Infotel 2018: Here’s what we saw at the National ICT Exhibition

It’s called the biggest ICT expo and exhibition in Sri Lanka. Throughout the three days that it’s held, it attracts thousands of visitors from all over Sri Lanka and even attracts foreigners as well. From trade stalls, to innovation centers to eSports tournaments, it showcases anything and everything related to ICT. This is Infotel 2018.

Infotel 2018

A few snapshots of the opening ceremony of Infotel 2018

Held from the 2nd to the 4th of November 2018, the Infotel 2018 ICT exhibition filled up the halls of the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre. An interesting difference that we noticed at Infotel 2018 was that rather than the usual trade stalls with vendors selling anything related to technology, the exhibition was more about showcasing the advances in technology that Sri Lanka has carried out. This was visibly present in almost all aspects of Infotel 2018.

So, what exactly did Infotel 2018 have to offer?

Well, we took a look around all the halls of the exhibition to see what new and interesting things Infotel 2018 had to offer. Here’s what we found.

The Main Halls of the exhibition center played host to a number of stalls both large and small. These ranged from educational stalls such as the one by Java Institute to banking stalls promoting their individual banking apps such as NDB Bank, Sampath Bank and People’s Bank as well. There was even a stall that you could use to check your ETF.

Infotel 2018

A collection of what we saw from Hall A in Infotel 2018

There was also a portion of the hall called the Tech Pavilion. This was dedicated to startups supported by the Export Development Board. Each stall had a representative from each startup along with the product or service they offered. If you found something interesting, you could go, grab a seat and start talking to learn more about them.

Moving on to Hall B

The adjoining hall or “Hall B” was equally if not more packed with visitors. The main reason for that was due to two stalls. One from Mobitel and the other from Arimac. Showcasing the latest advancements in augmented and virtual reality, the Mobitel and Arimac stalls were indeed a crowd puller.

In addition, Mobitel was also showcasing their smart home lineup of products. These ranged from smart lights to cameras to doorbells to even motion detectors. Not to be outdone, there were also a number of other companies who had taken strides in augmented reality showcasing their products as well.

Infotel 2018

Sri Lanka Telecom and Arimac Lanka showcasing their products related to AR and Smart Home technology

There was also the Startup Pavilion. We saw a large number of startups showcase their products and services at Infotel 2017 and 2018 was possibly bigger and better. Among the more popular startups that we’ve seen at the various competitions and exhibitions, we were also happy to see a number of new startups as well

Infotel 2018

The Startup Pavilion in full swing at Hall B of Infotel 2018

Moving along the halls, there were also sectors dedicated to Government services and a military showcase as well. The Government section was all about how a majority of the services that the public needs are now digitized. This paves the way for an eGovernment as well. Adding to this was the military services. We spoke about how the Signal Corps would be showcasing their history and this was it.

Infotel 2018

The MIlitary raising public awareness on the technologies they use

There were things going on outside the main hall too

Moving outside of the exhibition center, we had the SLT eSports Championship happening in full swing. Held for the 4th consecutive year, the championship brought the best of the best eSports athletes for 3 days of intense single player and team-based games. The single-player games were Clash Royale, Injustice 2, Project Cars 2, Fortnite, PUBG Mobile, Fruit Ninja, Subway Surfers, and even a women’s league as well.

Infotel 2018

The SLT eSports Championship also took place alongside Infotel 2018

The team-based games were League of Legends, CS: GO. Dota 2 and Call of Duty 4. Each of the games had their fair share of competition clans which made the games even more action-packed.

Located right opposite the SLT eSports Championship was a hall dedicated to Grasshoppers. No, not the insects, but rather, the delivery fulfillment arm of Kapruka. In addition to showcasing the latest in delivery tech such as drones, the hall also had products from various different vendors which you could purchase at discounted prices.

Infotel 2018

A prototype of a delivery drone that Grasshoppers plans to use

Workshops & Makerspaces for students & teachers

What good is all this innovation if you don’t know how to use it, right? Well, Infotel 2018 also had a number of workshops for both students and teachers. One such workshop was carried out by AIMS College. Dedicated to educating teachers from rural areas and schools, the workshops covered topics such as the basics of programming and how to teach innovation to students.

Snapshots of the Makerspace and workshops for both students and teachers that took place at Infotel 2018

In addition, teachers and students were given hands-on experience with a Makerspace where they were guided in creating new devices using tools such as hot glue guns, batteries, wheels, and other mechanical and electronic components.

Overall, it’s refreshing to see how far Infotel has come. The march towards a digital economy, which is the primary goal behind the exhibition was seen quite well. We will be adding more photos of Infotel 2018 soon. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more details. What did you think of Infotel 2018? Love it? Hate it? Leave a comment below.

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