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Editorial: March of the Droids 2015

We came, we saw, we geeked out once again. March of the Droids has been and gone and we’re here to give you some of the highlights of the community driven Android fanatic get together. Take a look at how March of the Droids 2015 went down!

Every year, like-minded individuals with a penchant for Android or mobile technology in general, get together to partake in many a laugh, jape, tech talk, competition, and this year, a bowling soiree! This year saw the turn of the second city, Birmingham, to host the event on the 21st March at Birmingham University.

But first….how did I get there!

A community driven event, March of the Droids relies on the online community, devoted to Android and mobile technology, for its continuation. Each year however, the event has grown bigger and bigger. 2015 saw James Bricknell (@Keridel on Twitter) once again hosting the event that he, Gary Weldon (@UbuntuBhoy), Stu Alsford (@CaptainStu72) and John McKenzie (@FatScottishGuy) all organise. A special mention goes to Angela Weldon (@Taz_Angela) for not only putting up with Gary in general, but for putting more than a shift in to assisting to get the event off the ground.

That’s the essence of this event. I’ve only been going to MotD for the last couple of years but I’ve seen just how important the community regulars are to the cause. This year for instance, due to the generosity of all those who attended, MotD will be writing a cheque for over £350 to Cancer Research thanks to the donated tech raffle.

So, who was at this years’ event to make it another one to remember?

The guest list was rather packed!

Firstly Honor were in attendance to showcase not only their Honor Holly device, last years’ mid-ranger, but also two new devices that we reported on earlier in the year. The Honor 4x and 6+ were on display and were fondled throughout the day. Wilkin Lee (@WilkinLee), Sales & Marketing Manager for Honor UK did a good job of instilling the virtues of Honor’s latest devices and took a couple of nice Selfies along with it. Honor also took the opportunity to announce a their new “Honor VIP Replacement Service”. From its launch in April 2015, Honor will try to replace any broken devices within 24 hours. This applies to the Honor 6 and 6+ devices.

Honor weren’t finished there either. Wilkin also took this opportunity to announce a very special deal exclusively for March of the Droids attendees. Such was the social media response to the announcement of the 4x and 6+ devices, Honor released a special March of the Droids exclusive Honor Elite Club code to enable those purchasing 6+ devices upon launch to claim a free case, as well as being first in line to receive the latest device news, and event invites. Nifty eh?

HTC were also in attendance with Graham Wheeler (@wheelergd), Laura Kimball (@lamiki) and Shen Ye (@shen) representing the company and showing off their HTC One M9 devices. Graham and Laura also stepped up to give a talk about the M9 and also the HTC Elevate events.

"Arrow" collectible as customised by David Stevenson
“Arrow” collectible as customised by David Stevenson

Other attendees included NFC Ring, showcasing some snazzy tech to allow you to utilise NFC for access control and other nifty use cases. XDA were represented in the shape of Jeremy Meiss (@jerdogxda). XDA’s OEM Relations Manager gave an interesting talk about the humble beginnings of the XDA Developers community and how it grew to house more than 6.5million active users. Retro Empire was once again back at March of the Driods with more old school shenanigans, with the especially noteworthy Sega Genesis Nomad which was the spiritual successor to the Sega Game Gear but sold exclusively in North America. Retro fun!!

Other stalls included ASUS UK showing off some of their tablet and Zen devices and David Stevenson’s hand customised Android collectables. Mine was ready for me to pickup….I’m sure you can guess. It’s “Arrow” from the DC show!

Matteo Doni (@todoleo) veteran returned to the MotD stage this year on behalf of Skyscanner to discuss why Android is more than just Google’s operating system and the implications of forked and AOSP Android builds.

NFCImplant
Matthew Bloomer Brack – The Man with the NFC Hand

Last but not least, Matthew Bloomer Brack (@mbloomer04) XDA Staff Writer, gave a very interesting talk about the merits of implanting NFC chips under human skin! Matthew has had an RFID chip implanted under the skin on his left hand and discussed the process, and the use case for the technology as well as vowing to get another implant in his other hand!

All in all it was another great day full of laughs, chats, meeting new people and winning prizes! My own personal haul saw me come away with some NFC Tags, a ZTE FirefoxOS phone, some Android collectables, and some sweets!…..well worth the price of admission!

If you’ve read this thinking this is just your cup of tea, take a trip along to March of the Droids and keep an eye out for next years’ event. It moves around the UK each year so who knows? It could be on your doorsteps in 2016!!

Links: David Stevenson ArtworkXDA DevelopersNFC RingDangerous ThingsSkyscanner – Honor UK – Asus UK

About Craig Bradshaw

Tech enthusiast and Editor-in-Chief of MobileTechTalk

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