As of 2017, Infotel, Sri Lanka’s biggest ICT expo and conference is 25 years old. It’s a place where you’ll find everything from startups to enterprise IT hardware to towering gaming PC’s. This is Infotel, which will be happening for four days this year. As we walked passed the army vehicles and entered BMICH, here’s what we found at Infotel 2017.
The entrance to Infotel 2017
The moment you walk into Infotel 2017; you’ll find a lot more space at the entrance. This time, you’ll find two stalls as you walk in on both sides. Both of them belonging to banks. The left belonging to HNB and the right belonging to People’s Bank. Both stalls focus on showcasing the new ATM’s and Cash Deposit machines, belonging to the banks.
Hall A: The startups, enterprise, and universities
The moment you walk into Hall A you’ll find its biggest attraction: the startup pavilion. This is where you’ll find many upcoming local startups showcasing themselves to everyone. We found both familiar faces and new ones here. To introduce all of these startups to you is a topic we’ll be doing in the coming days.
Surrounding the startup pavilion is a series of stalls belonging to enterprise vendors. This is where you’ll find new hardware for your office. Additionally, you’ll also find a few stalls belonging to a few universities here. In between all this, you’ll find a smart classroom set up by Abans and towering gaming PC’s at a stall by Intel towards the rear.
Hall B: VR, an IT Museum and even more startups
Stepping into Hall B is akin to stepping into some futuristic office. Once you get accustomed to the bright flashing lights, you begin to notice the little (and not so little) things. For example, as soon as you walk into Hall B you find a stall run by SLT on the right. Now, why is this interesting? Well, the stall has two weird egg-shaped chairs.
No, SLT is not getting into the funky furniture industry, rather, these chairs are part of a VR experience. Simply get into the chair, wear the VR glasses and you’re ready to step into a world of virtual reality. The simulation ranges from riding on the back of a giant Frisbee to a roller coaster and a few more simulations.
Located in the centre of Hall B is the Tech Pavilion. Similar to the Startup Pavilion, this too showcases some startups and established companies who are in the IT industry. Examples of this include BotFactory, SenzMate, Paraqum Tech, CogCom and FIDA Global.
The IT Museum
Facing the wall is a long table filled with what looks to be old equipment. This is the IT museum. All these gadgets and devices serve to be memories of an era gone by. Some of the components here are actually older than most of the students who are visiting the stall itself. In terms of the devices here, you have a pick from the original Apple Lisa, numerous dot matrix printers, Vacuum tubes, a Commodore 64 desktop computer, old ram modules and a whole lot more. If you’re visiting Infotel 2017 and have not yet seen this beautiful collection, we urge and encourage you to go see it as it is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Going in a full circle and coming back you will also find the Bhasha stall. Here, the company is showcasing their latest app: Helakuru Akuru Keliya. The game is simple. Simply Type the letter as it appears onscreen. The game is usually in single player mode but the Bhasha team has revamped it for Infotel 2017 to add a 2 player leaderboard with attractive prizes up for grabs.
Hall C: The government, military, and a slice of Pettah
The entrance of Hall C is something we describe as the Pettah of Infotel. The moment you walk into Hall C you’ll find stalls belonging to vendors selling everything from multi-plugs to power banks to selfie sticks. But as you walk in you’ll find the stalls making the loudest noise in Hall C.
These are the stalls belonging to the army. As with previous years, Hall C is where you’ll find the ever popular small arms firing simulator with a large crowd surrounding it. Next, to it, you’ll find a stall showcasing some of the technologies that the Sri Lanka Army uses, which was built in-house.
On the other side of the hall, you’ll find stalls by the ICTA, SL CERT, and other government agencies. At these stalls, you’ll find what projects are being pursued in the areas of e-government. You’ll also get a glimpse of how the Digital Health Project works with a walkthrough of it in action inside a model hospital.
Hall D: The SLT eSports Championship 2017
Happening for the 3rd consecutive year, the SLT eSports Championship, organized by Sri Lanka Telecom attracts its fair share of gamers for Infotel 2017. Boasting a wide range of single-player and team-based titles, the winners will walk away with attractive cash prizes. If you’re a hardcore gamer or just a casual gamer, drop by the SLT eSports Tournament and come witness some epic battles take place.
Well, there you have it. That’s Infotel 2017 in a gist. The exhibition will go all the way untill the 5th of November 2017. If you’re in the neigborhood, we encourage you to top drop by and have a look for yourself.