Hacker’s Delight: NVIDIA Makes an Impression at Maker Faire (Video)

by Brian Caulfield

Microsoft was there. NASA was there. So were 100,000-plus hobbyists, hackers, makers, and enthusiasts of all kinds. The annual Maker Faire at the San Mateo County Fairground is our kind of crowd.

Giant cardboard creatures hulked overhead. Tiny robots prowled underfoot. Kids wearing t-shirts proclaiming “Video Games Y’all” skittered through the throng.

Maker Faire 2014: we came, we saw, we made stuff.
Maker Faire 2014: we came, we saw, we made stuff.

We drew more than our fair share of this crowd into a booth packed with new technologies. And more than a few NVIDIANs.

One of our top marketing guys talked about our new Jetson TK1 development kit. Surrounding him: a half dozen yellow-shirted members of the Mountain View High School Spartans robotics team.

One of our particularly adept creative types showed how he designed, rendered, and printed — in real time — a stunning plastic case for Jetson TK1 before showgoers’ eyes.

And another spent the day explaining how GE built a device that uses Jetson and Lidar — which illuminates targets with a laser and analyzes the reflected light — to track people crowding around our booth in real-time.

Nearly fifty people at a time crowded into the tiny booth. They gawked, blasted down virtual roads in a high-def demo of “Project Cars,” and grabbed posters with plans they could use to build NVIDIA-powered PCs.

“This is the best place on Earth right now,” said Adrian, 16, a member of the Mountain View High School robotics team.

Behind him, a father tugged at his five-year-old son’s wrist as the kid gawked at a flat, wall-mounted PC on display.

The verdict? “This is awesome,” said Maker Faire attendee JP Allport after checking out our 3D printing demo. “Just awesome.”