Coders go head-to-head

Tech enthusiasts from across Europe took part in an international 24-hour competition at this year’s International Codebits event in Portugal

Winners of the People’s Choice awards may even see their game Spelling Loom, made available on the Windows Marketplace store, after submitting their project for approval.

Codebits, held over three days at the MEO Arena, saw 900 programmers, enthusiasts and internet entrepreneurs of more than 10 nationalities. During the event, coders went head to head in teams to make apps and technologies to impress judges with their innovative work. 

Team Spelling Loom, consisting of Peter Bouda, originally from Germany, Marco Amado and Pedro Mahan, won the People’s Choice award with their new language app for pupils aged eight to sixteen. This technology looks at patterns in language by building words to make music and learn about foreign languages.

The game, using Javascript and PhoneGap technologies, looks at all languages including lesser used languages such as Irish, Minderico and Basque. The team now hopes to encourage the use of their game in schools across Europe. The team is looking for a designer and a composer to get on board and any revenue made from the game on the open marketplace will be divided between them.

Team NeLo won the judges award for its wearable open hardware for polio patients. Using sensor software and 3D printers the team’s prototype Knee Lock, allows for an easier and less painful way to walk instead of using metal harnesses. The inspiration came from team member, Pedro Leite, who had a photo of his father with the metallic harness when he was a child.

Celso Martinho, SAPO general manager, said: “SAPO Codebits is the biggest international, technological event in Portugal and merges the latest trends in technology including design, software, hardware and programming skills.

“This seventh edition of the event was definitely the best we’ve had so far, with a diversity of contents, both in projects, talks and workshops never seen before. This show is proving that without a doubt Portugal is a country of innovators and talent.”

This year’s event reinforced computing and hardware with 3D printing, digital manufacturing, augmented hardware and simulations, robotics, drones and virtual reality retro computing.