Innovators of Tomorrow—Paul Langdon

In this episode we talk to Paul Langdon about the work he’s been doing with smart switches and home devices, Amazon’s Deep Lens, and the Hartford, Connecticut maker community.

elcome to "Innovators of Tomorrow." I'm your host Bob Duffy here to bring you the sights, the sounds, and inspirational work from developers in our innovator community from around the globe. Today we are talking with Intel Software innovator Paul Langdon about the work he's been doing in smart switches, home devices, Amazon Deep Lens, and the Hartford maker community. So let's get started. 

Hi, Paul. Welcome to the show. I know you as of our most prolific innovators. You're always tinkering around with technology and you're spending a lot of time supporting the local maker and innovator community in Hartford. So just tell me what are you working on these days? 

Thanks for having me on. I've mostly been spending my time working on a couple projects and running some meet ups here in Hartford. 

That's great. I mean, because I do see you on Facebook. And I see that you are out there, you're building lots of things, and you are supporting the maker community. But on the things that you're building and prototyping, tell us a little bit about those. 

Sure. At my day job at iDevices we make smart switches and smart home devices. I've been working on a project integrating voice services into our product line. We've been real busy prototyping different voice hardware and SDKs. And we're hoping to release it in a project this year. 

As a hobby project I've been working on Deep Lens. It's a deep learning hardware that was put together by Intel and Amazon and released or announced at AWS Reinvent this fall. I've been building two projects with that that relate to Deep Lens. 

The first, I'm training models to identify wildlife and birds so we can catalog the creatures that come to visit the nature center where my wife works. The model is currently trained on feather patterns and how animals look, but I'm hoping to include sounds and birdsong as a way to further identify the animals. Deep Lens is a neat project. It uses AWS SageMaker and Jupyter notebooks, put it runs on Intel hardware to quickly identify video at the edge. 

The second project I've been working on with Deep Lens is building a custom Deep Lens configuration using an off the shelf Nook, SageMaker, and a USB camera in hopes to bring more deep learning functionality to developers. 

That's just amazing, Paul, using something like Deep Lens, using something that's a smart camera to identify wildlife. That just sounds so cool. And then also kind of building your own, rolling your own, as they say, with regard to a smart camera. That's so cool. 

But I also know that you do spend a lot of time supporting your local community and young innovators there. So tell us about what you're doing there at Hartford. 

I teach and mentor probably about once a week. I've been running Intel Alliance workshops monthly at a technical college here. The workshops I've been running include AWS voice services and Google Cloud platform. They all run these services at the edge on Nook gateways. The workshops are great. They fit nicely into the AI machine learning curriculum that they're teaching at the schools. 

And we also have a really active maker community in Hartford. I've been hosting the monthly workshop for about three years now, which focuses on hardware and electronic projects. 

That is so cool to see that you're spending your own time dedicating to others. It's inspiring. Is there something that you've heard or seen within your local community that has been inspirational for you? 

Yeah. My meet ups are pretty diverse. They attract a lot of different folks from high school students to retired engineers here in the area. A really cool story, one of my favorites, is we had a couple of students who were building a robotic arm project to help disabled people in the workplace. 

We have another active retired aerospace engineer that's part of our meet up. He stepped up to mentor their project and help them deliver it on time. It was a great success. They actually competed nationally and placed in the top five for a national competition. 

That's absolutely amazing to hear. What a great story of people helping each other, especially for something so good as that. So we are lucky to have you, Paul, and so is the Hartford community. I really thank you for spending time with us today. 

You can connect with Paul and follow along with his projects at the link provided. Also, we've included a link so you can learn more about the Intel software Innovator Program. 

That wraps up this installment of the show. Be sure to like this video and subscribe to the Intel Software YouTube channel to keep learning about the innovators of tomorrow. On behalf of an amazing video crew, thanks for tuning in. We'll catch you later.