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San Francisco Announces Winners of Smart City Hackathon

“Connect Your City!” hackathon hosted by City and County of San Francisco and SIGFOX generates smart city prototypes for Internet of Things network

Posted Date: 11/23/2015

San Francisco, CA – The Department of Technology (DT), The Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation (MOCI), SIGFOX, Texas Instruments (TI) and other technology leaders hosted a 48-hour hackathon for developers and makers to build prototypes over the recently launched Internet of Things (IoT) network.

From November 20th – November 22nd at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco,150 developers and makers convened to build prototypes over the IoT network. Participants were given the latest TI wireless connectivity development kits, IoT sensors and access to the low power wide area network (LPWAN) connectivity SIGFOX network. They were challenged with developing prototypes of connected hardware aimed at making San Francisco a smarter city on topics such as air quality, water usage, intelligent lighting, and traffic routes and transportation options.

Miguel A. Gamiño Jr, San Francisco’s Chief Information Officer and Executive Director of the Department of Technology said the hackathon was the right next step for discovering how San Francisco can leverage the IoT network to be a leading smart city.

“Becoming smarter as a city means setting up the right infrastructure and creating an environment that invites community participation” said Mr. Gamiño. “We established the network and invited developers to the hackathon as a way to engage this creative community to help us discover the potential for using this new network. I’m impressed by the level of creativity demonstrated over the weekend and see potential for meaningful real-life application.”

"This weekend's hackathon was an overwhelming success and validation that the City of San Francisco is the right place for companies that want to be on the leading edge of technology, and that SIGFOX is the right choice for low-cost IoT connectivity for devices requiring low levels of data." said Allen Proithis, President SIGFOX North America.

Co-organizers for the event also included TI, Microsoft, Accenture and Plasma.

TI, who provided development kits for the event, is excited by the opportunity for its technology to be used to solve real world problems with this new IoT network. Olivier Monnier, marketing director for wireless connectivity solutions at TI said “Partnering with SIGFOX and the city of San Francisco demonstrated the potential for us to develop differentiated and easy to use IoT solutions that will have a significant and positive impact on the environment for the years to come.”

Peter Hirshberg is the Chairman of the City Innovate Foundation and Chairman/Cofounder of San Francisco’s Grey Area Foundation for the Arts; he sees broader implications with an IoT network. “The availability of low cost, low energy consuming tools like those presented at this hackathon changes who gets to create services for the city. Now almost anyone can create a service that fundamentally changes how the city operates.”

Connect Your City! winning projects received a one-year subscription with dedicated support on the SIGFOX network, gift cards to redeem on Texas Instruments’ store, and a one-year subscription to Microsoft Azure services. They will also have the chance to pitch their concepts to San Francisco City Leadership:

Best Start up Project
Audio Argus, a predictive-maintenance solution created by David Sykora, Merrick Clark and Joel Brinton, to keep the city running on time and under budget. “Using acoustic waves, we can determine if your fleet of vehicles, air-conditioning units, medical devices, or any device with a mechanical component, is working properly or needs service." explained winners.

Best Civic Innovation Project
WaterSaver,
developed by Nick Pera and Ben Morse, optimizes smart green areas watering to answer California’s drought major issue. Based on live metrics (weather, humidity, temperature), forecasts and machine learning, connected valves and sprinklers turn on when needed and allow the city to save the resource.

Best Technical Project
DryWater
, developed by Nicolas Triballier, Pascal Boudier, Pierre Guillot and Julien Brette, is a connected fight-water-waste solution. It monitors public green areas moisture to water them only when necessary. Machine learning algorithms and network coverage across wide areas allow to optimize resource usage in public parks and fields.

Best Smart City project:
Better Bike is a GPS tracker and distance sensor for bikes to ensure safer commuting. Developed by Shimolee Nahar, Boyd Lever and Jason Mudit Mittal, Better Bike team received a free Plasma Connect2.me access and cloud service for a year.

“We plan to review these winning concepts and share them with other key leadership,” said Jay Nath, San Francisco’s Chief Innovation Officer. “Many of our City departments are looking at ways to use this network to better engage residents,” said Mr. Nath. “A real opportunity exists to transform the way departments deliver services and provide more useful data sharing.”

The City and County of San Francisco launched the IoT network in October 2015 with network provider, SIGFOX, to position San Francisco as a leading smart city. In exchange for providing antennas and network access to the City, SIGFOX received access to San Francisco Public Library locations for antennas installed by the Department of Technology.

The City and County of San Francisco Department of Technology is an enterprise information and technology services organization that provides proactive leadership in the use of technology and information solutions to improve the City's operations and service delivery. Miguel A. Gamiño Jr, is Executive Director of the department and Chief Information Officer for the City of San Francisco.

Last updated: 11/23/2015 5:26:20 PM