Event Recap: AT&T Mobile App Hackathon – Dallas, Texas
What happens when 60+ hyper motivated and creative developers & entrepreneurs get together in one space? It becomes a platform for open discussions, great networking, new friendships, and launching projects. AT&T Hackathons are all about creating an environment that supports developers with new opportunities, life learnings, new friends and business connections.
AT&T Hackathons were designed as a marketing outreach and demand generation program back in 2010 for our API program and we have hosted over 80 hackathons since. You can find out about our prior and current events here, and make sure to attend our upcoming Connected Car and Home Hackathon at CTIA in Las Vegas on September 6th!
AT&T Public Safety Hackathon Event Overview
AT&T Hackathons bring together developers, designers, marketers, and entrepreneurial types to launch projects and startups in just 24 hours. Attendees pitch ideas, form teams and build prototypes within that time period and guest judges help pick the winners. The best part is that many of these aspiring entrepreneurs continue the pursuit long after the weekend is over and strive to launch a business from the concept.
This time around, we focused on public safety related projects with the intent of looking at solutions that help first responders, as well as those in emergency situations. Projects revolved around mobile apps (not surprising), communication, and included embedded solutions like Arduinos and Freescale Freedom boards.
Day 1 – Lightning Talks and Team Formation
We kicked off the event on Friday evening with a full dinner and had over 60 entrepreneurs at the AT&T Foundry in Plano, Texas. The event then moved into lightning talks from public safety professionals to orient the developers, as well as previously successful entrepreneurs to motivate the crowd. Attendees then came up in front of their players to pitch their ideas and skills to their peers. They had only 60 seconds to sell their concept and communicate:
- Who they are and their super power
- The problem they want to solve
- How they’re going to solve that problem
- What they need to solve that problem
Participants networked to self-organize around ideas that they liked and finalized on 12 ideas, which are listed at the end of this post.
Day 2 – Code Completion and Pitching!
A number of teams stayed overnight at the Foundry and we kicked off Saturday morning with bacon, eggs, and pancakes! There was plenty of food, caffeine, and snacks to keep everyone energized and cranking away. To keep the excitement going, we also whipped up some bacon and bacon fried chicken wings for everyone along with quite a spread of food from the following restaurants over the course of the two days:
- Taco Ocho
- Panera Bread
- Jason’s Deli
- Banana Leaf
While the majority of the attendees were adults, we had a number of high schoole and university students attend the hackathon as well. Team DriveEye, who won an honorable mention, developed an app that records the driving habits of the teenage driver and reports back to the driver’s parents. Clearly, this app works in favor of the parents. We also had a couple of mentors walk around to help teams refine their pitches and their value proposition. Some teams were further along than others, but everyone was ready for the 6PM presentation start time.
The winning teams clearly communicated the problem and the solution. This was followed by a demo of the prototype that walked the audience through the solution. The judges assessed the potential of each team, provided candid feedback to the presenters and selected the winners. The top teams were:
- Best AT&T APIs – $500 + 3 Netgear Unites – Team Redline
- Best Public Safety App – $500 – Team RespondER
- Best AT&T M2X App – $500 – Team Stealth Saver
- Honorable Mention – Team DriveEye
Big Thanks to Everyone Who Came Out to the Hackathon!
These events are made possible by the generosity of our sponsors: DHS, Netgear, Vuzix, ARM and ALU. The events keep getting better and better, and it’s all because of the amazing team of organizers, volunteers, judges, mentors, and partners. If you’re interested in receiving updates about future AT&T Hackathon events, please connect me on Facebook and Twitter!
Here is a list of all of the projects that were pitched:
Team REDLINE (REsponDer Language INtErface) – Effective communication between an EMT and a patient is a matter of life and death. Without a universal language map, an EMT will end up second guessing on the patient’s existing condition, without any proper assessment. REDLINE solves the problem by allowing patients to effectively communicate information using reference pictures of a body map engine so that the EMT can transfer that set of knowledge to the next level of medical facilities.
Team SAFER – Situational Awareness (SA) for Emergency Responders – Situational awareness is critical to first responders, but not available to officers leaving their vehicle. SAFER extends comprehensive SA including, proximity locators, physiological monitoring, officer down alerts, and voice command, to the officer, teams, and dispatch in real time. Its dashboard, communications, monitoring and reporting features improve the safety and efficiency of our law enforcement personnel. Meet my new partner: SAFER.
Team DriveEye – Teenage driving is one of the deadliest events for young adults, but DriveEye aims to solve this issue. Using various sensors and a camera, DriveEye allows parents to monitor the driving habits of teens, ultimately decreasing the risk of accidents.
Team respondER – First responders need help to help people in need. They also need better technology to assist them. respondER provides vital patient data from a health care provider to allow first responders control the situation until professional help arrives.
Team SignWiz – Signs in unfamiliar neighborhoods can be tough.
Team Birdi Central! – Manage and utilize data from your home automation systems through M2X to enable rapid innovation and development
Team Castle Scout – Castle Scout is a game that will indirectly teach public safety techniques for various situations. Here’s an example for fire: 1. Transmit location / 2. Encounter (emergency) / 3. What is involved? How many individuals? How large? / 4. Scout transmitter: Castle Scout Hairy (identification)
Team Defender – An automatic vital sign monitoring application that takes action based on preset triggers.
Team SafeWalk – College campuses can be a scary place. Safe walk connects students needing to safely get back to their dorm with campus safety patrols and groups willing to give rides. Other tools are also built-in to help get people out of dangerous situations such as requesting a call to appear distracted. Two apps were created, one for the user and one for the home base.
Team OverSeer – First responders risk their lives everyday in order to protect citizens. Now it’s time to return the favor. Our app, OverSeer, tracks the well-being of first-responders who enter dangerous situations by tracking their activity. Through motion-detection technologies, our app monitors the amount of time a first responder goes without moving in a dangerous situation. An example of such a situation is when a firefighter enters a burning building – time is of the essence, so it’s crucial that first-responders are confirmed to be well at all times.
Team Stealth Saver – Focusing on emergency auto-texting with voice command, our app sends an ams, customized by the user, to an emergency contact number, which is also customized by the user. We use a custom voice recognition service that is able to run on the background with high-performance. So the app could run for hours in the background as a safety guard. The voice command, emergency number, and emergency message are all customized by users. Besides voice command, we also implement a motion command, so the emergency message could also be sent if a certain action (ie clap hands three times) occur. The most exciting part about our app is the user’s GPS coordinates will also be sent. We make use of M2X’s location feeding API. After an emergency situation is detected, a user’s real time location along with user’s name will be sent to our M2X server every minute. So police and a user’s family could track the user’s location in real time. The app is a best fit for fighting crime such as child abduction, rapes, and other similar emergency situation.
Team Marco YOLO Disposable Wearables – A modular, disposable, wearable touch interface for smartphones. In dangerous situations, you only have one life. The application is a dispatch & “groupthink” for navigation of close-quarter situations involving danger (for police, fire, rescue, etc.). The app recognizes group users (ie police) as they enter a home, pinging off each other to create a map layout. On the map layout, flags, incidents, and users will be tracked for best time-to-enter and how to exit safely.