UX Field Trip Friday: CableLabs, Sunnyvale

A huge thank you to our good friends Mickie Calkins and David Barron at CableLabs, Sunnyvale! In addition to offering a wealth of knowledge on industry trends and technology, CableLabs maintains a state-of-the-art facility for everything from events to user testing. Oh, and they also have an impressive collection of AR devices and wearables. Nice!

CableLabs is a non-profit research and development consortium that is dedicated to creating innovative ideas that significantly impact our cable operator members‘ business. CableLabs also serves to define interoperable solutions among our members and their technology vendors in order to drive scale, reduce costs, and create competition in the supply chain. CableLabs membership is comprised of the major cable operators worldwide.

NASCAR 2015

In celebration of launching NASCAR within our X1 TV Sports App, the team took a little trip to Sonoma to do some “research”.

2015 Summer Picnic

Yes, we do those embarrassing corporate event things like hula hoop contests and three-legged races. But hey, we also get ice cream afterward.

Bike 2 Work

CSV_Bikes

About a year ago, I got tired of spending hours in the car every day and started to take the train to work. More recently, filled with newfound energy from not being stuck in traffic for hours, I took a look at the road bike gathering dust in the corner and decided – I was going to bike to work from San Francisco to Sunnyvale.

Biking from San Francisco to Silicon Valley is a pretty significant ride, if you haven’t ridden that much. Depending on where you’re going, it’s between 40-50 miles, which can be pretty daunting. Luckily, it’s mostly flat paved trails with some amazingly scenic views of the San Francisco Bay. There’s a pretty big community of San Franciscans who get up early and make the commute on bicycle to the South Bay. Armed with a printout of directions from sf2g.com, I ventured onto the roadway with my freshly tuned up bike… and got lost. I did eventually get to work — a few hours late. As physically and mentally grueling as the ride was, I still felt amazed that I’d physically conveyed a distance that I normally only drive or take the train for.

After a few rides, my speed has increased dramatically as I’ve became familiar with some of the tricky and weird directions. I’ve also started to notice my fellow bike commuters and had some pretty cool conversations about bike commuting while we waited at stop lights. It’s not something that I can commit to daily (yet) but I’m having a lot of fun with my weekly ride.

There are a decent number of bike commuters in the office riding for part or all of their commute from all over the Bay Area – the city, the South Bay and the East Bay. Friday has been dubbed our semi-official “Bike 2 Work Friday”. If you’re curious about biking to work or want to join me for a ride from SF to the office, let me know!

Happy trails,

Hong Kwon

F8 Facebook Developer Conference

At Comcast Silicon Valley Innovation Center, we’re always looking to collaborate with new technologies and services. One of the benefits of being in the San Francisco Bay Area is that there is so much innovation and opportunities to work with creative engineers nearby.

 

This March, I had the opportunity to attend the F8 Facebook Developer Conference [link: https://fbf8.com], held at the Fort Mason Center in sunny San Francisco. I was eager to be introduced to the new technologies from Facebook, as well as diving into 1 on 1 technical discussions with team leads, and exploring possible ventures with Facebook business and product strategists.

 

Attending conferences is a great way to network and create/strengthen relationships. I met a number of start ups engineers and founders, and ran into some people who I’ve only worked with “virtually” – it’s nice to finally put a face to the name! There are a lot of people and companies out there accomplishing some really interesting things, and that’s always so inspiring to witness.

 

One of the really cool things at this year’s F8 conference was the introduction and open sourcing of React Native [link: https://facebook.github.io/react-native], an awesome way to increase developer efficiency when writing native mobile apps. They also had the new Oculus Rift (Crescent Bay) demos, as well as some great keynotes and sessions on the Future of VR, and lessons on how to architect your app to scale.

 

It’s sometimes hard to think of Facebook (the company) as anything other than a really, really popular social platform, but attending F8 helps to remind me of all the other cool things the company does. They have developed and contributed toolsets, frameworks, many open source contributions, published talks on software design and architecture, as well as created initiatives such Internet.org [link: http://internet.org] and helping startups get off the ground with programs such as FbStart [link: http://fbstart.com].

 

Similarly, Comcast strives to improve the developer community by hosting developer events like hackathons and technical seminars, sharing our learnings and architecture at conferences, and open sourcing [link: https://github.com/comcast] internally developed tools, services, and frameworks. I strongly believe that any industry leader has a responsibility to give back and to help nurture the current and next generation of talent. I hope we continue to be active in the developer community, and become even more involved in open source and start more initiatives to better the world we all live in.

 

Most, if not all, of the F8 sessions are available online [link: https://developers.facebooklive.com].

 

– Simon

Lab Week

Three time’s a year, we run intensive Lab Week events throughout our Silicon Valley, New York and Philadelphia offices.

Completely opening the floor to new ideas, everyone is invited to create, explore and ultimately share what they’ve learned. During our latest event, 12 separate CSV teams began by presenting their ideas to a small group of reviewers. After receiving initial feedback and formulating goals, the hacking and designing began. 4 days later they would each present and demo their final work to the entire staff. No Pressure!

Running as a 24-hour-a-day operation, large group work areas were set up, refrigerators were stocked and teams were on their way.

Fast forward to Thursday afternoon: judges set, audience ready. One by one the teams revealed their accomplishments, and sometimes their mishaps. It’s always interesting to see the variety of concepts–  facial recognition tools, gesture controls, games, IOT components, and the list goes on. One of our favorites to-date was a laser powered, audio triggered action game. Unfortunately it caught on fire and melted prior to the demo!

We offer prizes to the winners of our Lab Week events, but the true reward lies in the opportunity for exposure, and the real possibility that a simple idea could become actual product in a very impactful way.

 

Comcast Cares Day 2015

Look at all those green shirts – 95,000 of them!

Comcast NBCUniversal is committed year-round to improving the quality of life in the local communities where our customers and employees live and work. Comcast Cares Day is our annual celebration of our service commitment. This year, we mobilized a record 95,000 volunteers at more than 750 projects nationwide and in more than a dozen countries around the world.

The Silicon Valley team participated in events ranging from packing food for Family Supportive Housing to School cleanups around the Bay Area.

Look at all those green shirts!

Comcast Cares Day Prep

Prepping for Comcast Cares Day with some insane skills! Comcast NBCUniversal is committed year-round to improving the quality of life in the local communities where our customers and employees live and work. Comcast Cares Day is our annual celebration of our service commitment. Last year, we mobilized a record 95,000 volunteers at more than 820 projects in 15 countries. Join us this year to make change happen again.

CSV Among Silicon Valley’s 19 Coolest Places to Work

By Tom Kaneshige, CIO | Apr 10, 2014

Silicon Valley can be a crazy place to work. Whether you want to call it crazy or creative, these days when young guns go to the office, they want shared workstations and open spaces to collaborate. Tech companies new and old are obliging them with colorful and imaginative workspaces. Check out 19 of the most impressive office spaces in the valley.

Comcast: Follow the Red Road
Here’s what Comcast says about its new Silicon Valley Innovation Center: “Cool, muted colors prevail over the space, with vibrant pockets of red throughout. Reflecting Comcast’s origins as a cable provider, the design of the space takes cues from a two-dimensional electrical wiring diagram. Red paths run across the floor using in the pattern of wires and serve as way-finding guidelines.”  GO TO FULL ARTICLE

Designboom features CSV

design blitz finishes comcast office in red
all images courtesy of design blitz

the growing american communications company, comcast, has a new seat for their R&D branch. the ‘silicon valley innovation center’ by design blitz in sunnyvale, CA provides 31,000 sq ft (2,880 sqm) of open office and collaborative space for the corporation’s entrepreneurial arm to build new products that change how people connect to entertainment, information, and their communities. the design is informed by the establishment’s history as a cable provider. a series of linear accents, which recall wire diagrams, provide way finding throughout the building. networks of red constructions designate communal places for employees to gather and work through project development. GO TO FULL ARTICLE