We’ve seen a burst of initial app development as IO12 Explorers get their Glass units and put them into action. Earlier in the year, a select group of developers attended the Glass Foundry, an exclusive event thrown by Google to get developers in the same room working together. Devs who missed that chance to collaborate have another opportunity with the upcoming GlassDevCamp, a not-for-profit developer event coming to the San Francisco Bay Area and satellite cities in summer 2013.
I spoke with Raven Zachary, the founder of GlassDevCamp, to find out more about the event, and how it is that the founders of iOSDevCamp are now organizing a development event around Google hardware.
LTG: What is GlassDevCamp, and how is it different from something like Foundry?
R: GlassDevCamp is a not-for-profit developer event for Google Glass, encouraging development using The Google Mirror API. The event will focus on the creation and demonstration of new apps (known as timeline cards) for Google Glass. Developers, UI designers, and other technology-minded creators will gather over a weekend, from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon to assemble teams, build great new timeline cards, demo them on-stage, and then win prizes based on a variety of categories. It’s important for me to emphasize that this event is for people who want to create. This is not a user conference. Everyone who attends is expected to join a team or work on a solo project. Every year at our events, we have people who fly in, sometimes internationally, to participate. It’s a blast.
Concerning Foundry and Google, in general, there is no organization more qualified to educate new Glass developers and help build the developer ecosystem than Google. With any emerging technology ecosystem, there are many people and organizations who play a role in its growth. Google is going to be at the front of this movement – it’s their product. We’re here to celebrate the potential of this product and see what amazing new things can be created with it. We are community development advocates who love spending time with brilliant and creative people who inspire others to build great things.
LTG: Who are the people driving it, and what have they done before?
R: GlassDevCamp is operated by unpaid volunteers as a celebration of the emerging Google Glass platform. We have been organizing events for the iOS developer community since 2007 as a way of getting creative developers, designers, and entrepreneurs together to build compelling projects, many of which end up turning into businesses (Square, Getaround, Foodspotting, etc.). It’s a joy to work with creative people and help build some momentum for this emerging development ecosystem. You can take a look at iosdevcamp.org to get a sense for what these events are like.
LTG: Do you have to have Glass to attend?
R: No. You do not need to have Glass to attend the event. We will make every effort to organize teams in such a way as to provide access to devices for testing. Our plan to demo the creations at the event from stage using Google Glass. We are going to adhere to all of Google’s terms and conditions for the devices and the APIs.
We’re here to build great things, not step on toes.
LTG: What does the event still need?
R: We need plenty of help. We need attendees, sponsors, and a venue. In past years, we’ve waited to announce our events until we had a venue and dates finalized. This year, as with the first iPhoneDevCamp we organized back in 2007, we wanted to announce early on in the planning process and get the community’s involvement in making this event a success. We’re aiming for the event to be held in the San Francisco Bay Area this summer, although if we find a great venue and see strong interest in another city, we certainly would consider it.
We haven’t opened up registration yet. We’ll wait until we have the venue and dates selected. However, we encourage people who are interested in attending to sign-up now on our web site, glassdevcamp.org, which will help us in the planning process. We’d also love to hear from people who have leads on venue and any potential sponsors. Every year we’ve done these events, we’ve been lucky to have a lead sponsor (Adobe, Yahoo!, PayPal, and eBay) offer up their venue for several hundred attendees and we are hopeful that we will have that same experience this year. If not, we have already identified a few backup venues that would require payment, which would come from sponsorships.
There is a possibility that we will have more people interested in attending the event than we have space to accommodate. It really depends on the size of the venue. We generally look for a venue than can comfortably hold at least 300 people. Some years, we’ve been able to accommodate more than 500 people. For past events, we have run out of registration slots. If that happens, we will likely prioritize registration in some manner, perhaps with a pre-registration form to get a sense for the attendee’s plans at the event. We will also strongly encourage people to attend some of the satellite events taking place in other locations.
LTG: Are there any scholarship type packages available?
R: We have done some scholarships in the past for students. I would love to do that again this year, but we don’t have anything finalized yet. The event is not-for-profit, so the registration fee will be very reasonable. We’re aiming for $50, assuming that we have decent sponsor participation. Similar to public radio, about half of the costs of our events come from attendee registration fees, and the other half comes from sponsors. Any money left over at the end of an event is either saved for the next event or is donated to non-profit causes.
LTG: What satellite cities have been selected?
R: We hope to have a large number of satellite events joining in, following our not-for-profit community development model. We will likely have a “Best Satellite App” award. People interested in organizing a satellite event are encouraged to reach out to us via our website. All we ask is that satellite organizers adhere to the community spirit of our events, which means operating it as a not-for-profit event focused on the development community.