Each hour we are featuring a woman we admire who is currently doing amazing work right in the tech/maker/art/science space. Woman of the hour, Mary Lou Jepsen.
Mary Lou Jepsen was the founding chief technology officer of One Laptop per Child (OLPC), an organization whose mission is to deliver low-cost, mesh-networked laptops en masse to children in developing countries. She has created some of the largest ambient displays ever. In Cologne, Germany she built a holographic replica of pre-existing buildings in the city’s historic district…and created a holographic display encompassing a city block. She also conceived, built mathematical models of, resolved the fundamental engineering issues, and solved some of the logistics – to create what would have been the largest display ever for mankind: images displayed on the darkened moon. She co-created the first holographic video system in the world at the MIT Media Lab in 1989, where the interference structure of the hologram was computed at video rates, and shown on her hand-made display. This system inspired a new subfield of holographic video and received numerous awards… After 3 years with OLPC, In early 2008 she left OLPC to start a for-profit company, Pixel Qi, to commercialize some of the technologies she invented at OLPC.
I’m often asked how Pixel Qi is doing and when our products will be widely available. I’d like to report that over 3 million people are already using my screens, and we are now ramping into even higher volumes. Already, our screens are used by soldiers jumping out of airplanes, children in the developing world on their OLPC laptops, in a variety of tablet and netbooks, and in many applications that find desirable a combination of low power, outdoor usability and low perceived eye strain.
We are angry, frustrated, and in pain because of the violence and murder of Black people by the police because of racism. We are in the fight AGAINST RACISM. George Floyd was murdered, his life stolen. The Adafruit teams have specific actions we’ve done, are doing, and will do together as a company and culture. We are asking the Adafruit community to get involved and share what you are doing. The Adafruit teams will not settle for a hash tag, a Tweet, or an icon change. We will work on real change, and that requires real action and real work together. That is what we will do each day, each month, each year – we will hold ourselves accountable and publish our collective efforts, partnerships, activism, donations, openly and publicly. Our blog and social media platforms will be utilized in actionable ways. Join us and the anti-racist efforts working to end police brutality, reform the criminal justice system, and dismantle the many other forms of systemic racism at work in this country, read more @ adafruit.com/blacklivesmatter
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.