AT&T Hackathon Yields Solutions in IoT from Infrastructure to Bicycles

September 12, 2017

Among the most stimulating events in the lead-up to the Mobile World Congress was the Developer Hackathon. In partnership with AT&T, a special weekend session dedicated to the development of IoT solutions was held in San Francisco, where innovators met to identify issues in the burgeoning IoT landscape, and pitch tools to resolve them.

The winning solution will be of particular interest to smart city planners and utility companies. Revolution 11 took the first prize of $2,500 with their Smart Manhole Cover, which notifies the user when it is opened, with sensors to track and convey information on what is contained below it. This device has the potential not only to enhance the security of urban infrastructure, but also the efficiency of its maintenance, allowing municipal authorities or utility companies to monitor subterranean conduits without the time, expense and even dangers associated with sending personnel to conduct checks in person.

Second place and a prize of $1,000 went to Team ZiZ. Their prototype of a smart device triggers an alarm in the event that the user’s valuables – say, a bicycle or laptop – are interfered with in their absence.   The device is relatively inexpensive, with the current business model proposing three for $99, is waterproof and flexible, and is fitted with a vivid LED light to deter theft proactively. In the event that an attempt is made to steal the object, a connected sensor induces an alarm in a remote device which the prospective thief cannot interfere with, and enables the owner to track its whereabouts.  The ‘ZiZ’ thereby benefits over traditional all-in-one local alarm systems by incorporating an aspect unavailable to potential criminals – who may otherwise be able to disable it – and allowing the owner to inform police of the object’s current location.

Just missing out on a prize, but earning an honourable mention nonetheless, was an LTE-M based solution with the ability to track schoolchildren as they arrive at school or into their classrooms. This device could provide a range of potential benefits to schools and emergency services: from the relatively mundane, by automating registration and helping schools to track group sizes as required, to uses of paramount importance as when a school requires evacuation in the event of a fire or natural disaster.  The device delivers signals via LTE-M, which are handled via AT&T’s M2X service, and also utilises the AT&T Cloud.

In all, a particularly rewarding session was enjoyed last weekend.  With the number of budding Mobile IoT solutions on the horizon now growing apace, the coming year will prove a busy one in the security space; the quality of entries we have witnessed has been greatly encouraging to that end, and we look forward to seeing many of the same innovators at our next Hackathon.

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