This year I attended the fourth annual TechFestNW at Revolution Hall in Portland, Oregon. Themes at the two-day event were virtual reality, augmented reality, robotics, drones, and the future of technology. Other topics included the sharing economy, diversity in the tech industry, and tech body modification as in cyborg. Revolution Hall is the newest music venue in Portland residing within the former Washington High School building which includes office space. The Roof Deck lounge provides views of downtown Portland. Located near major bike routes and quiet streets, Revolution Hall turned out to be a pleasant location with easy access for Portland’s many bike commuters working in technology. I came most interested in augmented reality, but I left impressed by the presenters on the future with drones and robots. Below I review my two favorite sessions, John Markoff on robots and Jonathan Evans on drones. TechFestNW offered a wide range of topics, good food and drink, games, music, and plenty of opportunities to meet or squeeze in some work.
The entrance to Revolution Hall was one of several locations to park bikes around the building. Late arrivals locked their bikes to a nearby steel fence.