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Google I/O Extended Is In Sri Lanka This Week

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Andrew Zola

Andrew Zola

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The rapid development of Sri Lanka’s tech industry has led to popular events like Google I/O Extended being hosted right here, in the island. Organised in partnership with Ideamart, Dialog’s commercial products and services arm, the I/O Extended Tech Innovation event is scheduled to take place at the BMICH this week, and promises to be an interesting conference.

Touted by Google Chief Executive Officer, Sundar Pichai, as the largest extended event happening outside the U.S., this year’s conference hopes to deliver much more than excitement for regional tech enthusiasts.

I/O Extended is expected to attract Google developer communities from the region who didn’t get a chance to attend the annual conference held at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California.

Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai. Image courtesy NDTV

Everyone has interacted with Google at some level, so it can be an exhilarating event for both techies and non-techies alike. Furthermore, Google sub-chapter Developer Groups (sanctioned by Google) exist all over the planet, so this Extended event will be a great opportunity for local tech gurus and enthusiasts to showcase their talent to an international audience.

As it is the second Google I/O Extended conference to be held in Colombo, past attendees can also rekindle connections they made with colleagues previously. The agenda will include everything you would expect, like a local keynote address (live streamed), local speakers, vendors, and—let’s not forget—good food.

Google I/O Extended 2017 will be split into two separate segments: a conference and an exhibition.The conference will take place at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Hall A, and will be attended by participants who have registered prior to the event. The conference will feature prominent IT leaders, including speakers from Google who will share insights on the industry and on growth. Key speakers at the event will include Prash from Google, Hasitha from Cakelabs, and Dr. Sanjiva from WSO2. Attendees will also be treated to the story behind the popular mobile app, PickMe.

The innovation exhibition will showcase new concepts, products, and tech innovations from Dialog Axiata and other leading companies in Sri Lanka. Some of the featured tech and companies include WSO2, MIT, hSenid, SenzMate, HypeHash, Thuru, CogCom, Arimac Digital, Dialog Gaming, and Future Drones. The exhibition will take place on May 17 from 12:00 p.m. ‒ 9:00 p.m. at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Hall B.

If that’s not enough to get you excited, Google Developer Group (GDG) Sri Lanka will also be parallelly hosting a battle of the robots with “Chromium Collision.”

If you’re familiar with the show Robot Wars, you’ll know what this bot fight is all about. Like in the show, several teams of amateur robot fighting enthusiasts will compete using robots they have constructed on their own until the emergence of a national champion. Over 50 teams will compete against each other for a grand prize of Rs. 200,000.

Additionally, the conference is expected to reach out beyond the developer community to a broader audience, including designers, entrepreneurs, and students who are passionate about technology. When all these different groups are brought together to one place, it creates a breeding ground for great ideas and products.

The focus of this year’s conference will be on AI, VR, Google Assistant, Android Development, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Furthermore, Google Home, Android Wear, Daydream VR, and Chrome OS will also be featured prominently at the event. But that’s not all, as the conference will also boast gaming zones, image recognition based demos, and innovative products from the island’s leading IT companies and startups.

There will also be live entertainment provided by Iraj, Janai Priyai, and Akunu to keep everyone energised (after all, it’s going to be an all-nighter). This is all going to be quite exciting with over 3,000 expected to attend the event this year.

Google I/O Extended in Sri Lanka will be powered by Dialog Axiata and GDG Sri Lanka in partnership with Ideamart, TechGuru.lk, SLASSCOM, RSVP.LK, and Derana TV.

The conference will take place on Wednesday, May 17, 2017, from 12:00 p.m. to 09:00 a.m. You can check out the agenda for I/O 17 Sri Lanka here.

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