snif labs inc
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sniflabsinc. was conceived of by graduate students working at the MIT Media Laboratory. The initial idea came from a course project prepared for Professor Hiroshi Ishii. The goal at that time was to create a physical interface to a social networking software system.

The team observed that dog walking, especially in urban areas, provided a safe avenue for casual social interaction between dog owners. Initial prototypes for the SNiF® tag were attempts to combine the natural interactions of dog walkers with powerful social networking tools.

The product and its goals have changed considerably over time, but its origins are significant. We would like to acknowledge and thank Professor Ishii for sharing his expertise and inspiring us to proceed with this work.

Noah Paessel, Founder, CEO
noah paessel

Mr. Paessel is an artist, designer, and an engineer, and he brings these perspectives to the SNiF product and company. Mr. Paessel’s varied activity in industry includes management, software development, and circuit board design. His thesis at MIT explored how tangible interfaces and user interface harvesting enhance document retrieval algorithms.

Mr. Paessel has won several awards and grants for his sculpture, culminating in an exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Mr. Paessel holds an MS degree from MIT, and a BFA degree from the Massachusetts College of Art.

Marcel Botha, Director of Design
marcel botha

Marcel Botha is an MS graduate from the MIT School of Architecture’s Computation group. His dissertation focused on mass customization and digital fabrication, conducted in collaboration with the Digital Design Fabrication Group, and the Center for Bits and Atoms. Botha was also a collaborative researcher with the Media Lab’s Smart Cities Group and Design Laboratory, where he worked extensively on projects such as “Concept Car” with General Motors, “Rethinking the Paris Bus” with the RATP. He has consulted for many international companies, and has won several awards in architecture, design, and photography. His other academic qualifications include: BA in Architecture, BA in Building Arts and a Diploma in Photography from the University of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, as well as a RIBA Part III diploma from the Architectural Association in London, and a certificate in Design Direction from the Domus Academy in Milan.

Jonathan Gips, Founder
jon gips

Mr. Gips is a computer scientist with experience in large-scale exploratory computing projects. He has authored several peer-reviewed papers on mobile and wearable computing. His projects include health sensors and sensor networks for the armed forces, electronic badges for data mining conferences and large gatherings, and mobile applications for rich information storage and retrieval tied to user context.

Mr. Gips holds a BS in Computer Science from Stanford University and a MS degree from MIT in Media Arts and Sciences. Mr. Gips was part of the team that developed the MIThril 2003 wearable computing platform, winner of the MIT Enterprise Forum’s Most Visionary Technology Award in 2004. He has also worked on augmented reality applications at the Advanced Displays and Spatial Perception Laboratory, NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA.

Philip Liang, Founder
phil

Mr. Liang is a technology entrepreneur and innovator with significant experience in the software industry, as well as private equity and venture capital. Mr. Liang brings technical, engineering, and product design experience, as well as practical business know-how, and deep connections in the US and Asian business communities. Mr. Liang has been a Fellow at MIT’s Advanced Studies Program, and is currently an MS candidate at the MIT Media Lab.

Ryan Aylward, Principal Engineer
ryan

Mr. Aylward is a recent graduate of the MIT Media Laboratory, where he earned his Master's degree with the Responsive Environments Group. Prior to this, he studied Electrical and Computer engineering at the University of Rochester. His technical experience includes extensive work with low-power and wireless sensor design for biomedical, human interface, performance art, and social networking applications. Mr. Aylward is an avid musician, having played the violin from a young age and more recently electric bass. You're also likely to find him backpacking, biking, snowboarding, or otherwise enjoying air outside of the lab.

Greg Sterndale, Software Architect
ryan

Mr. Sterndale is an experienced web guru with a passion for elegant user interfaces. A veteran from the dot com days, he's worked on many exciting projects for companies such as Toshiba, WebMD, RIM, Fidelity, American Express and others including some compelling social networking ventures. His expertise begins with a mastery of front-end technologies such as AJAX and spans to back-end server-side applications and beyond. When he's offline, you might find this web-slinger traversing the White Mountains or on the water with a fishing rod.

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