Google I/O Extended Sri Lanka — Conference

Google IO Extended Sri Lanka 2017 was commenced with the welcoming speech of Mr. Roshanth Gardiararachchi of Dialog Ideamart and Mr. Prash Balakrishnan, Google Country Consultant of Sri Lanka. They discussed how Google Developer Group and Dialog Idemart platform has developed and enhanced the technology arena in Sri Lanka.

As the first guest speakers Mr. Tharaka Devinda And Ms. Michela Thalagala gave speeches on the Women Techmakers programme and Google Developer Group. In the past year, GDG was able to conducted a successful Google IO Extended event in collaboration with Dialog. In addition, they referred to some events that they conducted last year. The CEO of Google, Mr. Sundar Pichai mentioned specifically about the Sri Lanka’s Extended Event, which happened last year with the largest number of participation.

Next up on stage Dr.Sanjiva Weerawarana from WSO2 commenced his lecture on Ballerina programming language, which was recently introduced by WSO2 Company. Ballerina is a localizable programming language. It consists of a graphical composer which enables you to write programs in a visual interface. A user with less programming knowledge also will be able to develop program by using this language.

After Dr. Sanjiva’s presentation Mr. Sameera Jayasoma started demonstrating further features and a practical demonstration of Ballerina language.

Mr. Sameera delivered a programming demonstration about a program that reads tweets from your twitter account. They have developed a special IDE in order to make programming easier with syntax suggestions and compiling. In addition to that he showed how to develop and integrate a database service with the Ballerina Programming language. In Java programming language, database transactions feature is much more complicated, but in Ballerina they have added the use of database transactions as well. Then he started a comparison between Java and Ballerina Language in the fields of syntax.

‘Janai Priyai’ took the stage and started a comedy session.

We all have heard about the story of Arimac Company that enriches Digital Graphics and Gaming industry in Sri Lanka. Mr. Chamira, the CEO of Arimac began his presentation on their latest innovations. His presentation began with an interesting video clip, the video teaser of Arimac. He described how Arimac became a worldwide tech company that serves international clients as well.

He delivered a brief introduction about their most recent project Kancahayudha, They offered this game for free of charge for all Sri Lankans.

Arimac is working on several AI projects as well, He introduced a human like talking bot that they have developed from scratch. Then he continued his presentation about ‘Tia’, their latest game development project. Chamira announced a production of a realistic 3D movie (Known to be the first ever Sri Lankan digital 3D animated movie) which is about to be launched in 2019.

Each startup needs to contain qualities in order to succeed in business life, Chamira discussed about some ethics that an entrepreneur should follow.

Mr. Max from GSMA came on stage to talk about what GSMA does to make the world’s technology better. He specially mentioned about the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator program.

Max introduced an innovation competition, which they are hosting. He concluded his short speech by describing some further details about the competition.

Finally to the most important item of the evening, the official address by Mr. Sundar Pichai the CEO of google. The official livestream played on the screens. This year the Official Google IO event was held at Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, California.

Sundar Pichai introduced the new Google Lense technology that understands camera’s live views and pictures by the use of Machine learning technology

Then he introduced the cloud TPU. TPU is a platform that enables to train and run machine learning models faster than ever before. A further discussion on how Google has focused on AI technologies took place. Google works hard to improve the field of digital pathology as well. Digital Pathology is an image-based information environment, which is enabled by computer technology that allows for the management of information generated from a digital slide. Sundar Pichai conducted an interesting presentation on Google AI technologies that they have used in many of their products. They showed a new video of their Google Assistant.

He introduced the release of the iOS version of the Google personal assistant.

Mr. Richi Chandra delivered a demonstration on google home technology. They announced hands free calling. It is a completely free calling service, which comes with Google Home. Google home is comprised with a free of charge music service, which is powered by Spotify.

It seems Google has added several features to its ‘Chromecasting’ technology, now you will be able to view your day-to-day activities and entertainment clips in your own TV.

Anil Sabrawal started his presentation about Google Photos; they introduced three new features for its technology. The new features are described as follows.

They introduced ‘Suggested Sharing’ in order to make photo Sharing more efficient and easier. The new features of google photos now supports people categorization with face recognition technology.

‘Google Photo Book’ is a technology of identifying the best pictures from your album. And it helps you to make creative albums and picture collections.

Next up Susan Wojciki came on stage. She is the current CEO of YouTube. Susan started talking about the new technologies that they are going to introduce for YouTube, she marked that YouTube has reached a milestone of an average of one billion views per day.

Sarah Ali started giving more details about YouTube from her life experience being the head of living room productions

YouTube finally introduced 360-view livestreaming technology for its users. As an additional feature, you will be able to view 360 videos from your television.

Barbara started her presentation about Super Chat. This year, YouTube introduced its super chat feature to enable make livestreams more interactive.

Dave Burke began his presentation, ‎he is the current VP Engineering (Android) at Google; he stated that Android has reached a milestone of 2 Billion of Devices.

Android has added a new feature called ‘Smart Text Selection’, which enables to highlight the most appropriate texts, which is related to your selection. This feature uses Machine Learning technology in order to detect texts. ‘Google Play Protect’ was introduced as a safety feature for Android users, this feature ensures the safety of using Android Apps, As well as they have improved the Android Developer Console, they have added an indicator that you can track the CPU and Memory resource usage of your mobile application.

‘Kotlin’ Programming language was named as an additional programming language for Android Development.

Sameer Samat started his speech on Android Go. Android Go is Google’s new version of its OS designed specifically to be used by budget-friendly phones in developing markets. It is mostly forced on the OS, apps and play store. In this platform, they have considered about data savings as well. YouTube go has been introduced that monitors and informs the user about the amount of mobile data it costs.

G Board, another new technology which was introduced by Google that translates your text characters in your typepad to your native language.

Clay Bavor, started his demonstration about Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Google is in a position of creating standalone VR Devices, they have introduced the virtual positioning system that enables smart positioning for virtual reality and augmented reality.

Sundar Pichai came back to the stage again and started his demonstration about Tensor Flow, a new machine learning framework. He showed an example of an Israel student using tensor flow to enhance the health sector.

He showed a new job search tool from Google that enables to search job opportunities using Google’s AI technology. That concluded the official keynote of the Google IO main event, live from California.


Now it is the time for an entertainment session. Next up, a local artist who is known as IRAJ, came on the stage. He started his awesome entertaining session. Peshala, Kaizer Kaiz, Kalpana Nayanamadu and Oshadi Himasha made his session a great one.

‘Chromium Collision’ is the first ever Robot Battle which was held in Sri Lanka during the Innovation Exhibition of Google IO Extended event powered by Dialog. The award ceremony for the winners has begun. The winners as follows.

3rd place:- Cyclone (UNIVOTEC)

1st runner up:- Mora Hazards (University of Moratuwa)

Winner:- Stripper (UVTA)

The tokens of appreciation for the people who dedicated for this event were awarded.

The Official logo designer of Google IO Event:- Abdul Basith

Original Composers of the Google IO Extended theme music:- Electro Doctors

Three winners of Dialog raffle draw were announced, the winners were awarded with free Dialog internet data.

Mika Igarashi from Google started the presentation about Google Cloud Platform.

Google has introduced many new features to its cloud platform. They have enhanced less down time and pay per minute features. In order to reduce the traffic they have launch several data centers as well. Google is always involved in building an open source community. Mika introduced several Google products in the following topics.

· App engine

· Computer

· Container CPU

· Cloud

Services related to big data were introduced.

Next up, our well known Shafraz Rahim came on stage to talk about the Ideamart platform and their latest IOT solution.

Shafraz started his speech by introducing some examples of the internet in terms of how internet was created and who developed the internet. Moreover, he mentioned the evolution of the human kind has evolved the development of the internet as well.

Discussion about their latest IOT platform was started,

He gave a start for his demonstration by discussing about several ancient transportation methods and communication methods. And how the old technologies has grown up to this level.

He specially stated that in Sri Lanka out of 5 people in only 1 person is having a smartphone. That’s the main reason why they have developed the Ideamart Platform.

Going beyond a sms sending and receiving medium they have kept another step by introducing an IOT platform that can connect any device to internet and a telecommunication medium. Dialog Company has introduced a product called ‘Dialog Smart Life’ that we can use for smart homes.

A new tech called ‘I Say You Do Mashup engine’ was introduced here, IOT web and telco based services can be mashed up by using this platform. Building services and monetization can be done using this service.

After describing a lot more about Dialog’s IOT platform Shafraz concluded his speech by saying “Dialog IOT is open for business”.

After Shafraz’s presentation Mr. Kasun Withanarachchi from Dialog started explaining how to start a startup with Ideamart,

He started the session by introducing about the Ideamart platforms currently available. He mentioned about the awards that Ideamart has archived. Dialog’s Idea Mart won the Global Mobile Award for Best Technology Enabler at GSMA Awards in Barcelona in 2015.

Kasun described how could we monetize our Ideamart Apps.

Then he shared some exmples for startups who made Ideamart big (HypeHash, Nanosoft, EOTA Solutions)

He explained few factors about Why startups fails? Then he described most of the startups fails due to lack of funding and investors. He introduced a program called Angel funding that we can claim fundings for our own startups. GSMA ecosystem is another solution for this issue.

Mr. Malinda Rathnayake started a presentation titled “Do or die”

He started his speech on how to make a startup successful, and how to make the employees happier. He mostly focused about the infrastructure and planning.

Malinda shared lots of thoughts about entrepreneurship and concluded his session.

Next up a local band called “Akunu” started performing on stage. Akunu is consisted of a group of Software engineers from IIT.

A new startup called ‘Yonder’ music app launched by Mr. Harshadeva. Yonder is a free music app that we can used to listen local and international music. Most of the common music apps doesn’t list local songs. Yonder is a great solution for this problem.

Harshadeva explained more about their latest app. The main features of the Application as follows, Offline Music, Billboard Charts and Multiple Playlist.

Mr. Hasitha Liyanage started his demonstration about Full stack engineering in the real world. He further described about what is a stack and network layers.

He explained about Cake POS technology. Speech continued and the explanations were given how to bring a product to market, mostly he focused on database management efficiently and introduced several data management methods.

Mr. Shevaan Goonathilake from SLASSCOM started his speech on ICT Industry in Sri Lanka.

Firstly, he gave some examples of some ancient Sri Lankan technology in irrigation. He described about why technology in Sri Lanka is not contributing much to economy growth in fields of ICT.

Ms. Sajini and Mr. Alagan Mahalingam from Google Business Group started an interactive session about how Google products can be used in your startup. Sajini spoke about on few google products that can be used. In addition, they wants everyone to engage with them by joining hands with GBG’s future events. She also introduced a competition called ‘Google startup challenge’ that everyone can take in part.

Alagan started a Q&A session about google products.

Mr. Jiffy the CEO of PickMe talked about how they developed PickMe and became one of the most pioneer startups in Sri Lanka. They started everything small and expanded throughout the country.

We all have heard about the story of Mr. Dhanika Perera, he started sharing thoughts on his success storyline. Mr. Dhanika is the CEO and founder of Bhasha Lanka who developed Halakuru Sinhala Keyboard.

His presentation was named ‘Be your own Boss’

He started a comparison between products and services to give us an idea about what quality products and services are.

Most of us are using Helakuru Sinhala Keyboard. It is a popular app among Sri Lankans. Mr. Dhanika stated that Helakuru is using a freemium business model. Moreover, he described about business models from his life experience.

The release of desktop version of Helakuru took place at this occasion. The new version is coming as an extension for Google Chrome which will help us to type in Sinhala Unicode in our browsers.

The last guest speech of the Google IO Extended has arrived, it’s the startup journey of HypeHash by Mr. Ravi Hansz.

Ravi Hansz described How to build a product, which makes sustainability according to Silicon Valley policies. Past year HypeHash won an award at Angel Hack competition and archived a funding from Sillicon Valley.

The end of Google IO Extended Sri Lanka was marked. Mr. Kasun from Dialog delivered his vote of thanks. That concluded one of the best Google IO Extended Events I have ever experienced. In my opinion, this might be the largest extended event in the world. This year Dialog Ideamart and GDG Sri Lanka has done a good job in organizing such a great event that consisted of an innovation exhibition as well as a massive tech conference.

Enthusiasts will look forward to 2018 version of Google IO Extended Sri Lanka powered by Dialog.

Suresh Peiris.