Tony Svanström


ical vcard svanstrom svanstrom tonysvanstrom @svanstrom
Today I got my EU Digital COVID Certificate (2/2 vaccinated; Comirnaty/Pfizer–BioNTech).
A short intro/teaser to what my main project is all about… My project is technically fairly simple, but conceptually it can be a bit of a brain-twister; which is due to it solving a technical limitation that feels like it shouldn't even be able to exist in a world where we know that all data is constantly tracked, collected, processed, and so on. The easiest way to explain it is to start with a simplified problem: Imagine wanting to call your local customer service at the H&M clothing company. If you know that their domain name is "hm.com" you can go to their website, where you without too much trouble will find their contact information. So how come that you can't just type "hm.com" into your voice calling-app, and have it automatically grab the correct phone number from the hm.com website? Well, that's actually a super hard problem (for a computer). Our brains are awesome at completely automatically analyzing patterns and context; and without that computers can't easily traverse the web to cherry-pick the information that we need. And the implications of that are HUGE. Just think about how we today are using "@businessname" to follow businesses through third-party social networks, and imagine what would happen if we instead could follow any information from a business directly from their website (i.e. "example.com"). There would be no third-party manipulating what we get, and we as information-consumers get to choose ourselves if we want to follow their blog, their photos, their offers, their supply/webstore, and so on, or perhaps only their opening hours. Much greater information efficiency becomes possible, when/if we want it. So practically there has been a very real, and very hard, technical limitation that has kept us from getting social media-like apps that allow us to "follow" any source, rather than just the posts put into, and filtered through, third party, commercial, social networks. And it's the same with information kiosks/signs; they simply can't live access all relevant sources of information. For instance, such a sign at a big mall cannot be a thin and easily implemented layer that answer questions with live data from all the individual stores' own websites. So they can't show the customers a compilation of all the stores having exactly the products they are looking for. The information just isn't easily available like that; even though it manually is, to a human. I'm fixing things like that. And, no, I'm not using AI. It's a new approach, naturally completely open and decentralized; and based on technology simple enough that it could have been part of the web when it launched three decades ago. Sometimes it just takes the right perspective, the right idea, at the right time, to create some magic; and that's what I think I've got going on here.
Midsummer is here; so, we're about halfway through 2021. • So far in 2021 I've managed to catch me some Covid-19, without getting hospital-level sick; and a doctor caught my "pre-cancer", early stage stuff that needed to be removed. So that's good. Also, have taken the vaccine to make business trips easier. • Work-wise it's great to feel alive again (less social distancing). • Next month I'll release the first version of an e-paper display for businesses. The first store using it live will have it sync with online information; where they are currently reprinting a piece of paper with their weekly updates. • Later this year I'll hopefully be able to talk some more about the in code hidden features of those display (some investor talks are currently happening). • Next month I'll make sure to share some pics of those e-paper displays in action. Stay tuned.
The world isn't quite at post-COVID yet, but as we're somewhat approaching some sort of return to normality I'll be updating this website. In the meantime… As usual I'm available to consult within the areas of technology strategy and business devevelopment; especially supporting startups and SMEs as a tech expert. I'm also starting to look at returning to some international work again, but right now that's kept "by request". (Due to recent developments in Hong Kong I will not be returning there, nor to China; which also includes stopovers. Taiwan is ok for now.) Also, I'm looking at putting together some simple to use tech. products/packages helping small B&M businesses do some COVID-adaptations to how they work. (Currently getting feedback from local businesses; and if anything comes from that it'll be announced here.)
Sometimes you forget important details when 3D-printing; and have to apply a bit of brute force. 😆
3D-printed cased, brutally modified with drill.
This is of course why we always do about a gazillion trial runs; because there's always something that has to be adjusted as a design goes from concept to production.
The river Fyris at night Winter darkness, pandemic, and work 7 days/week; and in the middle of it all, suddenly there's this beauty. I needed that. :) Also, this time of year marks where we start getting longer days again. Right now the sun sets about 6 hours after sunrise, with the weather most days being just a grey uni-cloud; but 6 months from now there will be 18 hours between sunrise and sunset.
Verifying the quality of the 3D-printer, that we'll be using to print the "cases" for the hardware I'm designing for a project. (Currently using stock RPI0, as can be seen in the second picture.)
3D printed case
Tiny computers, high resolution display, 3D printed case
The struggle with branding in a world with fewer and fewer available domain names is real. I recently got Open Media ID (openmedia.id) for a project, which I'm quite happy with; but I'm also keeping an already launched commercial project simply the way that I would do consoluting, just because there's no obvoius available (domain) name for it. 😣 At least none that I'm happy with. I dunno. There's just this expectation, perhaps placed on me by myself, that I either fix someone else's problem (i.e. consult), or build a company (i.e. provide ready-made solutions); but perhaps I should just whilte label a series of products?! No branding to deal with, no website, no nothing; just creating damn good products, and network my way to meetings with potential customers. It's tempting. And, to me it's a new way of thinking. Which is an absolutely beautiful way of starting a new week. Happy monday, everyone. 👋
My latest side-project: Open Uppsala (OpenUppsala.se). Being "stuck" (🦠🔐) in Uppsala I realized that our small, but very talented, tech community is lacking a coordinated effort to highlight our open community; the people, businesses, and projects, that work with open source and/or open data. So, I decided to create such a project. Right now openuppsala.se is kept "prelaunch", to give the local community a chance to react (to make sure there's no overlap with what some other group is about to launch); and I'm also trying to get a feel for where things are heading among businesses in post-vacation time. Stay tuned. Update (2021-03-09): Let's just say that this project, for now, has a non-specific timeline.
The river Fyris
📍(🦠🔐): Uppsala (🇸🇪)