DC Device Lab Now Open
The D.C. tech and entrepreneurial community recently got its very own device lab. Called DC Device Lab, the space will be managed by Mariesa Dale and will be housed at Canvas Co/work. The lab opened Friday, September 27, with a kickoff party; D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and Deputy Mayor Victor Hoskins made an appearance.
Opening a device lab “felt like a no-brainer,” says Dale. “Other cities have multiple device labs. We had [nothing] in D.C. proper. This is going to help grow and sustain D.C. tech.” (Fishbowl Labs, which is located in Dulles, Va., does have a device lab, but it’s only open to Fishbowl members and AOL employees.)
Dale has collected roughly 30 different devices to date, including a 23-in. iMac, laptops, multiple PCs, a retina-display iPad, an iPad mini and myriad mobile devices. The different machines will permit lab users to test out their web and software builds on different platforms and different browsers. “It’s a full-service lab,” Dale says.
The devices came from individual donations and from corporate sponsorships—Microsoft, Samsung, the Washington D.C. Economic Partnership (WDCEP), Chiefand Rock Creek Strategic Marketing among them. Dale says that the lab could still use a few more. “We’ve had trouble getting iPhones 4, 4s, 5 and 5c,” she explains. “We’ve got an iPhone 3. But the others have been tricky.”
You do not have to be a member of Canvas Co/work to use DC Device Lab. The lab will be free to access throughout the month of October. Beginning in November, users will pay a fee (likely $5/hour) to test out their products.
“We want to make sure things run smoothly” Dale says, “and we want see how people are using [the lab]. That will make a difference on how we update the devices. We want to be a direct reflection of what people are purchasing and what is industry standard.”
Dale is considering opening addition device labs in other locations “within the Beltway” in other coworking spaces in the future.
Written by Allyson Jacob; Elevation DC