If someone was to ask you to draw a computer, you would probably draw an opaque box with a monitor, keyboard and mouse. In the last few years, the vision changed ever so slightly with some possibly drawing a laptop or tablet. But a computer is so much more and it’s starting to lose it’s physical body. Just like with the “Star Trek” theme we saw all that week at HPE Discover.
I got to talk with Martina Trucco about what Hewlett Packard Enterprise Labs (HPE) saw as “The Machine”. They created an interactive sculpture where you could go inside and see the interactions from the items we use everyday (and might not even know it). From the cell phone in our pockets, to the towers that replicate and push out those signals, and finally, the destination of your communications – whether to one person or many.
“It’s really a metaphor for ‘Distributed Mesh Computing’ powered by the Machine”. Trucco says. “It’s our take on the Internet of Things – What if we take the power of the machine and bring it down to a small form factor and make every sensor in the world have a tiny machine next to it? Then we could do some amazing things”.
The initiative started back in 2014 when HPE Labs Martin Fink delivered a Keynote at then HP Discover. Things such as HPE’s Moonshot on a single chip, so you not only have the computer with you, it’s small enough to be inconspicuous at times.
The sculpture itself was seen only twice this year – once at SXSW and then at HPE Discover. When you walk in, you will notice many white balls called “Nodes”. Each one represents things like your cell phone or computer and more. Touch the node to see the Machine at work – flashing lights and moving from one node to another.
For more information, check out Labs.HPE.com/theMachine