Mobile App Hackathon – It Can Wait (No Texting) Hackathon Recap
Last Friday, September 7th at Coloft Office Space in Santa Monica, CA, we kicked off a truly unique Mobile App Hackathon focused on our “It Can Wait” don’t text and drive campaign. The hackathon was unique not only for its very important theme, but also because five (5) finalists were selected to have an extra ten (10) days to polish and complete their applications for final judging on September 18th. All told, the 120+ attendees pumped out 20+ apps with some really great and innovative ideas of how to help reduce and prevent the dangers of texting and driving.
An enormous thanks goes out to George McKinney for helping out with the local outreach and delivery of the hackathon. The sponsors and organizers had a great and sobering time discussing both the dangers of texting while driving and the solutions being proposed. The Los Angeles tech community is amazing and we cannot wait to return next year! We will be adding pictures of the event to our Facebook page soon so be sure to check back for updates. Also, please email me dropbox links for any images that you would like me to add to the collection!
One of the interesting apps at the event was Safe Car Key, a hardware and software solution that requires you to dock your phone out of reach in order to be able to start your car. The app accomplishes its task by disabling the fuel pump until the drivers phone is inserted into the docking station.
At the end of the day the judges had the difficult task of selecting not only the three (3) top teams of the day, including the general track winner, Text WAITer, but also the following five (5) finalists that will have the opportunity to compete for $30,000 in cash prizes: Drive Pledge, Smart Car Key, Rode Dog, Text WAITer, and SMShog.
Let’s take a closer look at all the stellar applications created:
- Drive Awards – Earn points for miles driven without texting. Points can be redeemed for rewards and discounts.
- MobiSnitch – MobiSnitch is a solution made of 3 components:
1) An agents running on a cellphone that Tells on the user. It will report any input type that occur with a timestamp, location as well if the user is in motion or not.
2) A web interface to manage parental control and Instruct the agent what to do (disable SMS, switch off phone, etc…). Basically the guardian can analyze the activity and set triggers based on cellphone users habits. Also the guardian can define Consequences which are actions that will be taken when violations are reported back.
3) A data center (server) that collects/push events to the mobile agent as well the web interface.
- Inform-a-Friend – 41% of teens are afraid to speak up as passengers. Inform-A-Friend is a subtle way to inform your friends of their bad driving habits.
- TrackR – Our app lets you accomplish a common texting task, letting people know where you are on your drive, without user interaction. By letting the app send texts at key checkpoints, i.e. when you’re a few miles away, you won’t have to risk becoming someone who died while typing “Almost th”.
- Text Drive Fail – Using tech to change a society is not going to work. In order stop an accepted and entrenched social activity we must look to campaigns that have accomplished similar goals and build off their example.
- Text Bounty – One of the best ways to change public opinion is to involve highly publicized people with a cause. If people identify with someone, they are more likely to engage in similar behavior. ‘Social proof’ for you pop psych junkies. Our program pressures celebrities (via twitter) who have verbally ‘pledged’ to not text and drive to put their money where their mouth is. They pledge $10K to not handle a phone and drive. If someone photographs them doing so 5k is given as bounty and 5k goes to charity and the whole things is organically publicized.
- Clip Roadie – When we talk about texting and driving we usually think of SMS, but most teens are actually texting on their social media accounts. Because we can’t force teens to stop social media use while driving we can instead focus on making the process safer for them. Clip roadie is an app that will allow drivers to send hands free tweets or status updates by sending audio clips of their voice. At the same time Clip Roadie will turn off the keyboard to prevent the more dangerous action of actually texting while driving.
- Bad TXTr – Name & Shame the friends, family and strangers that make your life more dangerous by texting behind the wheel. Meant for Passengers & Pedestrians, BadTXTr lets you share a pic, who & what they were doing based on your location.
- Drive Pledge – 1st Place Apigee & Finalist – Teens start up the DrivePledge app every time they drive and activate it before they start driving. The app tracks how far they drive and each mile gives them SafeMiles points that can be redeemed in our online market for apps, games, songs, and more. Many teens want to text while they drive, but we bet that they want free stuff even more.
- NoTexti – Save lives while winning prizes. Users are rewarded for not texting while driving.
- NoTXT – Text messaging is inhibited on minor’s phone when car exceeds set speed limit. If app is hacked, parents get alert message. If texts are received while vehicle is moving, an auto-response set by parental controls is sent out. Text is not enabled until car stops moving.
- No Text Rewards – Persuade teens and adults to give up what they love. Time that it takes us to change our texting behavior, multiple by 10 for teens. This app builds social communities around safety while texting, reinforcing new behavior. Install and forget (95% of apps you never use again). “No Text Rewards” is an ever green product.
- I’m Driving – “I’m Driving” accurately determines driving status using existing sensors and algorithms and learns driver’s behavior. It provides driving status to all apps.
It enables apps to adjust functionality accordingly. It minimizes driver interaction with devices.
It raises personal consciousness. It increases social awareness.
- Get Here – Get Here is a Navigator app that utilize the Telenav API “Scout for App”.
What it does is you can share your location or the destination via Email or SMS and it will provide them a turn-by-turn navigation. It picks the best route, dart around with real-time traffic updates.
- Rode Dog – Finalist – My parents have a really bad habit of texting and driving. Im really worried that if im not there to tell them to stop, they could get into an accident. Rode Dog is a web platform and mobile app that prevents people from texting and driving. It sends a loud bark to your phone when it detects usage while on the road.
- Take the Pledge – 1st Place Telenav -Take the Pledge encourages and rewards safe driving behavior by using a highly engaging gamified experience combined with peer-to-peer social recognition and accountability. On top of this, Take the Pledge is fun to use and offers the added value of auditory turn-by-turn navigation. Join your friends, Take the Pledge and drive safe!
- Safe Car Key – 2nd Place general & Finalist – When driving, never worry about phone distractions ever again with Safe Car Key. Safe Car Key acts as a second key to your car to enable it safe.
- TextMate – The app loads a real time traffic map. As you move, the car moves on the map.
The app has the ability to detect text while the user is driving and using the app. This information is stored in the Apigee usergrid cloud database. Users get points while driving and are penalized if they send a text while driving. While the app is running it reads the incoming text and allows the user to make a voice to text response with the AT&T Speech to Text API
- The text WAITer – 1st place general & Finalist – Unique App that rewards User’s responsible driving habits.
- SMShog – 3rd place general & Finalist -It’s hard to get people to download apps that monitors themselves. So we turned the tables where friends can earn points in a fun environment for monitoring each other. We’ve not only created an app but a culture of non-hogging. That’s not text and drive to the over 20 crowd.