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Smart Everything / Internet of Things are the buzzwords of the moment and our colleagues in the Business Design and Innovation Laboratory at our Tokyo HQ have been working to explore the power of a truly intuitive consumer lifestyle experience…

MESH is smart technology based on the concept of Make, Experience, SHare – it’s designed to enable anyone to use the platform to create something (anything!) to make life easier / more productive / fun.

We first showcased  the MESH prototype this past weekend (May 17-18th) at Maker Faire Bay Area in San Mateo – and sat down with Takehiro Hagiwara, MESH Project Leader in the Business Design and Innovation Laboratory at Sony to tell us a little more about it…

Can you tell us about yourself – who you are, where you’ve been and where you’re going?

My background’s in design experience planning with human-computer interaction and internet services. In a former life, I led research and development projects in smart technology – including extensive work in behaviour tracking and personalization at Sony Corp in Tokyo.

I’m also a co-organizer of a “Maker” community in Tokyo, which is rewarding as I’m passionate about exploring how technology can support and nurture creativity for everyone.


What is MESH?

MESH is an open platform concept designed for the creation of smart “things”. You can connect and programme different functional blocks, such as buttons, LEDs, acceleration sensors, and speakers – all wirelessly.

MESH is based on a simple (graphical) user interface that’s used to define block behaviour – our thinking is that it will make it easy for anyone, regardless of development or coding skills, to create their own “inventions” for a seamless integration within their lives or home.

Many developers and manufacturers have proprietary connected tech and apps, but are all mostly functional compared to the potential power of a connected life – this is something we’re exploring with MESH.

MESH in 140 characters?

#MESH is @Sony’s concept open platform that helps you invent. You can programme and connect various functional blocks wirelessly.

What *could* MESH potentially do in real life?

There’s a few scenarios we’re imagining for starters – you could use MESH to check fridge supplies through your smartphone, by attaching a MESH motion sensor block to a refrigerator door, and then fixing a MESH camera block to a nearby shelf. The blocks could potentially be set up so that every time you open the door, the camera snaps a picture of inside the fridge and automatically sends it to your phone.

Or… by attaching a MESH LED block to an umbrella stand, and setting up MESH’s user interface to monitor the weather forecast online, you could set up the LED block to light up to let you know if you should bring an umbrella before you leave.

Why did you choose (this year’s) Maker Faire Bay Area to first showcase MESH?

Maker Faire is all about “creating”… “making” and bringing creatives (of all ages and backgrounds) from across the spectrum together. We thought it would be the perfect forum in which to unveil MESH, as it’s all about resourcefulness, new inventions and knowledge sharing.

But it’s not just a show for tech innovation – Maker Faire showcases experimentation across science, engineering, art, performance and craft. This was something that really appealed to us, as our vision for MESH is one of pliability to fit into all, each and every walk of life!

What does the future hold for MESH?

MESH remains a prototype platform as of right now – but we’re really encouraged by the enthusiasm and positive feedback we felt at Maker Faire, which we’ll use to further develop our prototype.

One of the things we’re looking at is how we could provide an SDK for developers to “create”, which is really exciting…

But what’s equally exciting, is that for me, MESH represents a huge first step in the connectivity and communication among objects, wireless networks and users a reality.

For more on MESH – check out Developer World’s intro here.