Shanghai Chapters technology February
13.03.2017 | Alumni Chapter Shanghai
By: Urs Casagrande
In February the ETH Alumni Chapter Shanghai had two events where they experienced the use of technology in every day live. The 8th of February they spend at «Hacker- or Makerspace» and gained insight in interesting projects. 11 days later they met again to see how technology can change everyone’s daily fitness program.
The ETHZ Alumni Shanghai visited 新车间/«XinCheJian» (Chinese for «the new workshop»), the first so called Hacker- or Makerspace of China, as well as the adjacent co-working space «people2».
«Hackerspaces» are a concept that emerged with the «Maker movement» with the idea to provide an enabling, creative environment for people to develop and carry out their project ideas in a DIY-manner. Especially in combination with crowd sourcing such hacker spaces have been empowering people to commercialize even wild ideas. Well-known examples are People2, Naked Hub, We Work, X-node etc.
Co-working spaces provide lo-cost, usually open office space for start-ups and individuals and are quickly spreading throughout Shanghai. In 2016 alone at least 50 such facilities were opened. Well-known examples are XinCheJian and 88spaces.
The event started with a tour through the premises by the manager. Thereafter we joined the weekly sharing session of XinCheJian when its members share their projects, exchange ideas and support each other’s progress. Thereafter we went for dinner at a 新疆/«XinJiang» restaurant serving typical dishes of the Uighur autonomous region in the far West of China.
A revolution in fitness
After the interesting insight into «Hacker-Mackerspace» the next event was already coming up. Only 11 days later the ETHZ Alumni Shanghai met again to experience the local fitness-related tech start-up “smart fit” and to share experiences related to tech and entrepreneurship.
Using IoT and AI-technology, Smart fit has the ambition to revolutionize fitness, currently one of the hottest industries in China. China has a comparatively low fitness penetration but increasing demand for fitness so that new scalable and tech-related approaches are sought after by many start-ups.
After a short introduction the alumni visited the newly decorated gym with and were able to have a close look at the 3 first prototypes of the fitness equipment that has been developed in-house. Thereafter the alumni - among the visitors were several entrepreneurs - had an extensive sharing session over some drinks and snacks in the office of the startup sponsored by Urs as this was the last event for him as co-president of the Shanghai chapter.