Riccardo Marchesi [rmarchesi]
What is your professional position? What technology do you work with?
I run a company that makes: fabrics for shielding electromagnetic fields, metal fabrics for interior design and textile sensors
Please list web addresses where one can see something about you.
Do you consider yourself a geek?
I consider myself someone able to create new things, I don't exactly know if I can be considered a geek.
How did your professional interest in technology come about?
My father tought me to love technology and innovation. He was a mechanical engineer that founded the company I'm running now.
Were you one of those who broke toys to see the inner workings?
Absolutely..and I still do it!
How would you describe the emotion that comes from getting involved in a new technology?
Thrilling, sometimes discouraging when things go bad. But you must go on, even when things go bad.
In your field of work, what is the major technological trend on the horizon?
The major technological trend in interactive textiles - fabrics that can exchange data between a computer and the surrounding world - is the effort to apply this technology to everyday objects and things.
What factors should one keep in mind when giving advice about an investment in technology?
Try to imagine the future. If you think this technology could be used in the future, then invest in it. But, remember, that future could be different from what you have thought!
Do you think businesses waste a lot of money on bad technology?
I think they do. Sometimes it is difficult to figure out if a technology is bad or good for your company, until you own it and discover that it is not the right technology you needed. Preliminary investigation is a must, but not always works.
What brands or companies within your professional environment are you used to recommending with great confidence?
Arduino, Adafruit, Sparkfun
How do creativity and methodology combine to resolve technological problems?
It is always a great challenge. I usually start being creative, and when I have the idea in my mind I go down to Earth and I think how to make it. So if I had to express a rule I would say "Creativity first, methodology after, with a lot of compromise in between"
Which one is needed to work in technology: great patience, or an especially ordered mind?
You definitely need patience, and you need to be precise about certain things or your project will not work. So I would say you need both.
Does pressure impede your concentration or is it a stimulus to outdo yourself?
It works as a stimulus.
Aside from work, what other technologies interest you on a personal level?
Astrophysics and robotics
What are your favorite gadgets? If someone can't find you, what store would they need to go to in order to look for you?
I'm very practical and I don't like to have unuseful gadgets around me. Most of the times I visit a shopping center I enter the shop where they sell electronic gadgets.
Are kids and teens too “technified”? Can one become addicted to technology?
I think they are becoming. Technology is good, and I could not leave without it. But what makes me sad is that teens prefer watching a video on their screen than take a walk in the woods. Technology will never be able to give me the same thrill I have when I climb a mountain, I sail the sea or I watch the stars.
I think you can become addicted to technology
Which is more difficult: dealing with machines or dealing with people?
When machines do not behave as they are supposed to it is easier to find the reason. They are still unable to hurt you intentionally.
How often are you called on outside of work hours to solve an urgent problem?
Not so often, but when it happens I do it with pleasure because it makes me feel important.
Play futurologist: what will the technology of your sector be like in 20 years time?
Our technology is strictly related to the Internet of Things. The 80% of our body is covered by textiles, and a lot of surfaces in our homes are covered by fabrics. They represent a perfect environment to embed our sensors.
In 20 years we expect to wear sensors that will monitor our body functions, and systems able to sense our presence in the space will adapt the environment to our needs. Medical devices and sporting goods are the most promising markets for our devices.
Do you attend fairs, conventions, or other events related to your sector?
Yes we do
What professional challenge would you like to undertake at this time?
My biggest challenge is to develop fabrics able to sense any physical quantity.
Where is your professional career headed? What do you imagine yourself doing five years from now?
1. still running the same family company, larger in size
2. still running the same company, part of a larger group
3. bringing my expertize to another company
What magazines, forums or websites do you use to keep up to date with technology?
What advice do you have for those reluctant to try new technologies?
New technologies can improve our lives and the lives of those that are not as lucky as we are.
Florence - Italy