Get all the highlights from Droidcon and VHack London [presentations+pictures]

Did you miss Droidcon and the VHack in London last week, or do you feel like re-living some of the action? No worries, we’ve gathered up some of the highlights, as well as images and presentations from Sony. Droidcon London is one of biggest and most influential Android events in Europe, gathering about 1100 attendees this year. And the VHack gathered about 70 top developers from all over Europe who celebrated five years of Android by hacking their way through Friday and Sunday. Check it all out after the jump.

Last week, on Thursday and Friday, Droidcon UK took place at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. The event was well received, with many inspiring and useful speaker sessions. The exhibitor areas were also popular, and many people crowded them during the breaks between the speaker sessions to get to see the latest products and services, and to network with other colleagues in the industry.

Anderson King from Sony talking to developers and event participants.

The first day was pretty much an all barcamp day, where the event participants started off the day by pitching a topic for a session to the rest of the crowd. At a barcamp, anyone can stand up and pitch an idea for a topic! If anyone would like to hear more, the person pitching will then be given a slot and a room later that day. The second day consisted of fixed speaker sessions ranging from hands on practical sessions to inspiring theoretical sessions.

Tobias Nilsson from Sony at the barcamp.

Besides being an exhibitor at Droidcon, Sony had four speaker sessions during the two days. First off was Jerker Lindgren-Götsten from the Technology office of Sony’s phone accessory division, who held a barcamp presentation in front of a crowded room about how to develop for the SmartWatch using the Smart Extension SDK Sony Add-on SDK. Feel free to download Jerker’s Smartwatch developer presentation if you want to get a better understanding of SmartWatch and how to develop for it. You can actually use the Smart Extension SDK to develop for the Smart Wireless Headset pro as well. Check out the Sony Add-on SDK page for more information.

Jerker Lindgren-Götsten from Sony.

During the barcamp day, Erik Hellman from Sony’s Technology office also held a presentation about Open CV. OpenCV is an open source computer vision and machine learning library that is available on many different platforms, including Android. With over 2500 algorithms implemented Android developers have a very powerful toolkit for building apps that enables advanced features using the camera. Object detection, motion tracking, edge detection or simple image filters are only some of the things developers can do. The library is also very fast and can easily run on most modern Android devices. For more information about this, please check out the Open CV website.

Pravat Dalbehera and Joakim Erlandsson from Sony.

Next up was Pravat Dalbehera from Sony’s Software organisation, who talked about how to address the contradiction between content protection and user experience on day two. Digital media protection often requires complex solutions in the backend, but the trick is to not let that stop the front end experience from being clean and simple. Feel free to download Pravat’s DRM and use experience presentation to learn more.

Erik Hellman from Sony being presented by Rod Burns, one of the Droidcon organisers.

Then late at Friday afternoon, Erik Hellman came back to give a presentation about “Fast, user-friendly and power-efficient network communication on Android” to a crowded main room. His presentation covered some useful guidelines and code examples of what to do and what not to do to create a power efficient and user friendly app. For more information, download Erik’s Fast and user friendly network communication presentation.

Thibaut Rouffineau from WIP Connector at the VHack.

And whilst Droidcon slowly ended on Friday night, the VHack started a short distance away. From Friday night to Sunday afternoon, fifteen teams battled and cooperated with a number of different themes. The VHack in London was the pinnacle for a series of hacks that took place the weeks before in Bremen, Amsterdam, Belgium, Paris, Ankara and Berlin. So in London, all the finalists from the previous hacks were present, plus a number of local teams from the UK.

A number of prizes were available for the different teams depending on what themes and requirements the teams worked on. Sony awarded the best multi screen experiences with some really nice prices – the winning team received three kits containing an Xperia™ T, an Xperia™ Tablet S, a SmartWatch, a Smart Wireless Headset pro and a Sony Internet Player with Google TV.

Marcus Hansson from Sony (right) with the winners of Sony’s multi screen challenge.

The winners of the Sony multi screen experience challenge and the V Hack final were a team who create a concept called Myhome Notifier. Runners up were a team who created a concept called wePoker, and third place winners created a concept called Food!. All of these teams actually created concepts that worked as multi screen experiences.


So what do you thing Droidcon and VHack participants, did you enjoy it? What would you like to see at Droidcon next year? We’ll hope to see you there! And a big thanks to all the people we met during these days, it’s truly inspiring for us.

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