Google DevFest Singapore 2013

I attended the first Google DevFest in 2008. It should be the first Google hackathon in South East Aaia (Oops, Asia). During the event, we got the chance to try out the new APIs, such as Google Maps API and YouTube API. That was how I started one of my favourite personal projects, the YouTube RePlayer (latest version is hosted on OpenShift at

The GUI of YouTube Re-Player (Localhost) 1.0

YouTube Re-Player (Localhost) 1.0, the first version of the app which was done after attending Google DevFest 2008

This year, Google DevFest was back to Singapore again on last Saturday. So, I decided to attend to get inspired and explore new ideas and opportunities to network. The topics of this year event are listed below.

  1. Intro to OpenCV in Android;
  2. Android Permission Architecture: Invisible Security Threats;
  3. Managing Arduinos with Androids;
  4. Running Android OS on Raspberry Pi (nothing much covered);
  5. Angular JS (I skipped the AngularJS talk to take some rest);
  6. Google BigQuery with Cloud Storage;
  7. Google Developers.

Before going into each of the topics above, I would like to comment about the (free) food offered in the event. In the 2008 event, the organizer dabao Singapore chicken rice only for us as dinner. This year, they provided delicious breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea!

Talk #1: Intro to OpenCV in Android

The talk was given by Badrinath Kulkarni, an Android developer from GDG Bangalore. The talk basically just covered some general image processing functions available in OpenCV as well as steps to install the OpenCV library in Eclipse for Android app development.

He started the tutorial by showing us a simple and frequently used image processing operation, image smoothing. He demo it using the medianBlur() to reduce noise of the image taken with a smartphone camera.

Image Registration is also covered in this talk. The reason to do Image Registration is to find out a geometrical transformation that aligns points in one view of an object in an image with corresponding points in another view of that object. There are some online resources that discuss Image Registration in detail.

In short, this is more like a talk about image processing. However, the speaker does have an interesting blog at

Talk #2: Android Permission Architecture: Invisible Security Threats

Even though Android applications by default do not have access to phone number, browser history, and other user’s private information on the phone, the applications can request for access to this information at install time. The options that the users can choose are only grant all access requested or not install the application. So, this talk basically covered the problems of having over-privileged Android applications in the market.

The talk was delivered by Jiten Jain from India. During his talk, he further demonstrated how he could easily get the contact information, messages, and account usernames of the users using his Android app. Yup, now it is important to find out what the apps on our phone can actually do. Not just graphical implementation of the apps, but all the tasks that can be done by the apps.

Talk #3: Managing Arduinos with Androids

This is another interesting talk in the event. In fact, it’s very enjoyable. It was given by Harish Pillay from Red Hat. I think he was named a SPRING Singapore’s award recipient just three months ago.

The talk basically focused on how Annikken Andee, an Arduino bluetooth add-on shield, gives developers an easier way to make Android to interact with the physical world. Annikken Andee can communicate with the Annikken Andee Android app via bluetooth.

Here is a 2-minute short interesting video explaining what Annikken Andee is.

By the way, just a fun fact: The language that we use to program the Arduino board is C/C++ but the IDE is written in Java.

Fun fact #2: Even high school students in Malaysia know Arduino. So please learn Arduino if you don’t know about it. =P

Talk #4: Google BigQuery with Cloud Storage

The first lesson learnt from this talk given by Dr S P T Krishnan from I²R is that Google BigQuery is not a magic wand. Hmm, I thought it was a magic. Oh well.

The first time I heard about Big Data was during the Linus Lee’s talk on Analytics Stack at Twitter back in January. He shared with us the role and responsibilities of a data scientist and the working evironment in Twitter. For more details about his talk, there is an online article about it at e27.

After Linus Lee’s talk, I tried out Google BigQuery at If you would like to play with Google BigQuery, perhaps you can find more about BigQuery and go through the quickstarts first.

Talk #5: Google Developers

The cool applications done by developers is available at

There was a YouTube video shared with us during the talk also. It is about how Google Play helps Colopl, a very cool Japanese company.

A Fruitful Event

Because of Google DevFest 2008, I got to know more about the cool Google APIs, which later help me on developing many useful applications on my own. This time, the event once again opens my eyes to the exciting new technologies out there. Yup, so I am looking forward to the next Google DevFest. =)

Presentation Materials from Google DevFest Singapore 2013

Morning Sessions

Afternoon Sessions

Photos of the Event


3 thoughts on “Google DevFest Singapore 2013

  1. Hello! I’m Jonathan from Annikken. Thanks for blogging about the Google DevFest event! I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the Annikken Andee was talked about during the Google DevFest event. Could you contact me at ? I’d like to know more about the event and what was presented.

    Thank you! =)


  2. Pingback: Rubber Band Launcher. Phew, Phew, Phew! | cuteprogramming

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