Mark Wrigley, Elektric Works

Mark is the founder of Elektric Works and creator of a 3D printed, Raspberry Pi powered telescope kit – the Pikon.  

Tell us a little bit about you…

Elektric Works is my retirement side hustle. After some 40 years in high tech industry, I’m not quite ready for slippers and a pipe, and the business keeps me up to date with the latest disruptive technologies. I am a physicist by training, and spent most of my career in digital mobile communications which has seen me working overseas in Japan, the USA, and China. I’ve enjoyed a great career and Elektric Works is, amongst other things, social payback.

What does Elektric Works do?

A big part of Elektric Works is about encouraging people to get into STEM, and I often call myself a ‘physics evangelist’ offering outreach activities. I find the best way to engage people is through making and the idea behind the PiKon telescope is to get people into 3D printing, Raspberry Pi optics, and some backyard astronomy. It’s all open hardware so you don’t have to buy the Elektric Works kit, but so far I’ve sold 450 units worldwide. I encourage others to share their results and its great to see improvements to the design as well as some great images from users!

What do you hope to achieve through the IoT Engine?

There is a lot written about innovation and I believe that creating the right creative environment is the most important. I’ve found that innovation happens through networking when a lot of different technology skill sets exchange ideas. The IoT is something I know little about, but I have a hunch that it will expose me to new tech that will help me innovate what I offer. As Donald Rumsfeld says, it’s the ‘unknown unknowns’ that matter.

Why is IoT important to you?

I am always on the search for the ‘next big thing’, and I think it could be the Internet of Things.