Thursday, 20 February 2014

Ground control to Major bITjAM

In October last year, a piece of research carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that Stoke-on-Trent residents were among the lowest ranking for life-satisfaction, worthwhile and happiness in the whole of the UK. Rubbish, I say – mostly because Stokies have access to delicious Staffordshire oatcakes. However, if the region requires yet another reason to be happy, here it is: the launch of the bITjAM Innovation Qube.

By Charlie Stroe

In case you haven't come across our friends at bITjAM, let me tell you a few things that make them amazing. Firstly, they have already worked their magic for clients like the NHS, the Arts Council EnglandStaffordshire University and the Birmingham Conservation Trust.  This last project involved bITjAM designing four digital tours that work on seven inch tablets, while also being interactive, fun and informative at the same time.

bITjAM can also help companies of any shape and size, from pretty much any industry, save money by designing innovative solutions that use technology to optimise work flow and communication with clients, staff and stakeholders.

If BITjAM's had a creed, I wager it would be something along the line of “technology will save our souls.” And that's because they know it so well and can manipulate it to suit their purposes, much like, say, Tony Stark.

Thirdly, bITjAM have worked with young people teaching them how to hack into everyday technologies and do impressive things with them.  Just wait a second before you get on your high horse and tell me all about how hacking is bad.

Actually, a hackspace or hacklab is all about collaboration and developing free software, open hardware and alternative media. This is exactly what bITjAM taught Birches Head Academy students when they hacked a Nintendo Wii to emulate an electronic white board. STEM curriculum made fun, baby!

That might seem like enough to make the people of Stoke-on-Trent smile, bITjAM just won't stop. To prepare for the launch of their unique research and development space, the bITjAM Innovation Qube, the company has invited local secondary school pupils, university students and apprentices to submit their creative ideas about original uses for technology.

The big prize for each category is a tech kit worth £200 and a personal research and development session with the bITjAM team of digital design experts and the Qube equipment. This includes 3D printers, an Oculus Rift virtual reality set, leap motion technology and much more. A geek's dream, really.

But wait, there's more! Staffordshire companies that would like to find out how bITjAM can help their business are welcome to come and get personalised advice, while also visiting the unique Innovation Qube on March 7, between 13:00 and 15:00.

All you have to do is register here and get ready to have your mind blown. In addition, feel free to, take your protein pills and put your helmet on.

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