Hype, Hyperbole and the Hope of the Internet of Things

In this talk Surj Patel, co-founder of local Internet of Things (IoT) startup Smart Mocha, talks about the state of the "internet of things", focusing on cutting through some of the hype and hyperbole and looking at what opportunities the shift to everything being connected will enable.

Sense Simple product shot

Also he'll cover in brief some of the enabling technologies and in which areas the initial uptake's will occur.

What is the Internet of Things?

We typically think of the Internet of consisting primarily of computing devices connected to the network. But already we're beginning to see the proliferation of everyday objects being tagged and connected to the Internet. The Internet of Things ranges from the Nest thermostat to RFID tags used in a store.

About Surj Patel

Surj PatelSurj Patel is a co-founder and CEO of Smart Mocha, a Portland-based startup focused on providing a simple out-of-the-box experience for sensor networks.

Surj Patel has more than 15 years of experience in the intersection of technology and media. Surj started his career in 1993 at the BBC, where he helped launch the original BBC web site. In later years, he formed an award-winning digital design agency in London, helped establish BBC Imagineering, studied at the MIT Media Laboratory in the Object-Based Media group, and became an Imagineer at the France Telecom/Orange advanced research lab in Cambridge, Mass.

Monday, August 26, 2013 - 6:00pm

July 11, 2013 Mobile Portland Board Minutes

Dylan, Elia, Jason
July 11, 2013,

called to order: 1:25pm

Elia re-appointed to the board of directors, unanimous
Elia re-appointed as secretary/treasurer

Change in focus:
- originally created by for device testing labs
- moving toward education programming
- voted unanimously to convert to 501(c)(3)

Board expansion
- existing: president, secretary/treasurer
- add: sponsorship chair, programming chair, event chair
- unanimous vote

Financial Report: $680 in the account

Adjourned: 2:00pm

Journey of a Non-Technical Founder

Please note that this month's meeting is at Urban Airship's new location in the Vestas building.


Two years ago, architect Miloš Jovanović shut down his building company so he could try something new. Despite his lack of technical experience, he went into the mobile software business. Miloš will tell us about what he has learned on his journey as a non-techical founder, including:

  • networking in an unfamiliar field
  • identifying your technical needs
  • finding the right people to work on your project
  • and the advantages of being non-technical
Monday, June 24, 2013 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Content Strategy for Mobile

Please note, the meeting is on a different day and time than normal. In addition, we expect high turnout for this event so we're asking people to register using EventBrite.

In a joint venture, the Portland Content Strategy Meetup, Mobile Portland and the UX Book Club PDX are excited to host Karen McGrane, author of Content Strategy for Mobile for a “battle cry” talk on putting content first, especially in mobile development projects.

Content Strategy for Mobile book

The proliferation of mobile devices has introduced complex design and development challenges for people who create web experiences. But where does this leave content? How do we ensure that users can consume content across all devices, without resorting to truncated, watered-down experiences?

Karen McGrane shows us that if we take the time to consider the right tools and processes to develop and deploy content across multiple devices and platforms not only can we give users the content they want, we will solve many other UX problems along the way. And we’ll create dependable, repeatable processes for further development and governance.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Acceptable Conduct at Mobile Portland Meetings

Last night at the end of the Mobile Portland meeting, I was talking to a couple of male attendees about technical issues. As we were talking, a woman that I don’t know passed us and then left the building.

Because I consider it my responsibility to ensure the security and safety of our hosts property, I’m always watching what is going on at the ends of meetings. I noticed a person coming from behind me from an area that is secure and I glanced to see who it was. It was was the aforementioned woman who was actually coming out of the restroom, not the secure area.

So far, not a big deal, right? Someone walked past, I glanced to see who it was. I probably should have been focused on the conversation, but I have a dual responsibility to be a good host and also make sure the space is secure.

But what happened next stunned me. One of the attendees that I was talking to commented something to the effect that he and his colleague should let me go because he could see that I was “looking at the pretty girls.”

I was stunned. I did not know what to say. The comment was made loud enough that I’m certain the woman who passed heard it. She was on her way out and didn’t stop. By the time I recovered my senses, she was gone.

I extracted myself from the conversation shortly thereafter and walked away baffled at the lack of professionalism and general creepiness of that part of what had otherwise been a great chat about the challenges of dealing with device diversity.

I want to publicly apologize to the woman who had that comment made about her. I’m sorry I didn’t immediately redress the issue before you left the building. I’m sorry I was shocked and unable to act quickly enough. I need to be better and quicker at responding.

In addition, I want to state clearly and forcefully that Mobile Portland is a community accepting of all people regardless of race, gender, orientation, etc. We’re here to talk about mobile. We expect attendees to show respect and courtesy to each other. And people who don’t behave in such a manner will be asked to leave.

As far as Mobile Portland is concerned, an appreciation for device diversity goes hand in hand with an appreciation for human diversity. We’re committed to providing a welcoming and safe environment for everyone who attends our meetings.


Jason Grigsby
Mobile Portland

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