Campus Party Europe 2013 in London … one of the best kept secrets!
Campus Party Europe 2013 in London: a great technology secret
Thanks to the Smarta newsletter I subscribe to I entered a competition for what to me seemed like an unusual combination between technology, creation and entrepreneurship also known as Campus Party Europe. Apparently it is big in the technology industry in Spain, from my mere observation about 80% of participants were of Hispanic shores and only a handful of insiders seemed to know about in London or maybe they deemed themselves too cosmopolitan or knowledgeable already. In any case my inner geek, creator and entrepreneur were delighted to win a free ticket for the tech equivalent of ‘Ladies day’ namely women in technology.
My intention for the day was to go with an open mind, listen to some of the speakers in the hope to pick up ideas, inspiration, meet interesting people and stretch my mind to areas it never considered before. Well I have to say, the future for technological innovation has a great bunch of people behind it or aspiring to be part of it and they are getting younger and younger, geography, descent or other prior limiting factors seem to be more and more negotiable or at least no longer a show stopper.
What was encouraging to see groups of people working together on robots, some groups looked like they had raided their grandmothers bathroom with contraptions made out of hair rollers and cotton buds, but they were functional all the same. On the other side of the robot design spectrum you also had the miniature gem with little wobbly electronic lights like fairy lights on wheels which could go mighty fast on remote control. I am sure the robot geniuses would kill me for saying it, but to be honest my hat goes off to them, because constructing anything that can physically stay together, move around and perform commands is well beyond my skill set and the passion and productivity at these tables was impressive.
The gaming section was remarkably empty, yet talks about the gaming industry and some deep technology workshops were taking place also. I had the chance to play with ZipApp and about 10 minutes designed an App that can facilitate a quest I will be setting in a few weeks. The program is free to use and allows you to create Marketplace ready Apps and make a it available for a fee even, with minor real software adaptation the demo guy assured me it would also be possible to tweak it for IOS and Android devices, because currently it is windows based. The game design student in me couldn’t resist having a play with the Unity freeware and I have to say it is relatively easy to use once you have some basic idea of game software.
Only a small amount of companies were exhibiting and amongst those a hub of young entrepreneurs with tech start-ups. One in particular attracted my attention because it had a playful interactive learning element in it, the company and app is called Night zookeeper (https://www.nightzookeeper.com) which is aimed at teachers, parents and students to give challenges that stimulate creativity from drawing to writing, story telling, etc. Josh gave me a sneak preview of a new addition that will be launching in the coming week. So once it does I will let you into a bit more of the creative and educational elements in his innovation, in a dedicated blogpost, I might even have to create my own animal for the zoo.