Friday, April 26, 2013

Conference Links - Login 2013 in Vilnius

I go to a few conferences, often to talk at them, and I've realised that it would be a good idea to summarise some of the things I see and hear.

The Login conference takes place in Vilnius, Lithuania every year.

The single best thing was Steve Wozniak's keynote.  Steve, co-founder of Apple, was an amazingly inspiring speaker, talking about how he grew up with technology in Silicon Valley - 'we were electonics kids' - and then leaving Apple to be a school teacher (with no publicity) because 'education is really cool'.

He talked about how what he was inventing when he was at school wasn't covered in any books, and were beyond the knowledge of teachers, and described these as 'inside projects', projects that existed inside you.  Incredibly inspiring - read his book iWoz.

I also found James Whelton incredibly inspiring.  James created CodeDojo, which teaches kids coding.  He started it in 2011 in Cork, and has since grown it to a movement of coding clubs around the world.  (James is only 20, but he's already done a TEDx talk - see it below).

One of the success stories of Coder Dojo is Harry Moran, a 13 year old, whose PizzaBot iPad game made it to the top of the iTunes chart in Ireland.

I also went to a few start-up sessions, where education was also a strong theme.  For example I saw companies like Skillshare, Voxy, Udemy, Bliu Bliu & CloudCampus

Finally I went to a session called 'Is there an app for everything' by Tomas Dirvonskas of Lemon Labs who showed a whole range of interesting apps & devices for measurement, including...

Shine - A bit like something out of a sci fi film.  It's a small object that you synch with your phone by putting it on the screen, and then use to track your physical activity

Vaavud - a device you plug into your phone that tells you wind speed

Cardiio - an app (again like something from science fiction) that measures your heart rate by looking at the patterns of reflection on your face

Lapka - a device that tracks your local environment

& he also told this great stat about Airbnb

As for me, I presented an updated version of this trends deck

& got a write up in this newspaper

A really good conference!  Thanks very much to the organisers, and my colleagues in the Baltics for making it all happen.

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