Ireland’s first internet of things hardware hackathon happening in September

5 Aug 2014

Liam Casey, CEO, PCH International

PCH International is looking for the next big thing in hardware and is calling on Irish inventors, designers, creators and engineers to take part in Ireland’s first hardware hackathon for the internet of things.

Focused on the emerging internet of things (IoT) opportunity whereby a myriad of devices connected to the internet via wireless networks will change our lives, the goal is to bring the hardware community in Ireland together and get it focused.

The hackathon will take place 12-14 September at DCU Innovation Campus.

Modelled on the successful Startup Weekend – the largest of which recently took place in Ireland – hardware innovators will form teams to devise hardware that will make an impact on people’s lives. They will then pitch their idea before a panel of judges.

To make it happen, an extensive list of developer kits will be available, including Arduino kits, Raspberry Pis, Intel Galileo boards, 3D printers and even a CNC machine for people to make prototypes of their ideas. 

Judges from AIB, Tyndall Institute, Design Partners and Frontline Ventures will decide on the best hardware and ideas to be pitched by the various teams.

Speakers at the event include PCH International CEO Liam Casey, Intel’s vice-president for the internet of things Philip Moynagh and Ben Harris from Drop.

“It seems that IoT and hacking hardware is just starting to take off in Ireland but I can see it getting much more popular amongst both the hardware and software communities over the coming months and years,” said Clare O’Mahony from PCH.

The IoT hardware revolution is only beginning

PCH International works with major technology companies, including Apple and Beats, to organise the design, supply chain and logistics of consumer electronics products.

In a recent breakthrough deal with RadioShack, companies that are part of the PCH Access accelerator ecosystem will be granted special terms to create a direct path for their goods to 2,000 RadioShack stores, as well as preferred positioning on

Founded in Cork in 1996, Casey – aka, Mr China because of his knowledge and expertise of Asia’s manufacturing supply chain – has built up PCH International to be one of the most crucial supply chain and delivery providers for some of the major global tech brands. For example, it is the only non-Taiwanese final assembly company to be listed on Apple’s global supplier list.

Working across the entire technology spectrum, the company completes the design and delivery of products, from Beats’ Dr Dre headphones to cutting-edge smartphones arising out of emerging Chinese phone maker Xiaomi.

Who knows? If Casey’s hardware hackathon is successful we could one day see the arrival of a global mass-produced consumer hardware offering born right here in Ireland.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years