My life in development began in 2003 as I began to develop websites to promote my DJing and events in the Northwest UK. Prior to this I had used online website builders to promote events and had also set up a fairly successful online clubbing forum that local promoters and DJs used for their events, the X-ite Clubbing Forums, the forums are still online, (X-ITE 2004 EUROPEAN MUSIC FORUM), but due to innactivity some of the posts and forums have been deleted. In 2004 I decided to move back to Spain after spending 8 months there in 2001. On returning to Spain I began to expand the reach of my previous clubbing forum and the local DJs and clubbers in Benidorm, where I was located, began to use it. At this point I had created a bridge between the DJs and clubbers from the Northwest UK and the DJs and clubbers in Benidorm.
As the the forum began to get more popular, it attracted the attention of a local DJ and friend, and together we began to set up clubbing websites promoting the local night clubs/DJs and entertainers, as well as a tourism forum for Benidorm: Around-Benidorm, and also expanded the previous forum to become European-Anthemz. Both forums quickly became very popular and soon we had a regular flow of visitors coming to Benidorm through the forum. At this point I was now Djing in the resort myself and we began to hold various events where Northwest UK DJs and promoters such as Maximes, Elite Vinyl, Meltdown, Dance-Attack and others flew over to play alongside local DJs in Spain. During this time I had taught myself how to build flash websites, table based websites and basic HTML, I would DJ through the nights and during the day I would teach myself how to code as well as doing promotion for the forums etc.
In 2008 I moved to Sweden with my girlfriend at that time and began to look into setting up as a web developer there. Things did not go as expected in Sweden so after a few months we moved back to my home town of Blackpool. At this point I was working as a sales rep during the day and continuing to teach myself how to code at night. I came across a web development company that were looking for part time staff, Tourist Information Centres LTD, and I decided to take the leap into attempting to get my first professional development job. As some of my previous table and flash based websites were still online, I headed over to their offices to show them my previous work. Although most of my work so far had been table and flash based, the company was looking for pure CSS and HTML websites, I was given a project for one of their clients and a deadline which challenged me with learning CSS and HTML within 3 days, to a good enough standard that the client would be happy with the project.
I continued working at the telesales office and spent the next three days with almost no sleep to complete the project. The client was very happy with the result and after a few more projects I was taken on as a full time web developer at the office, where I stayed for 2 years and was responsible for developing brochure style websites for businesses developed with HTML, CSS and some basic dynamic programming and database implementation. In my own time I was becoming hooked on dynamic programming using PHP and MySQL. I began to get bored of HTML and CSS and came across Joomla, from there I spent two years breaking it down and taught myself how to program dynamic websites using PHP, MySQL, JQuery, Ajax.
In 2009 whilst still working at Tourist Information Centres LTD, I set up my own development company called DXWebdesigns. I began developing a network that included business administration systems that would allow me to automate and ease the workload of running the business on my own. I had begun to get involved with Facebook Application development and was a regular contributor on the old Facebook Developers Forum. I had seen there was a potential market for using Facebook Applications for business, and created a way for business to have their websites built inside of the Facebook platform, which at the time I named Facebook MiniSites, these sites are now a large part of the foundations of what I call Hybrid Web Applications. Due to the lack of documentation and examples at this point I shared my experiences and knowledge on the Facebook Developer Forums to help out, and before long I was attracting work from the forums from all over the world for things like MiniSites and Facebook games. I had also created a version of Ebay which was a Facebook application and an application for restaraunts that could sell their food through Facebook which I developed just before Just Eat had become an everyday platform. I ran DXWebdesigns for 3 years and throughout that time reached clients in 7 countries throughout the world including the UK, Spain, America, Sweden, Norway, Australia and Canada. I was quickly beginning to learn how hard it was to run a business on your own, especially one that required providing 24 hour assistance and support and many hours of coding. Although I had originally set out to create a platform that would allow me to automate many of the day to day tasks, which is now what TechBubble Technologies is, I was quickly drowning in work and after not being paid for almost three months of work, I was severly beginning to struggle.
In 2013 I ended the business and decided to return to Spain, after a short while DJing, I became development manager at the Spanish office of a UK web development and social media company, Xpoze Media. At Xpoze we provided Social Media page design/optimization, and websites based on my previous systems from DXWebdesigns. After a few months we began to rebuild on of my earlier systems, the Facebook Application I had previously created for restaurants. We developed a whole new user interface which streamlined the process of users purchasing from the app and launched the product Appy-Tite.
During this time, I also wrote a weekly tech article in a local newspaper which saw the start of TechBubble. I was beginning to see the massive disconnect between the general public/businesses and the advancements of technology that were happening at that point. TechBubble, (click here to check out the TechBubble Technologies Modern Technology and Innovation Blog), was initially a media outlet designed to provide a community for helping people to learn about modern technology and how to use it safely and securely; and to understand just why it is essential to adapt a technological thinking and learn how to utilize the latest technologies to ensure that businesses, and indeed society, will survive the 4th industrial revolution. With TechBubble in the early days I hoped to help teach people about the importance of technology and promote the amazing progress that was happening in the world of IoT, Artificial Intelligence, 3D and 4D printing, Space Travel, Quantum Physics and Transhumanism. The blog began to become fairly popular and it wasn't long before I was being approached from tech companies to demo and review their devices through the blog. The blog is still fairly active to day, but I have found it hard to keep up with writing blog articles due to workloads. I will be making a point of getting back to posting regularly very soon.
I also had a rather popular Google+ page called oIsCore (Online Intelligent Systems Core Google+) which was based around the next generation of my earlier platform which I was developing into a central platform to integrate web / mobile / IoT and Artificial Intelligence programs and systems by joining together with people that were experts in these fields to integrate their work into the platform. At this point there was a lot of resistance to Artificial Intelligence and I quickly realised that, at least where I was located, the world was far too scared about it and not ready for a platform of this type. I began to rebuild oIsCore under TechBubble Technologies with the aim of starting to get businesses using modern web and social media to enhance their business, and then introducing them to IoT and ultimately Artificial Intelligence.
My programming skills had advanced a lot at this point and I was now involved in a couple of weak Artificial Intelligence/Natural Linguistics projects, the main being a basic A.I program, oIsCPP which was a command line based artificial intelligence personal assistant that used speech synthesis to speak back to the user. oIsCPP had various functions such as basic conversational/time/number skills and the ability to open and control various PC functions and applications. I had also joined forces with a developer from Sao Paulo named Edwardo Alevi, with a team of developers we began to integrate one of his Java Neural Networks into an application that would provide more accurate diagnosis of illnesses and be able to prescribe treatments more accurately, oIsAI JMNN, somewhere along the way we unfortunately lost contact but I am hoping to revive the project soon. Another group of projects that I had begun working on were based around a Natural Linguistics Interpreter which I named TOA, the TechBubble Online Assistant. TOA was developed to become an assistant on the TechBubble platform that would allow users and staff to interact with the various systems provided by TechBubble, but also as I explain later, evolved to become an AI Assistant that clients could utilize as well.
Towards the end of 2013 I setup as Autonimo here in Spain, and began to provide what I now call Hybrid Applications, as well as social media pages and services to businesses through TechBubble Technologies EU. My plan at this point was to extend TechBubble into one central control panel for web / mobile / IoT and Artificial Intelligence which is now almost fully in place, I will explain a bit about the current platform below, but feel free to check out the About TechBubble page for more info.
In 2014 I was one of a select few that was awarded an Intel Galileo as part of the Microsoft Development Program for IoT for one of my project ideas and this started my journey into the world of the Internet of Things. Over the last few years I have developed various types of IoT devices on Arduino, Intel Galileo and Raspberry Pi development boards. These devices have evolved into an IoT network called the TechBubble IntelliLan IoT Network which is powered by the TechBubble IoT JumpWay, see About TechBubble page for more info. More recently I have began rebuilding the circuits that the IntelliLan devices were originially created on, and in the process removed the need for devices such as Arduino. This type of programming is known as AVR programming and I now build custom circuits using Microcontrollers such as the ATMEGA328P-PU and use ESP8266 modules to allow these devices to connect to the TechBubble IoT JumpWay via MQTT, HTTP and soon AMQP and CoAP.
After leaving my job at Xpoze Media in 2014, Spain was in the middle of the crisis and being a self employed developer was becoming an ongoing struggle. Despite my efforts over the previous years, it was becoming increasingly more obvious that businesses were still not aware of the importance of modern technology and security. Many of the businesses I spoke to had out of date or sometimes even no security, and were using systems that put their clients and visitors data at risk. Many did not see the importance of upgrading to systems that were more efficient/secure, or were relectant to due to hassle or costs. Another issue I faced was finding people that understood what the platform I had been building actually was, and I struggled to form a successful sales team, ultimately I was hitting road block after roadblock. In March 2015 things hit an all time low and I lost the house I was living in leaving me homeless. I moved to France to stay with the parents of a close friend of mine that had passed away. Whilst there I lived in an attic and programmed day and night to try to complete the platform that I had been building and find new clients with the hope of being able to pull things back.
Whilst in France I began an Indiegogo campaign for some of the systems I had been developing around the platform which included VoiceAssisted Hybrid Apps, hybrid web applications that provided voice synthesis and voice recognition to make using the internet hands free and easier to navigate. With no funds for marketing and due to already working around the clock, it was near impossible for me to me make the campaign a success, before I had started my journey into crowd funding, I had no idea that you need large marketing budgets to have a successful campaign.
In June I was offered a job in Spain working as IT manager for one of my friends companies, with his help I was able to get back to Spain and back on my feet, and I continued working there until the company unfortunately shut down which left me back at square one again after just a few months. Luckily within a month I had managed to find a full time job working remotely for one of my clients ATR Media, now Orange Fox, and here I still work today as Development Manager where I am responsible for developing internal business administration systems, websites and apps.
Towards the end of 2015 I began to further my education by taking Harvard CS50x, An Introduction To Computer Science, an online course provided by Harvard through edX to teach computer science and programming
using the C and PHP languages. For my final project for CS50x I developed an extension for the original CS50Helpers website. CS50Helpers is the place for students taking the CS50 courses to find help and support. I successfully completed the course and passed with 100%, soon after completing the course I was asked by CS50x Teaching Assisant and now close friend, Luigi Morelli, to redevelop the original CS50Helpers website which is a massive honor that I am very proud of. Unfortunately due to workload I was unable to accomodate.
In addition to CS50x, I also enrolled in MITx 6.00.1x Introduction to Computer Science & Programming Using Python and MITx 6.00.2x Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science, these two courses make up the full course that you would take on campus at MIT. I was selected as Community Teaching Assistant for both of these courses with the responsibilities of assisting course organizer Ana Bell and Teaching Assistant Nitish Mittal, with assisting other students taking the course and running the official Facebook Groups. After the courses ended I was sent a letter of thanks and both Ana and Nitish remain friends that I am happy to have met.
What I learnt from these 3 courses helped me to enhance my own understanding of computer programming and I use the techniques I learnt in these courses in my everyday development. For instance Harvard CS50x was largely based around C programming, I now use C programming for programming the Microcontrollers that I use in my IoT projects. Both MITx courses were obviously based around Python, a language that I implement heavily in both my IoT devices/AI programs and also server software that I create. You will find more information about my experiences during these courses on the the Computer Science page. Many people argue whether MOOCs are relevant, or whether the certifications are recognised, for me it was never about the certifications, it was about expanding my knowledge of the areas of technology that I work in and I would definitely recommend them. In the case of the MIT courses it was an absolute honor for me to be a part of the team, and helping others learn gave me a great sense of accomplishment.
As time went on I was slowly going from strength to strength. I submitted an application for TechBubble Technologies to become part of the Microsoft Bizspark Program which was accepeted and made TechBubble Technologies an official member of the program. The next major accomplishment was in November 2015 when I applied to the IBM/4YFN Global Mobile Innovators Tournament and was accepted.
I submitted a project consisting of an Android application and a number of devices from the IntelliLan IoT Network to the Smart Homes category of the tournament and the project was selected as one of the best in Europe. In January 2016 I took part in the Semi Finals and flew to Amsterdam to present my project at B. Amsterdam.
Unforunately I did not make it to the finals but IBM very kindly invited me to the finals at 4YFN during the Mobile World Congress where I met some of the most amazing and talented developers in the world, including the creator of the MQTT protocol, Andy Stanford-Clark.
During the same time I had also submitted a project to the Microsoft/Hackster/Arduino World Maker Challenge. The project was a Weak Artficial Intelligence Program using SIML, Synthetic Intelligent Markup Language, that managed and controlled some of the IoT devices I had created such as an NFC / fingerprint scanner for authentication and a home security device. This project was selected as one of the winners of stage 1 of the contest and I was one of the first 1000 people to receive the Arduino MKR1000.
Just before I went to Amsterdam I had become interested in the world of BioHacking. I had got hold of an xNTi [xNT Tag + Injection Kit] from DangerousThings that would allow me to inject an NFC chip into my hand and program applications that would enable me to interact with technology such as PC's, phones and IoT devices etc. In the area of Spain that I am in, I found it absolutely impossible to find any doctors or piercers that would implant the chip for me. After a month or so of searching I decided to take the matter in to my own hands and injected the chip into my hand myself. Since implanting the chip I have made several devices and applications that allow me to connect to the chip for various functions and I also used the microchip to demonstrate my World Maker Challenge project.
During the 4YFN event at Mobile World Congress, I began to speak with Anh Tran of IBM Canada about the possibilities that the future of my BCI research could hold in both the IoT and medical industries. The talk went very well and I was very happy to learn that Anh and some of her contacts from IBM Canada would be working with myself to take the research and applications to the next level. Shortly after I returned from 4YFN, whilst looking for someone to support the 3D printing side of our plans I came in contact with a company called IC3D who agreed to sponsor us with the printing of our initial prototypes and a team to work with to begin to develop our own robotics and prosthetics. The progress of this project has unfortunately had to go on hold due to ongoing workload, but will soon be an active project again. You can view photos from 4YFN in the 4YFN 2016, Barcelona, Spain Photo Gallery.
In April 2016, having now created many IoT devices and almost completing the TechBubble IoT JumpWay platform. I decided to enhance my understanding about the core of IoT technologies and began the ColumbiaX IoT course, Enabling Technologies for Data Science and Analytics: The Internet of Things. ColumbiaX is an online learning initiative of Columbia Univeristy that is run through edX. I successfully completed the course and passed to receive a verified certificate of achievement. The course helped me to learn about more technologies to implement with the IoT JumpWay and helped me learn more about the underlying technologies of the Internet of Things.
More recently I have been focusing my attention on the IoT and AI side of TechBubble Technologies. For the last 6 months or so I have been expanding the TechBubble GUI to not only be a place for managing online systems but also IoT devices and applications via the TechBubble IoT JumpWay. One of the core features that has been rebuilt is TOA, previously built using my own version of AIML, named TAIML, I began redevloping her to use various different types of machine learning including natural linguistics processing and machine learning. During this time I have also taken the Stanford Online Machine Learning course which I passed with 94.5% and in addition I am currently taking the Washington University Machine Learning Specialisation. One AI project that is coming close to completion is the Artificial Intelligence Hybrid E-Commerce system. This system integrates TOA's capabilities into the OnlineAdvancer OnlineStore system, allowing visitors to navigate the store, find product information, manage their cart and account using AI and voice recognition.
At the IoT Solutions World Congress in Barcelona, I took part in the Intel / Micorosoft – IoT Solutions World Congress Hackathon and the IoT Solutions World Congress Brokerage Event. At the Hackathon I joined up with a team people dedicated to enhancing the world through modern technologies under the name of Team Random. The original team had five members, myself, Amir H. Bakhtiary, Katerina Zalamova, David Soles & Roger Sindre-u. We entered our project in the healthcare category and the aim was to create an Artificially Intelligent camera that could identify family members, in particular dependent family members, and control a range of connected sensors and actuators in a way that could help assist dependent family members.
Our project won a special award from Intel, the Intel Experts Award, an award that was created to recognize the appreciation of Intel for the usage of their hardware in a unique way, in particular the implementation of the Neural Network on an Intel Joule and overcoming issues with the relatively new hardware. After the initial success of the project, Katerina has taken on the role of CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), plus we are happy to welcome Andrej Petelin and Irene Naya to the team who will be responsible for the application development for the project. Thanks to the IOTSWC Brokerage Event we are also in the process of forming partnerships with companies around the globe involved in both A.I. and IoT to mutually extend the capabilities of our projects.
Since the early days of my involvement in IoT, I was very familiar with the Intel® Software Innovator program through the Intel Galileo, it was one of my goals since the early days join the program. Three years later, in January 2017, I was approached by Francesco Baldassarri, EMEA Manager of the Intel Innovators Program. Francesco informed me that after doing some research on my work, he would like to invite me onto the program which was an amazing honor. I am now engaged on the program and will be working specifically on Internet of Things (IoT) projects and inventions using the Intel® IoT Developer Kit for Intel® Galileo or Intel® Edison boards, and Artificial intelligence (IA) models or agents built for best performance on hardware from Intel.
Through my involvement with the program I will be working on projects related to my categories,
releasing technical documents/tutorials and source codes, helping people learn about using Intel software/hardware in their projects, and taking part in speaking and demonstrating at Intel related meetups, hackathons and codefests. You can keep up to date with my progress as an Intel® Software Innovator on the Intel® Software Innovator page.
In March 2017 I gave my first TEDx talk remotely. The event was held at the University of Melbourne and was based on Artificial Intelligence and the effect it will have on our society in the future. Here are some photos from the event.
You can view photos, videos and info from the event in my event gallery on the TEDx talk on A.I at the University of Melbourne events page.
In March 2017 I gave a talk at the Home Automation Workshop at the National Institute of Technology in GOA through my role as an Intel Software Innovator. My talk was about the evolution of the Internet Of Things through Artificial Intelligence & BioHacking.
You can view photos, videos and info from the event in my event gallery on the Home Automation Workshop National Institute of Technology in GOA events page.
In March 2017 I supported my first Intel® event as an Intel Software Innovator where I was part of the support team that assisted developers from around the globe in the Intel® IoT Solutions Hackathon in Furth Germany. Over 50 people attended the event and some amazing projects were created using Intel® hardware and software.
You can view photos, videos and info from the event in my events gallery on the Intel® IoT Solutions Hackathon, Furth, Germany events page.
In May 2017 I was proud to debut the Artificial Intelligence Assistants A.I E-Commerce Store at Collision Conf at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Collision is "America's fastest growing tech conference" created by the team behind Web Summit. In two years, Collision has grown to almost 20,000 attendees from more than 100 countries. Attendees include CEOs of both the world's fastest growing startups and the world's largest companies, alongside leading investors and media.
The event was a huge success and we were very excited to receive so much attention and such a positive response from attendees, investors and the media during our booth day. The event allowed us to form new partnerships with companies from across the globe that will allow us to enhance the features of the A.I. E-commerce store.
I was proud to demonstrate our Artificially Intelligent CCTV Network, TASS A.I. Network, at the Intel Booth at Codemotion this May as part of my role as an Intel Software Innovator. Codemotion is the biggest tech conference in Italy and one of the most important in Europe, with a network of more than 30k developers.
The TASS Network is made up of IoT connected video cameras and a local hub which homes an IoT connected Convolutional Neural Network. The hub can connect to multiple IP cameras on the network and first detects if there is a face, or faces, present in the frames, and if so passes the frames through the trained model to determine whether the face is a known person or an intruder. In the event of a known person or intruder the server communicates with the IoT JumpWay which executes the relevant commands that set by rules,
for instance, controlling other devices on the network or raising alarms in applications etc. You can view photos, videos and info from the event in my events gallery on the Codemotion Amsterdam events page.
There are many more projects in the pipeline, many more people to mention, and I am sure there is going to be many more stories to tell in the future, but this is the story of my journey so far. As you can see there have been times of excitement and accomplishment, but there have also been times of struggle. No matter what anyone told me or how alienated I felt, I never gave up with my work and fought to keep it alive. One of my aims is to not only help the world with my technologies, but to also help get behind the development community and others that may face similar issues that I did over the years so they do not have to feel as alone as I did. One day I hope to look back on my life and say it was worth it, and see the people that I have helped flourishing in a world where innovation is supported. A message to anyone out there that is struggling, things never stay bad for too long, keep focused, keep driving and soon you will find the right people that will help you excell further than you imagined you could! Keep on innovating, the world will catch up!