Internet of things is a new trend that is believed to be one of the drivers of application development for the near future. It is the concept that everyday objects can be connected to each other transferring and receiving data, without a human-to-human or human-to–computer interaction. The IBM CSC team at Strathmore University together with @iLabAfrica hosted the first ever Internet of things codeathon on the 23rd May 2014. The competition marked the end of a two weeks training where a team of IBM experts trained developers and students in the Safaricom Academy on next generation application development. Students used technologies such as Node Red and BlueMix to develop internet of things applications, which involved the use of sensor and embedded devices.
Amazing concepts and applications were showcased by the students, who spent an entire day developing concepts and applications based on the Internet of Things concept. The theme of the competition was “Using Internet of Things to make Africa a Safer Place”. From using drones to send surveillance data to control rooms, to using sensors that send data on the water levels in a dam for purposes of informing irrigation projects, the students displayed impressive innovations that could have a great impact when implemented in solving some of Africa’s greatest challenges.
The students had only 3 minutes to present their concepts and applications in an elevator-pitch fashion. At the end of the presentations, the applications were judged by a team of experts from IBM and @iLabAfrica and the best three applications were recognized and awarded with cool hardware gadgets that included sensors and embedded devices. All the participants were also awarded certificates for attending the intensive course on next generation application development.
@iLabAfrica received a drone from the IBM team on behalf of Strathmore University to be used for Next Generation Application Development training. IBM and Strathmore University are engaged in talks of how to make the next generation training undertaken at @iLabAfrica sustainable to benefit more students and developers in the future.