Our first Digital Garden Party of the year got off to a flying start with more than 60 attendees coming out on a grey, miserable Thursday night in February (it’s a good job we’re able to meet inside during the winter rather than in the garden!). 

We kicked off with a debate between Jeff Coghlan from Matmi and Nicola Drinkwater from Tech North, discussing ‘Smart Home Gadgets and the Internet of Things’.

Jeff took to the floor first, with the ‘for’ argument, saying how he’s set his home up to open the door for him when he arrives, set the temperature of his heating system and to detect intruders. He went on to say how technology is being used for far more than this though, particularly in the care sector where patients can use home monitoring systems to potentially enable them to stay in their own homes, whilst still receiving the care they need.

Nicola was speaking ‘against’ and led with the security aspect of devices being used, saying that over 80% are insecure. She also questioned whether some devices are just going too far, citing the example of L’Oreal’s smart hairbrush which provides data on how you brush your hair and therefore could help you to take better care of your hair. At £150, is this really something we need?

The audience then voted with their feet, with more people agreeing with Jeff – in the digital industry we all work in, we obviously love our tech!

As usual we had our sponsors to thank for the food and drink – Shortlist Recruitment and iomart – thanks guys.

The next gathering is set for Thursday 15th June – keep the date free!


About the Digital Garden Party

Back in May 2014, we ran the first Digital Garden Party in Chester and nearly 3 years later, the event is still going strong. It’s a chance for people who work in digital to have a chat over a drink and share contacts, ideas and maybe the odd project or two.

There’s always a debate and previous topics have included ‘Technology vs Learning’, ‘The Website Is Dead’ and ‘Has Online Tracking Gone Too Far?’. 

The event is run from 6.30pm until around 8.30pm at the wonderful, if not slightly bonkers, Oddfellows in the centre of Chester. If you’d like to be kept in the loop with future Digital Garden Parties then email Sarah and she’ll let you know when the next one is.

We hope to see you at the next do. 

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