – Introduction to User Story Mapping – In this session, Mark Connolly will provide an introduction to Patton’s user story mapping through a straightforward hands-on workshop that focuses on the key concepts and enables everyone to create their first story map. Sounds like fun, right?

May 8 – Create your own 3D Business Card – During this lunch and learn session, Sam Qorbani will introduce the audience to Autodesk tools for those interested in designing, creating and printing objects using 3D technology. We will show the work flow with 123D design software by designing business cards together. 123D design is  free and available on Autodesk Website. Details to follow.

*Please note that we will not be hosting lunch and learns on Friday April 3rd or Friday May 15th.*

Past Lunch and Learn topics:

March 13 – Playing with Palette – Ryan Van Stralen led this demonstration on how to create a personalized interface for any software with dials, buttons and sliders using Palette, the customizable interface kit.

Feb 27 – Managing your Digital Documents with Axiom – This session explored the challenges of managing digital documents and demonstrated how Axiom provides a better workflow and richer user experience for students and professionals over existing storage services.

Feb 13 – Getting Weird in Canada – Marie LeBlanc Flanagan, Executive Director of Wyrd Arts Initiatives, joined us to talk about Wyrd Arts, a nationwide nonprofit dedicated to encouraging and connecting creative expression across Canada, and their website .

Feb. 6 – Exploring Manulife Financial’s RED Lab – Rocky Jain, Director of Manulife Financial’s RED (research, exploration and development) lab shared how a small team of tech-minded individuals came together to become a catalyst for change from outside of the company. 

Jan. 23 – Communicating Through Design Artifacts – Designer Mark Connolly showed variations on design artifacts, and provided a few hands-on activities for attendees to experience. 

Jan. 16 – Integrated Marketing in the 21st Century – Professor Kim Denstedt and a panel of marketers joined us to share some time-honoured tips and emerging trends in Integrated Marketing Communications.

Jan. 5 – Exploring Google Sketch-up with edddison – Sam Qorbani, a specialist with extensive experience in 3D technologies demonstrated the new edddison software; a fast, intuitive and easy-to-use visualization tool for interacting with real-time 3D content.

Dec. 19 – Year end Potluck Party! – Thanks for joining us everyone! We hope you had fun and have a happy and safe holiday season. We’ll see you in the New Year.

Dec. 12 – Using Visibull for Display Technologies – Collin and Jordan from Visibull, a content management system for digital signage joined us for this special lunch and learn where they demonstrated the ease and power of their display application. Over the hour they showed our attendees how easy it is to deploy engaging, interactive, and aesthetic content in a matter of minutes.

Dec. 5 – Recap of Get IMMERSED Conference – REAPster Bernie Roehl gave a fascinating recap of IMMERSED, a two day conference held in Toronto which features sessions given by worldwide experts in areas of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and 3D imaging.

Nov. 28 – Featuring 3D Printing – The Future is Now – 3D printing has taken the world by storm. Structur3D Printing joined us for this very special talk, where they demonstrated their Discov3ry extruder, a hardware add-on for existing 3D printers that expands their range of printable materials beyond mere plastic.

Nov. 21 – Thinkering Session for MaRS Fellows – Two ‘Fellows’ (artists) from the MaRS Innovation Centre joined us for this very special session where we helped to conceptualize a wearable technology/art project which will be showcased at a climate conference in Paris in the fall of 2015.

Nov. 14 – Featuring The Boltmade Sessions: Rapid Prototyping in Low Fidelity – Boltmade hosted this special hands-on lunch and learn where attendees created low fidelity prototypes using a POP app.

Nov. 7 – Exploring Oculus Rift and Storyline – REAPster Somayan talked about the Oculus Rift; what it will mean to gaming, and what it could mean to our everyday lives, and Meddy shared his experiences with our new Storyline software in the lab. He explained how this e-learning tool allows everyone to become a content creator from their own desktop.

October 31 – Featuring REAP’s Emerging Hands-On Technologies – REAP students talked about three technologies you can find in the lab. The Structure Sensor, which captures measurements and creates 3D models with your iPad. The Myo Armband, which you can use as a game controller, and Apptui, which turns your mobile phone into a controller for your favourite websites.

October 24 – The Industrial Design Process – Marco Ferrari, owner of Ferrari Industrial Designs shared how you take a product idea from concept to product design.

October 17 – Tech &Text – Carey DodgeTechnology Director for Canadian theatre company Boca del Lupo will be talking about his background, their work, and Boca’s process for developing technology in their performances.

October 3 Diane Watson, PhD candidate in Computer Human Interaction covered “The Future of Gamification: Cooperation and Creativity”

September 26  Peter Sweeney of Primal talked about Artificial Intelligence in his talk: “Long Live the King:  How Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming Content.”

Friday September 19 Paula Barcante shared her experience as a UX intern at Amazon in their Seattle head office.

June 20th – Heeeeeere’s Chromecast!  Chromecast is a platform waiting for your creative content in millions of homes.  Attendees learned how you can leverage Chromecast…and how it leverages you.

June 13th – Harrison Hough and Bernie Roehl explained how 3D worlds are created through a software package called ‘Unity.”  Harrison and Bernie described what Unity is, and how to use it to create interesting interactive content.

June 6th – REAP Student Matt Neill, creator of POET Displays, REAP Professional Marco Ferrari, and Elllyn Winters-Robinson talked about starting your own business, and ways start-ups can use communications and public relations strategies.

May 23rd – FLUXIBLE Lunch and Learn – What to expect from a UX Career? Don’t forget to register for The Fluxible Conference Sept. 13-14 , 2014

May 16th –  ”Product Design Process: User Experience Edition”  – Cortex Design and Hawk Ridge Systems delivered some quick, actionable insights into how the process of design is applied when developing physical products.

May 9th – International artist David Jensenius talked about his multi-dimensional interactive installations and took us our for a fascinating Sound Hunt

May 2nd – Bernie Roehl demonstrated how we are going to be able to interact with our Felt Lab Virtual Greeter, including intelligent voice dialog with our Virtual Human.

April 25th – Simon Clark gave a great talk and workshop about the variety of Arduino projects he has been working on.

April 11th – Terre Chartrand talked about “Digital Dreams in Narrative Colour” and examines how to incorporate technology as a way to expand the development of character or narrative itself.

April 4th – Students presented the results of their research this past term.

Friday, March 28th – Isabella Stefanescu speaks about digital animation and the Euphonopen:

Friday, March 21st – This lunch and learn focused on our Sound Playground. Lindsay Stewart talked about “Sonority and Ubiquity”.

Friday Feb. 14th, System Design Engineering students (Ram Sharma, Richard Lesco and Chris Vandevelde) presented the work they’ve been doing on developing an Acoustic Sketch Book – “Project MUSE”.  It was s great presentation illustrating how their initial idea for capturing creative moments and leveraging tech to transform them has resulted in an innovative product design opportunity.

Friday March 7th – David Loop from SAP talked about the experience they’ve had with Design Thinking methodologies.

Friday, Feb. 7th, the REAP lunch and learn opened the floor to the REAP community members to discuss their research discoveries and insights on the projects they’ve been working on.  It was a great opportunity to share what has been discovered with the community.

Friday, January 31st, we had a great working session to develop the story board concepts for the new lab installation.  The resulting story boards and ideas are currently been reviewed to identify the next set of Sprint assignments.

On January 24th, we welcomed a new batch of students to the lab and hosted a REAP Felt Lab Orientation session. We were hoping to share some videos with you about the new technology in our lab but it is easier to view them at home in comfort. Take a few moments to get familiar with what we have in the lab and what is possible with the new gear.

We are patiently waiting for our Developer copy of the Thalmic Labs MYO device. Here’s a video of the potential applications that can be developed for MYO:

On January 10th, we had a great Thinkering event with a large group of people from the digital arts and technology community in the region.  We came up with several great ideas and in a few weeks, we will bring everyone back for the next step in the creative process as we explore developing the ideas into story boards for new experiences. Stay tuned!

In addition to being an interactive digital display lab space for University of Waterloo undergraduate students, the Felt Lab has attracted Arts and Technology enthusiasts from the Waterloo Region community and around the globe.

The Felt Lab has grown to become a space where people can explore and experiment with cutting edge interactive technology and stunning high quality display surfaces, screens, MicroTiles and projectors.  The Conestoga College School of Media and Design has equipped the lab with 2 fully equipped iMac workstations with the Adobe Creative Suite and students from the program have work on projects for the REAP initiative for their work/study practical experience projects.

Over the past year, professionals interested in digital media, design and interactivity have also made the Felt Lab their second home. Through their projects at the lab, they have developed cutting edge skills and built up their portfolios.  As they learn about the new technology and experiment on their projects, they add what they’ve learned to our Knowledge Base Wiki so that others can pick up and build on what has already been done.

As a result, innovative projects are flourishing, teams are forming and new businesses are growing out of REAP projects.