On Friday February 5th 2016, Streamdata.io attended the GDG DevFest Paris 2016, a pretty cool one-day tech conference organized by the Parisian branch of the Google Developer Group, covering various subjects around Android, Web and the Cloud.
The queue to get in is still quite long at 9am, it feels like there are a lot more people this year. That’s good news! Once inside, the smell of coffee & croissants greets me in the conference hall. I think I’ll need that to get through the morning without missing out on all the good stuff the GDG has prepared for us.
Start of the Intro Keynote by Thibault Pouget & Xavier Loup from the GDG. My first impression when arriving was quickly confirmed : 600 people attending the conference, twice more than last year. Good job guys!
Opening Keynote ”The Giants of the Web” by Ludovic Cinquin.
Of course, this presentation talks about Web Giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc…. and they all have one common motto when it comes to producing : Bigger, faster, more efficient.
As an example, their motivation when trying something new is : Succeed or fail fast => You learn more from your mistakes than from your success, but you don’t want to lose time in the process.
Clever fact : Did you know that most CEOs of the Web Giants started as developers?
“Web Bluetooth” by François Beaufort.
This presentation introduces a standardized Web API to interact with Bluetooth objects. Some pretty cool applications were demonstrated like a Bluetooth candle that users can interact with via a simple Web interface.
Also, a new open source experimental project was introduced : the Physical Web.
This project exposes the possibility to interact naturally with any smart device, and as a first step to receive information from Bluetooth beacons very simply on your mobile device to access data (like a Web page redirect).
Clever fact : Did you know that the word Bluetooth comes from the king of Denmark Harald “Bluetooth”, and that the Bluetooth symbol comes from combining the H and B runes, initials of his name ?
“Tracking Web app usage with Google Analytics” by Romain Vialard.
Use Case on tracking with Google Analytics on the Web application Yet Another Mail Merge.
Instead of the usual page view tracking for website, this presentation focuses on other trackers for Web applications :
- Event tracking : Sending events to GA via send commands, then visualizing the user browsing path in a session (for example installation session) with event flow.
- User tracking : Client ID vs. User ID and cross device report.
- Error tracking : Using GA to track errors (as an event to see errors in real-time).
- Dimensions (users characteristics) & metrics (quantitative measurements like session number) : Easy customization for clear analytics reports & dashboards.
- Segments : Analyzing a subset of the global data.
This talk presents a live Demo that the audience can interact with in real-time (and we did!). Users provide a place and a message in a simple form, and when posted, their message is displayed in real-time at the chosen place on a map projected in front of the audience.
The Demo was, of course ,built using Firebase and Google Maps around three blocks :
- Storage : New data generated in JSON stored to DB in real-time.
- Events : Firebase pushes new data to clients in real-time.
- Animate : Use events received on Front-End side to animate & display new data.
“HTTP2 : What’s going to change” by Julien Landuré.
Full house for this talk on HTTP2! I arrived a little late and had to squeeze through the door to get in and find myself a tiny space. Obviously, the title kinda gives away the subject of this presentation. A brief description of the HTTP1 protocol followed by how HTTP2 is going to make the Web so much better, but seriously, it will!
The presentation by Hubert Sablonnière on Progressive Web Apps seemed very interesting. So interesting that the room assigned was way too small and was already jam packed with even a few people on their toes outside the door trying to peek in. No way I could get in. Too bad, but never mind, I decided to use this quiet time to catch up on my emails and tweets.
“Extend your applications to smart watches & Android TVs” by Xavier Hallade.
This presentation explains how to adapt your already existing application to the Android TV and the Android Wear, and how to distribute it to the Google Play Store.
Android TV is an Android device, with hardware equivalent to mid-range smartphones & tablets and no tactile navigation. Android Wear is also an Android device, with hardware equivalent to lower range smartphones and a basic tactile navigation using notifications. Both have very specific user experience that needs real UI adaptation.
“Eddystone, the open beacon format from Google” by Turhan Oz.
Beacon : object that transmits information (only one direction) using BLE (usually with battery).
Eddystone : open BLE beacon format / specification.
Three threads are constantly transmitted by the beacon :
- UID : unique identifier of the beacon (namespace + identifier)
- URL : specific URL you want to distribute => Refer to the Physical Web
- TLM : telemetry information (battery, temperature, etc)
The Beacon platform and the Proximity Beacon REST API.
Use Case : the Eddystone scanning application (for Android).
The Physical Web… Hang on a minute, I see a trend there! I wonder if…
Closing keynote by Scott Jenson.
The Web needs a discovery service :
This service would work as a bridge between the Web & the physical devices.
An open source experimental project was created : the Physical Web. Ah, I knew it! Now it all make sense!
A few examples are provided like the connected bus stop or the parking meter.
Why beacon with bluetooth instead of NFC ? Because very little phones can receive NFC today. Advantage for NFC : no need for battery, but it’s not one against the other, they are sister technologies.
Google has recently launched a new Bluetooth beacon for developers (with an ON/OFF button on it !) to be able to test the technology. As Google people are very nice, they decided to give each of the participants one beacon to start playing with the technology, and maybe find new ways to use it. Thank you Google, I surely will!
What a good day that was, with a really smooth organization and very interesting all-around talks and presentations. I’ll definitely come back again next year for more.