Lets get digital, digital ♪♪

the-internet-of-thingsOn Tuesday, I welcomed my last ever DICE conference organised by Techspectations. Hundreds of students gathered one last time in The Helix to discover what it means to Get Digital. This mini-conference, similar to the others, was a huge success! The aim of Get Digital was to enhance our knowledge of Cloud Computing and Commerce and to explain to us how using these technologies can help us to change the world around us and improve how business is carried out.

123153663_4cf948c6fcNow, if you’re sitting at home wondering what in the world cloud computing is, it’s kind of simple! Eric Knorr once described Cloud Computing as what IT needs in order to …

increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software

Just in case you are still a bit unsure, have a read of this article I found on the IC4 website which goes into a good bit of detail as to what cloud computing is all about cloud-computing-securityOn the day, we were joined by four amazing speakers who gave us a wide range of information about cloud computing and its various uses. We also heard from some of the speakers about the fascinating technologies that are out there available to us, which could help us to change the world we live in for the better.

Sean Baker opened the conference by telling us a little about IC4, the company who were running this conference in conjunction with Techspectations. He introduced us to the concept of cloud computing and told us IC4 do in order to promote the use of new technologies and raise awareness to the importance of cloud computing. If you want to find out about the various talks and workshops IC4 hold in relation to cloud computing and technology, why not visit their website www.ic4.ie/events/

After Sean had given us this overview of what the conference was going to be about, we were introduced to our first guest speaker of the evening.

mary-maloneyMary Maloney, CEO of Coderdojo for the past year, spoke to us about what Coderdojo is and how they encourage young children to get involved with the technologies that they are surrounded with in their everyday lives.

Coderdojo is a programme which was originally founded in Ireland in 2011 by a secondary school student James Whelton, with the purpose of teaching children between the ages of 7-17 how to code. It is a non profit organisation which has become a global success reaching out to 53 countries world wide! 

untitled (18) Mary placed major emphasis on the atmosphere that Coderdojo is trying to create for children. She described the ‘Dojo’ as

a space where children come to meet and share ideas with other children under the supervision of mentors, until they are capable of running the workshop themselves and helping each other to figure out their technical difficulties.

The work that Coderdojo is doing is excellent because it is allowing young children to develop enterprising capabilities from a young age while also teaching them valuable skills which will help them to succeed as the next generation of digital innovators. Now more than ever, I think that it is important for young people to start creating instead of just consuming these technologies which play such a major role in their lives.

Mozilla_26May_65Already, we can see the effect that these children are having on our society as they use their knowledge of coding and technology to build new software programmes and improve upon those which have already been established by fixing any glitches or faults that they may find in them.

Click on the link below to see what kids think of the Coderdojo programme!

Richard-Garsthagen-150x150Richard Garsthagen was our second speaker at Get Digital. Richard is the Director of Cloud Business and Development for Oracle. Oracle is a business which ”offers comprehensive cloud solutions for businesses IT infrastructure and development needs”

oracle y lupaHaving visited their website and listened to Richard speak about Cloud Computing, it is clear to me that Oracle a unique outlook regarding the definition of cloud computing and how it can be used to change the way that people do business.  Numerous times during his talk, Richard told us that cloud computing is about changing how we do business in order to make it easier for people to consume technology.

netflix-confirma-su-llegada-a-australiaHe gave us the example of Netflix and how they used cloud technology to change how people watch television and films. This helped me to understand what cloud computing was about because I had been a little confused before now! I enjoyed Richards talk because he helped me to further understand cloud computing by giving us examples of businesses who use it and giving us more simplified definitions! Simplicity is key!

To find out more about Richard and his thoughts on Cloud Computing you can follow his Youtube channel to see what he’s getting up to or you can follow him on twitter @the_anykey

john-masseyJohn Massey, the Manager of Cloud Business for SAP Ireland was next up to talk a little bit more about cloud computing and how it changed SAP for the better.

SAP is a business whose mission is to make every business a ‘best run business’ through the effective utilisation of business IT software and cloud computing. John’s talk was brilliant in helping me to understand just how much technology has changed business to date.

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John demonstrated this to us by giving us examples of how things were done in the past, compared to how they are done now. One example that really stood out to me was the hiring process. In the past, people had to submit CV’s, and then businesses would chose the ideal candidate from those CV’s. However nowadays, many business HR managers will look to LinkedIn, and search for people with the necessary requirements and chose from the list of people that comes up! 5339903957_f31a59fda0_z


shay%20garveyThe final speaker at Get Digital was Shay Garvey from Frontline Venture Capital. A perfect description of who Frontline Venture capital are can be found on their website. They are a company which offers;

capital, mentorship when needed, and a network of people that will assist founders in building their companies. We spend time working with companies to win reference customers, make key hires, and develop strategy for gaining commercial partners”


Having only heard of Venture Capitalists in previous DICE conferences (Get Started) and being warned to steer clear of them, I was unsure of what to expect from Shays talk. However, I must admit that I found it fascinating to hear about how they help new business get started in the marketplace. He spoke to us about the rapid growth that has occurred in the technology sector in the past 10 years and how VC’s are more than willing to invest in business which use cloud computing and other IT business software to get started because its cheap for them to ‘give it a go’.

Shays talk really seemed to highlight the advantages there are out there for start-ups involved with cloud computing and IT. images6HBR83J9He made me think a lot about how I could use cloud technology in the start up of my own business. Get Digital has helped me to see the importance of cloud computing and how it can change the world we live in for the better. It changes the way we do business, making technology easier for us to consume.

I hope you have all enjoyed reading about my DCU DICE experience and that I’ve given you a good summary of all of the talks! Also if you want to find out more about cloud computing talks coming up, click here.

 It’s been an incredible learning experience for me but until we meet again, Feel free to leave any comments about my blog below! Thanks for reading!


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Ladies and Gents, Get up, Get involved and Get mobile!

Ding ding ding…Who’s ready for round 2? 

Yep, that’s right folks! you guessed correctly, yet another DICE conference has come and gone and here I am writing my second blog post on one of  the four enterprise conferences which take place in the Helix this year. Last time we were being told to get social, and this time it was all about Getting Mobile. No…not in the literary sense, more importantly in the technical sense.

”How much more mobile can I get?” Is what I was thinking to myself before I attended the Get Mobile Conference on the 11th November 2014. I had previously believed that I was an avid user of mobile technology and that I knew everything about devices under the umbrella term, ‘mobile’. I hasten to say that I was wrong. I had no idea that the term mobile had come to symbolise a wide range of devices including wearable devices. Eg. Google glass and contactless devices! So what was the answer to my previous assumption? -A whole lot more.

I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed this conference and although I was a bit bamboozled at first, as the speakers progressed in their talks and I became familiar with the terms mobile marketing, search engine marketing, search engine optimisation, algorithm but as the talks continued it all began to make sense to me. Thanks to the technical wizards and enterprise geniuses that spoke to us in The Helix on the at Get Mobile 2014, I now understand the importance of mobile in our rapidly changing world and hopefully, by the end of my post, you, the reader, will too!

Who was involved?

  1. DCU’s very own, Dr. Theo Lynn  Dr. Lynn is a senior lecturer in DCU Business School and Chief Investigator at the Irish Centre for Cloud Computing and Commerce . 

  2. Dr. Mark Hughes, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of Digifeye. Digifeye is an app which amalgamates computer vision and machine learning technology  ( to learn more click here)to convert visual online content into an online store front.

  3. Dr. Cathal Gurrin, a computing lecturer in DCU and a funded investigator at  Insight Centre for Data Analytics .

  4.  Eoin Cruise, Market Lead,  for Microsoft Mobile Devices, Ireland

  5. Paul Davey, an IT mobile leader for IBM Ireland. IBM is one of Irelands leading  providers of advanced information technology, products, services  and business consulting expertise. It was founded by Thomas J Watson  and has been in Ireland for 50 years!
  6. Alex Meisl, Initial CEO of Legion, of Europe’s largest IVR company, Co. Founder of Sponge in 2002 and  Chairman of Wiforia Ltd . With such an in depth knowledge of all things mobile related, Alex was able to give us a detailed account of how mobile is becoming more important in business today and how people are underestimating the power of mobile as a business asset.



Get Mobile took place in The Helix main stage on the 11/11/14. Once again over 500 students gathered in the massive conference hall prepared for the talk which lay ahead of them. The atmosphere in the Helix this time around was electric as we now knew what to expect from the speakers and had a general idea of how the conference would go.


Opening Remarks;

Dr. Theo Lynn opened proceedings by introducing the audience to the importance of mobile in daily life, ie; how people interact with technology .This set the tone for the entire conference as we could gather that the point of this talk was to recognise the importance of mobile marketing and online marketing as a major asset to any business. From the outset, Dr. Lynn stressed the amount of time people spend on their mobiles. I myself was genuinely shock at some of the statistics he provided us with! 

photo credit to telegraph.co.uk

photo credit to telegraph.co.uk

”96% of people aged 18-35 own a smartphone”
”60% of smartphone users own an iphone”
”The average person spends up to 7.5 hours per day on their phone”
On hearing this I was taken aback by the seemingly colossal amount of time some people would spend on their phones, but as the talk continued and Dr. Lynn described how we use our phones, I came to realise that I myself was probably spending 7.5 hours or more on my phone per day! It never occurred to me before ‘Get Mobile’ how important it is for businesses to have some sort of mobile marketing strategy in place in order to fully exploit all markets.
Dr. Lynn went into greater detail as to how companies employ mobile marketing technology. He spoke about SEO and SEM, concepts which I had never come across before but after carrying out some of my own research on websites such as Search Engine Land and TinderPoint, I have discovered what they are. SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing and basically what it does is, it adjusts or rewrites website content to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages!  Here it is explained below!
On the other hand, SEO stand for Search Engine Optimisation, SEO is a method of getting traffic from free/natural/organic sources on the web. It is explained in more detail in the video below!
To learn more about SEO visit <<http://selnd.com/seomovies >>
Speaker 2;


”Every Vision a Transaction, Turn Vision into decision” – Digifeye

Our second speaker of the day was Dr. Mark Hughes, Cheif Technical Office of Digifeye. Digifeye is a company which focuses on combining machine learning technology and computer vision technology to convert visual content (eg; clothes on a model) into online shopping content/ an interactive store front. This essentially means that on sites which have partnered up with Digifeye, there would be a sidebar beside the image of the celebrity/model and it would have a list of products you could buy relating to what the person is wearing!!!
If the majority of you readers are unsure as to what machine learning is, don’t fret! I was too! Machine Learning is a way of getting computers to learn what things are, without being programmed to know the information. It does sound very confusing but Dr. Hughes explained it wonderfully! (to learn more about Machine Learning technology click here) He compared machine Learning to how you would teach a child how to recognise what different objects are. In Digifeye, they use  ‘Supervised Learning’ to teach the computers to recognise objects such as clothing, cars, etc.
Here' a small sample of some of the 900 retailers Digifeye is partnered with!

Here’ a small sample of some of the 900 retailers Digifeye is partnered with!

 Personally, I found Dr. Hughes’ talk fascinating. He opened my eyes to what goes on behind the scenes for online shopping which was really cool. As an avid online shopaholic, I constantly get pop ups from the web as to where I can buy the clothes on a celebrity in a picture I’m drooling over. I was fascinated by over 250 million images are uploaded online per day! I thought that Digifeye was the perfect solution to every shopaholic and celeb obsessed person’s needs! In fact, Dr.Hughes talk about the work that goes on in Digifeye interested me so much, that I am considering trying to get an internship in a company like Digifeye or even Digifeye itself, in my second year ! I think it would be a life changing experience!
Next up was..
DCU’s very own,  Dr. Cathal Gurrin.  A funded investigator at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics and a lecturer at the School of Computing in DCU, Dr. Gurrin spoke to us about the evolution of mobile in todays society, mobile computing and lifelogging.
Dr. Gurrin spoke to us about how rapidly the world of mobile technology is evolving. He startled the audience by informing us that the next billion internet devices to be sold will be mobiles, as mobile technology is becoming more powerful and also increasingly cheaper as years go by. His proof of this bold statement was that he bought a tablet last year for only 35 euro!
Mobile Technology is becoming increasingly cheap!I personally, was stunned by some of the facts that Dr. Gurrin provided in his talk! It dumbfounded me how
“The iPhone 5 is 60,000 ties more powerful than the computer that was used to guide Apollo 11 “ apollo-11-liftoff
Dr. Gurrin also opened our eyes to the fact that the term ‘mobile’ does not necessarily represent mobile phones alone. In recent years, the term has been broadened to include wearable computer devices. ‘Wearables’ as they are commonly called, are small electronic devices which are worn by the user either on top of their clothes or on their person. They are devices which have no on/off switch but are constantly interacting with the user and the users surrounding environment, in order to augment the device into the users life.
Here is an example of a few different types of ‘wearable computers
The Microsoft Watch

The Microsoft Watch

Google Glass

Google Glass

 As well as telling us about all of these wonderful technologies and how they are becoming more and more common, Dr.Gurrin also introduced us to a way of life that has emerged from the birth of these new technologies. Lifelogging.
I was blown away by the whole concept of lifelogging. For those of you who are wondering, what is life logging? It is essentially a method of documenting ones life. Lifeloggers use wearable devices to document every second of their lives and store this data on their personal search engine. This basically creates ‘An Internet of Me’ for the user which they themselves have sole access to. Lifelogging appeals to many because it is a method of storing one’s memories, of engaging with new technologies, and of analysing oneself through the data collected.
Lifelogs allow a surrogate memory because through use of automatic mobile devices the lifelogger will get a completely accurate, unbiased picture of themselves which they can keep on record in their personal ‘internet of me’
Dr.Gurrin himself is an avid lifelogger. He wears a sensicam around this neck which takes pictures every few minutes in order for him to document his life. He also makes use of google glass to supplement his data gathered from his camera. He told us that on average, the camera takes up to 4000 pictures a day. Since 2006, he has gathered a vast digital memory which includes over 12 million sensicam images! For those of you who think that you may have an interest in Lifelogging, you can view Dr.Gurrins’ research at
You can also visit << http://www.meetup.com >>and search for Lifelogging. This will give information on the next Lifelogging meeting in Dublin which will take place in Trinity College Dublin.
Speaker 4 was. microsoft_0
Eoin Cruise, Market Lead for Microsoft Mobile Devices Ireland and head of Nokia in Ireland. You’re probably wondering, who are Microsoft Mobile Devices? Well, They are the new name in Windows Vista replacing Microsoft ActiveSync, essentially, they are Microsoft device management for windows phone.
Eoin began his talk by asking the audience a question.
‘Who here owns a nokia phone?’
  The answer? About 3 people in an audience of over 500 people. Eoin used this response to begin telling us about how Nokia has fallen from the leader board of smartphone producers. Eoin has been a market lead for the Irish Mobile industry for 20 years and for 10 of those years he worked with Nokia, so it was good to get an insight into the new journey that Nokia and Microsoft are embarking on  from someone who knew the company so well and could tell us what it was like to be a part of such a big change. They now “have the best platform to change the world“. He backed up this bold statement by telinng us that their company alone can put software onto smartphones that others can’t, software like Xbox Live and Microsoft Office.
Nokia/Microsoft Alliance
He explained to us how the two companies have gotten together and how they plan to make both brands a huge success. Since 2011 Microsoft has been on a mission to renew their brand and make it popular. By joining with Microsoft in 2012, Nokia was revitalised and made a huge comeback, with the emergence of the Nokia Lumia (pictured below)
In 2013, Nokia’s sales gathered momentum thanks to the Nokia Lumia which combined Microsoft software with Nokia phones. Sales rocketed from 5% to 11.6% in 2 years.
Now in 2014, Microsoft are changing their strategy once again. Once the merger was consolidated this year Nokia and Microsoft became one. With a new mission in hand, Microsoft plan to;
  • Light up the Microsoft strategy by setting up Microsoft Devices Group
  • Set the bar for high quality hardware and software
  • Be one Microsoft
In my opinion, Eoin’s talk was very interesting because it gave a good insight into how strategic alliances can benefit a business in a real life situation. It was also invaluable to hear Eoin’s opinions about how to draw people in to the reinvented Microsoft by creating a mobile which will encompass essential features desired by customers. He told us his ideas of how to attract people to the new Microsoft which I thought was quite refreshing. Eoin believes that ” winning in the high end” isn’t as important as other companies make it out to be. After the conference, I began to think what other opinions Eoin h about business, so I began to follow his twitter account. If you too want to view Eoin’s opinions, you can follow his twitter page at  <<https://twitter.com/eoincruise>>
He said that he thought it would be better to produce good quality phones in the 60-150 euro price range to draw them into the ‘new Microsoft’. Then customers would be more willing to buy another Microsoft phone for a higher price because they would trust that the Microsoft phones are good quality.
Speaker 5…
”That’s how you know someone’s from IBM…We love our suits and we love our ties”
What a way to sum up IBM by none other than Paul Davey. As our 5th speaker of the day, Paul made a fantastic impression on the audience and on me personally through use of a combination of humour and extremely interesting fats about IBM and the technologies they use.
He began by telling us that IBM was 103 years old! I was stunned by this and I was equally stunned when I realised that IBM invented the first ever smartphone!  After carrying out some of my own research about this age old phone I discovered that it was called the IBM Simon, that it was made in 1994, and had a battery life of only ONE HOUR!  Can any of you reader’s imagine how difficult we would find it if our phones only lasted an hour before having to be charged again!
 It doesn’t bear thinking about!
Here’s a picture of the phone which would have been well ahead of it’s time back in 1994 but what we would consider ancient today, just so you can get an idea as to how mobile has evolved rapidly over the past few years!
Paul continued his talk by telling us how central IBM technology is in the background of all things IT related. Can you imagine that IBM technology is touched on 6 times in one flight to England!
The part of Paul’s talk which I found to be the most eye opening was Watson Technology. Just watch the video below and you’ll see for yourself why I was so amazed!
I think that the reason I enjoyed Paul’s description of Watson so much was because it really opened my eyes to how much technology has developed in the past years. I couldn’t believe that there was such advanced technology in the world I’m growing up in and its only 2014! The possibilities for technology such as Watson are endless and really do have the capability to change the world we live in today! A part of me felt like Marty in back to the future… Is this really happening?! However,  I’m thrilled that I get to experience this new age of evolutionary technology and I hope to be able to work in a company like IBM at some stage in my life to learn more about what goes on with the ‘smarts of smartphones’  Paul’s talk inspired me to seriously consider trying to get an apprenticeship with IBM as a part of my 2nd year in my course. I think it would be invaluable to get the chance to work for such a major IT giant and to learn from IBM how to incorporate Watson technology into my own companies app, when I establish it in the future, to direct more traffic to my app so that it does well on the mobile market.
Last but not least..
meisl_0untitled (3)
Alex Meisl concluded proceeding at Get Mobile. Having flown in from London that very day , I was grateful that he had made the effort to come and speak to us DICE students at Get Mobile.. As chairman and founder of Wiforia and Sponge, two highly esteemed mobile marketing sites, I’m sure you can guess what his talk was about? Alex began his talk by telling us some hilarious facts  which he had gathered from the Ipsos Mori research, about the British populations thoughts on giving up their mobile phones, in order to give us an idea of how important it is for businesses to have some form of mobile marketing campaign in place since, apparently, people seem quite attached to their phones and are not willing to let them go.
  1.   ”One third of British adults would rather give up sex than give up their phone”

  2. Two thirds of British adults would rather give up drinking than give up their phone”

I’m sure you are thinking that, surely most businesses would have an app or some sort of mobile site which consumers could visit to fulfil their online needs? Well, the answer is yes, they do have all of the above, however the content of their websites and the level of engagement with those sites is not very good, according to Alex. The rest of his talk concentrated on steps to be completed in order to make your mobile site a success. Alex advised us that if we wanted to make a good mobile site, we would need to let go of the things holding us back which he believes to be

  1. Fear
  2. Uncertainty
  3. Doubt
  4. Age and Attribution

digital_marketing-100480285-primary.idgeI was absolutely stunned to hear that only 17% of Chief Marketing Officers in the world have successfully intergrated mobile to their relative industry! In a world of a rapidly expanding mobile industry I would have thought that businesses would be up to date with what o RE; mobile marketing. After the conference I  carried out some of my own research and discovered that a whopping 57% of marketers surveyed by Forrester analyst Thomas Husson in his blog, did not have defined mobile objectives. If you want to read more about what Thomas Husson had to say about the matter, you can visit his blog by clicking here

Closing remarks;
I think that Get Mobile was a step up from Get Social and I found it extremely interesting to learn about developments in the mobile industry from people from huge IT companies such as IBM and Wiforia. I also found it fascinating to learn about new ways to utilise all of these new mobile devices from Cathal Gurrin and also to learn how to use these new technologies  to create a business like Mark Hughes did with Digifeye. I think that this conference will be invaluable to me with regard to creating my team app for DICE as I heard from the very best what I should and should not do!
Feel free to leave feedback in the comments section below and I would love to hear what you guys have to say about Getting Mobile! Until next time readers!