A science fair for adults in Midtown exhibits the achievements of people who have created innovative, new projects using free, open-source computer code. NY1's Technology reporter Adam Balkin filed the following report.
It is designed to look like a high school science fair, but the second annual New York Times Open Source Science Fair is actually for adults. The Midtown event displays some of the most innovative ideas being built on open source software, which is software that is free for anyone to use and manipulate, in an effort to gain some exposure for those uses and their creators.
"People in open source, everyone knows about Firefox, everyone knows about Linux, everyone knows about all the open source software we depend on but there's lots of interesting stuff at the edges that people don't know about," says Andre Behrens of The New York Times. "So we're just having them be known and just know that open source software is doing interesting things."
The software for ShareWith911.com is designed for crisis situations in schools like the shootings at Columbine High or Sandy Hook Elementary. It allows teachers, via any mobile device, to quickly and quietly let authorities outside the school know what's happening on the inside.
"Teachers are able to check in using any device with a browser and share their location, their actual status, how many kids are with them, if they're missing anybody and that information is all made available in real time for first responders on their way to and once on the scene," says Erik Endress of ShareWith911.com.
Another project called Dionysius allows users who do not know how to write computer code to create something on a computer, using video game-type controllers.
"Code is a means, not an end, and what code produces is what this project hopes to reproduce through a simpler interface, a more intuitive human experience," says Joseph Moore, a student for Parsons School for Design.
To learn more about the New York Times Open Source Science Fair and some of the other exhibitors, check out OpenSourceScienceFair.com.