About Quentin

Thanks for visiting my site! There’s quite a lot of information here, but I promise I didn’t set out to build such a substantial monument to myself online! It just kept growing gradually since around the start of the millennium, and I’m not very good at trimming it. So you might appreciate…

An executive summary:

I’m a computer scientist, entrepreneur, part-time academic and full-time gadget enthusiast based in Cambridge, England.

  • I’m the CEO of a small company called ‘Telemarq’, which does a mix of software development, tech consultancy, photography, video production, teaching and writing.

  • For most of the past decade, I’ve also held a part-time research post at the Cambridge University Computer Lab. (I’m now technically a ‘Visitor’.) Most recently I was helping to organise the Lab’s interactions with industry and with its alumni, and organising some of its A/V output during Covid. Before that I was working on the Endeavour project, exploring how computer vision and machine learning can improve the experiences of car drivers.  Before that, I worked on Pico, in the Security group. There’s a partial list of my publications here.

  • I have a blog called Status-Q at statusq.org, and a YouTube channel with a wide range of content of variable quality.

  • I recently served as the interim Director of Engineering at the Digital Catapult, while they searched for a permanent, full-time appointee. There’s a funny story behind that, which I’ll tell you if you ever buy me a coffee or a pint.

  • I have often been credited in the media with inventing the webcam. This is not entirely justified, though I certainly did have something to do with it. You can find the story here.

  • You can find me as ‘quentinsf’ on most online services, and my name makes me easy to search for on others! Keep in touch on Mastodon, Twitter, YouTube500px, SmugMug and Flickr, LinkedIn and Skype, GitHub and Wikipedia, Google Scholar and ResearchGate.  You can email me as quentin*@*pobox.com. I’m on Signal and Telegram and Zoom etc. But I do try to avoid Facebook and WhatsApp.

  • I love gadgets, and have quite a few of them around the house, but the biggest ones recently have been electric cars. (When I first mentioned that here, they were something of a novelty!) My favourite recent purchase, though, is an electric outboard motor for our little boats.

  • I’ve also become rather fond of home automation, connecting almost everything in my home up through the amazing Home Assistant system.

  • My previous startup, before Telemarq, was Camvine (Cambridge Visual Networks), a company developing new applications based around networked displays, which I started in 2007. You can read more about Camvine here.

  • I was also a founder and managing director of the Ndiyo project. This attempted to find new, more affordable network computing architectures for the billions of people who will never be able to afford one PC each.

  • Before that I was working on Exbiblio, which I co-founded in 2004, with the aim of endowing paper documents with some of the power of digital ones.

  • I also co-founded Newnham Research, now DisplayLink, in 2003 and was the CEO for its first couple of years. 

  • I’ve authored and/or been listed as an inventor on dozens of patents. None of these have yet made me any money, but they’ve done OK for other people! Most are now owned by Google.

  • For several years I was a Research Scientist at AT&T Laboratories Cambridge, UK, the lab which was formerly ORL. You can find out about what I did at AT&T here.

  • I did a Ph.D. on Augmented Reality in the Rainbow Group at the University of Cambridge Computer Lab. I was sponsored by (and spent much of my time at) Xerox EuroPARC. More details on my research interests can be found here.

  • I was, I think, the first full-time Computer Officer at a Cambridge college. During this time, I believe I may have created the world’s first ten-set Venn diagram.

  • If your browser will let you, you can also hear me say hello. (That’s a comment that tells you how old the recording is! Not all browsers, or indeed computers, could play audio when I recorded it…)

  • You can find some other personal info here.

  • I think I ran the first web server in Cambridge. I certainly ran the first one in the University, which then became the platform for Computer Science students who wanted to do projects around this new-fangled World Wide Web thing…