Blog Article 03 Mar 2016
IDA Ireland at SXSW  - wired, weird and wonderful
IDA Ireland at SXSW - wired, weird and wonderful

Ken Finnegan, ICT Innovation, Research and Development Advisor & IoT Lead

This year SXSW is going to have a strong tint of Green with amazing productions from Macnas, an internationally acclaimed Irish spectacle company creating interactive large scale outdoor public performances, and a presence from many Irish organisations including the IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Irish Film Board, Culture Ireland, Dublin Start-up Commissioner and many more.

As the ICT Technology Advisor in IDA Ireland, there are some areas I am really excited to see and be involved in. I cannot wait to see the (Virtual and augmented) VR/AR Track and experience, Self-Driving Car, Robots and Artificial Intelligence systems – The Rise of the Robots, wearable's and the convergence of industries. It will be so interesting to see where these industries are going, how they are getting there and how they will disrupt. Also to benchmark where we are. I am confident that Technology Ireland will be able to hold its head high as we walk amongst the giants of the technology world.

We have done a great deal of work presenting Ireland as a strategic location for companies to establish a presence here (EMEA HQ etc), whether it is to internationalise, set up a Research and Development centre or just conquer Europe! We have a strong value proposition with our 4T’s and 4E’s (Tax, Track Record, Talent, Technology, Euro, Europe, English and Education), but what really excites me is talking to companies with technology or business challenges and seeing how Ireland can help them from an engineering, technology, innovation and capability perspective. It’s all about capability and getting the job done. 

There are some really cool innovations happening in Ireland and yes, we have loads of sheep, there is gallons and gallons of Guinness, red heads everywhere, but in addition to these there is real amazing technology work happening here. See the ‘Internet of Things’ ecosystem or delve in the ‘Cyber Security' landscape.

Take for example, Movidius, the leader in ultra low-power machine vision for connected devices. They announced that it is working with Google to accelerate the adoption of deep learning within mobile devices. As part of the agreement, Google will source Movidius processors alongside the entire Movidius software development environment. In turn, Google will contribute to Movidius’ neural network technology roadmap. See the YouTube clip:



Intel Ireland are all over the IoT global megatrend at the moment with the design and development of the low powered Quark and Curie chips, right here in Ireland - it even says that on the Galileo board, no really it does.

The technology, which is small enough to fit into a button, houses the Intel Quark SE system on a chip (SOC) that integrates the power of a full-sized computer into a single chip. The hardware module also includes a Bluetooth low-energy radio, sensors, battery-charging capabilities and pattern-matching capabilities. It runs on an Intel software platform created specifically for Intel Curie. Watch how an army of digital spiders can be controlled using the curie chip.



And check this out - the technology used to make this 'dress' smart was invented in Ireland. The dress reacts to bio-information collected by the Curie sensor and reacts 'appropriately'.



DAQRI is the leading augmented reality/4D company and have found a home in Ireland for their European base. “Ireland is highly regarded as a country for excellence in innovation and technology making it the perfect location for our first international office, in Dublin,” said Gaia Dempsey, co-founder and managing director, Daqri International. “We are thrilled with the quality of technical expertise we have found here and have been working closely with the academic community, researchers and research centres to define innovative R&D programmes.



Ireland is home to:

  • 10 of the top 10 global technology companies
  • 9 of the 10 global software companies
  • 5 of the 5 top security software companies
  • 3 of the top 3 enterprise software companies
  • 3 of the top 5 games companies
  • 4 of the top 5 IT services companies
  • The top 10 'born on the internet' companies

Tthey are here for multiple reasons but what I’m interested in providing insight into is why they are have chosen Ireland from a Technology/Innovation perspective. The talent they are finding in Ireland. The quality of software engineers, methodologies, skillsets in semiconductor design professionals, microelectronic research and development activities, new business models etc etc.

Taste a sample of the culture and innovation of the Irish and join us for the wired, weird and wonderful production ‘Wild hunt and the sleep walker’ - Saturday 12th March, 6th Street Austin, Texas starting at 6.45 p.m

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