Over 10,000 people are expected at the RDS on Saturday June 18 as 800 young innovators from Ireland and across Europe take part in the fifth annual CoderDojo Coolest Projects Awards.
Ireland’s largest technology and innovation event this year will feature gadgets, robots, blogs, games and sites designed by young coders aged from 7-17.
This year also sees the introduction of Launch’d – an event over four stages featuring 50 top international speakers as well as 100 of Ireland’s top tech start-up companies.
Launch’d is aimed at inspiring and supporting the next generation of technology entrepreneurs and will be an essential platform for the Coolest Projects kids, tech professionals and anyone considering a career in coding.
Over 100 Coolest Projects entrants are travelling from across Europe to the RDS event, which is now inspiring similar awards schemes in Belgium, Romania and Silicon Valley.
Among the Coolest projects entries will be Auto-Journalist – developed by 13-year-old Niamh Scanlon, who was named European Digital Girl of the Year for 2016.
This innovation helps journalists to conduct interviews by sending a list of questions to interviewees, who can then record their answers and reply through the app.
The kids at the CoderDojo Warehouse on Dublin’s Grand Canal Quay have also developed a low-cost phone for developing countries that does not require a network, as well as a dementia aid app to help with medication reminders and important contacts.
My Voice is a speech-enabling app developed by CoderDojo Gorey which can be used to help people with speech impediments communicate through images.
Car Security is a mobile app developed by CoderDojo Kinsale that uses face recognition software to recognise the driver and sound the alarm if an intruder gets behind the wheel.
The young innovators under the guidance of CoderDojo DCU have also developed Remote Dog, an app that uses a camera to allow dog owners to feed and interact with their pet while away from home.
A host of start-up founders and international thought leaders and top game developers will provide amazing tech skills and insights to Coolest Projects participants and the start-ups involved, as well as the wider tech community across the four Launch’d stages.
Among the speakers is Michael Hunger, caretaker of the Neo4J community, who will be talking about how his organisation helped to unravel the Panama Papers.
Seattle-based Dubliner Aidan Hughes is the developer of of the world’s most popular calculators, with more than 50 million combined downloads and 11 million monthly users and will be talking on the secrets of making it big in the app store.
Other speakers include tech thought leader James Lewis, Garry Lyons, Chief Innovation Officer at Mastercard Labs, John Ferguson, the Godfather of Behaviour Driven Development and Emmet Connolly, the creator of Google Wear.
“Coolest Projects provides the bridge from learning coding skills at local CoderDojos to innovating and creating future employment. We are the piece in the middle which makes the connection,” said Coolest Projects co-founder Noel King.
“These digital skills are vital if Europe is to address the coding skills shortage which has led to 500,000 open job postings across the region in 2016.
With Launch’d our aim is to take participants to the next level by creating an entrepreneurial component and focus to enable many of the amazing projects to launch.”
Coolest Projects is supported by Intel, Microsoft, Aol, Openet, Bank of Ireland, Folens, Symantec, Virgin Media, RTE, Deloitte Digital, Salesforce, Dublin City Council and Accenture.
Some tickets are still available for this free event: see coolestprojects.org and launchd.io