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February 26, 2014

Solid Heralds the Merging of the Physical and Virtual Worlds

Sebastopol, CA, February 26, 2014—The "punctuated equilibrium" theory asserts that rapid bursts of change upend the leisurely pace of species stasis, creating events that result in new species and leave few fossils behind.

Technology has reached the cusp of such an event. Call it the Internet of Things, the Age of Intelligent Devices, the Industrial Internet, the Programmable World, a neologism of your own choosing—it amounts to the same thing—the intersection of software, the Internet, big data, and physical objects. Ultimately, our entire environment will be connected and intelligent.

To mark this seachange moment, O'Reilly Media introduces Solid Conference, scheduled for May 21-22 at Fort Mason in San Francisco.

"As big data moves from the Web into the physical world, it's more important than ever that people who deal with software and people who deal with hardware and machinery understand each other," says Jon Bruner, who chairs Solid with MIT Media Lab's Joi Ito. "Solid is about creating an interdisciplinary mix of the sort that everyone—designers, engineers, investors, researchers, entrepreneurs—will need to tap in the coming year."

Chairs Ito and Bruner have drafted a stellar lineup of innovators, funders, and visionaries for the conference, including:

  • Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots at Google[x]
  • Rodney Brooks, CTO and Chairman of Rethink Robotics
  • Tim O'Reilly, Founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media
  • Andra Keay, Managing Director at Silicon Valley Robotics
  • Carl Bass, CEO of Autodesk, Inc.
  • Moe Tanabian, Director of Mobile Technology at Samsung Mobile
  • Aurora Thornhill, Head of the Project Specialist Team at Kickstarter
  • Ayah Bdeir, Founder and CEO of littleBits
  • Matthew Gardiner, Artist and Senior Lead Researcher at Ars Electronica Futurelab
  • Neil Gershenfeld, Director of the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms
  • Brian Gerkey, CEO of Open Source Robotics Foundation
  • Renee DiResta, Principal at OATV
  • Timothy Prestero, Founder and CEO of Design that Matters
  • Janos Veres, Manager of the Printed Electronics Team at PARC

Solid is more show than tell. "This isn't about sitting in a conference room and getting your brain freeze-dried by PowerPoint presentations," Bruner says. "You'll see demonstrations of real networked products and participate in intensive colloquies with those leading us into this new era. People who come to Solid won't just be attending a conference. They'll be walking through a portal to a new world."

Early registration discounts apply until March 20.

If you'd like to know why we're doing Solid, and what we expect to see emerge there, join us for a livestreamed conversation between Tim O'Reilly and Jim Stogdill, Solid's GM. You can register in advance of the discussion, which takes place on March 12 at 11 a.m. PT.

About O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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