Grown from the 400 attendees five years back to the current 42000 tech enthusiasts, the Web Summit 2015 delivered innovative ideas and fascinating thoughts to the tech world gathered at the bustling RDS venue, Dublin. The three- day long, 21 summit, 1000+ speakers technology mega conference in Dublin, Ireland started with great enthusiasm and dynamics from the attendees from all over the world. The annual networking event with world-class speakers and fascinating talks, workshops presented a great opportunity for all the attendees including me from Happiest Minds, to meet countless like-minded professionals and entrepreneurs at Dublin. This year also the Summit topic was centered on internet technology and the participants range from CEO’s and Founders of Fortune 500 companies to the world’s most exciting technology Startups.
The two minutes master class from Michael Dell, the Founder and CEO of Dell was easily the highlight of the Day 1 tech talks. The attendees eagerly heard his words “if you want to innovate you have to embrace risk and don’t be afraid to fail. Start. I started Dell with $1000”. He added, “Virtual PC, gaming PC and high- performance workstations are changing the way we do business”. Some of the other few tech talks that grabbed the audience attention included Stewart Butterfield from Slack, Mike Schroepfer of Facebook, Amit Singh of Google and Mike Krieger of Instagram.
Cars and technology took the center stage on day 2. Augmented reality, Virtual Reality, Drones, and Wearables were also some of the key highlight topics that seized the audience attention on day 2.Ford chief executive Bill Ford, pointed out the promising intersection between cars – an industry that has been “revolution- resistant for a hundred years” – and technology. He added that Ford is redefining itself as a “mobility company” with an interest in autonomous driving, net-connected cars along with data collection and analytics. Sean Rad of Tinder, the CEO of location- based dating app highlighted about the data that drives it and the future of the platform. On a lighter note, he added that the Irish user base was extremely active on the app.
The most exciting part of day 2 was the live demonstration of a drone that flew into the center stage by Randy Braun of DJI- a World Leader in Camera Drones/Quadcopters. The tech enthusiasts including me curiously heard that DJI along with Humanitarian UAV Network uses their drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles UAV’s for a wide range of humanitarian and development settings. Google showcased its famous virtual reality platform ‘Google Cardboard’, basically a cardboard case for smartphones that works in conjunction with compatible apps for projecting 3D images or videos. The wonders of the virtual reality did not ended with Google’s Cardboard. Columbian company Protesis Avanzadas showcased a 3D robotic prosthetic hand, an affordable multifunctional prosthetic hand that can replicate many of the grip patterns of the human hand, in the summit center stage. The Head of Adtech at Facebook, Dave Jakubowski took to the Marketing Summit- the state of the industry, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) in the digital age.
Amidst the incessant rain, the amazing Tech event- Web Summit 2015 was wrapped up on 5th of November at Dublin. The 22000 tech enthusiasts including me are returning back to our home countries with mindful memories of insightful tech talks and the networks that we built during the last three days. Web Summit is shedding its Irish roots and will be moving to Lisbon next year. Yet another significant announcement by the organizers was that 10000 female Entrepreneurs will be given free tickets in 2016 across conferences in US, HK, India, Lisbon. The Indian chapter of the conference is called Surge and is scheduled to be held at Bangalore on February 23- 24, 2016.
Coming back to the third day tech talks. The 3D Printing technology, Virtual reality and smart umbrellas took the center stage, on Day 3. Multiple vendors have showcased the 3D printing technology in the booths. An interesting start up “Oombrella” showcased their product of the same name, the first smart & connected umbrella, which falls on a kick starter and collects weather data and sends real-time alerts for the users. The umbrella is connected to a smartphone app. The app gives rain alerts for the day, and if you accidentally forget your umbrella behind, the smartphone will begin buzzing with a message from the umbrella with its GPS location. The “Myo Armbands” from Thalmic labs also caught audience attention. Myo works on an intelligent combination of motion sensing and muscular activity and enables muscle activity in the arm to control a range of devices.
The best startup of 2015 was awarded to Connectera, an Amsterdam-based startup’s product which can analyze real-time movement data of cattle to help improve farm productivity. Bizimply, a cloud-based software-as-a-service business that provides workforce management software to businesses with hourly paid employees, also got the startup award at the Web Summit 2015.
Ed Catmull, president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios and the New York Times best-selling author Dan Brown were the two personalities who got greater audience attention on the closing day. Catmull closed the Web Summit to an absolutely jam-packed RDS main hall. In a nut shell, with more than 22000 tech enthusiasts from 134 countries, 21 different mini-summits, 1,000 speakers, 2,141 start-ups and 1,000 investors, the greatest global tech festival marked its end here in Dublin.
All the tech talks surrounding the new age disruptive technologies including Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, 3D Printing and Machine Learning reminds us that we are swiftly moving into an age of transformation, where the bridge between the digital and the real world slowly blurs out. All these technology advancements also hold the great potential to redefine the existing business models. As a part of a digital transformation company Happiest Minds, which is strongly focused on the new age disrupting technologies including IoT, Big Data, M2M Learning, Cloud and Mobility, I strongly feel that very interesting days are coming ahead in terms of technology as well as the customer experience.