Singapore hackathon: Using open data to enrich communities
By Digital News Asia August 7, 2014
- 160 participants in Open event; 94 participants in Junior (12 and below) event
- This year also saw introduction and use of open data in the hackathon
SAVING lives, automating cooking and helping the disabled were among the winning ideas from Singaporeans at this year’s code::XtremeApps:: Hackathon, organised by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and Information Technology Standards Committee (ITSC).
This year’s hackathon saw a record turnout with over 250 participants making up 101 teams across its Open and Junior categories working on ideas, the two said in a statement.
The 24-hour hackathon, now in its eighth year, is one of IDA’s and ITSC’s initiatives geared to create greater hands-on awareness in technology and encourage the development of computational thinking in young tech talents.
“Human nature means we are all curious about how things work,” said Steve Leonard, executive deputy chairman of IDA who graced the award ceremony.
“The code::XtremeApps:: Hackathon … gives a chance to everyone who is curious to explore building technology,” he said.
Smart Living – Using Data to Enrich Communities was the chosen theme for the Open Category and used open-source hardware such as Raspberry Pi and Arduino Uno. It saw 62 teams with 160 participants.
Meanwhile, 94 Junior Category participants in 39 teams – comprising children 12 years and below – were given three hours to build and share their favourite story about Singapore using Chibitronics, a set of programmable electronic circuit stickers.
They could use historical data about Singapore such as places of interest, population statistics and country maps, provided by data.gov.sg to craft their submissions.
“Each year we have seen this – young programmers pushing themselves to create something useful and meaningful with excellent creativity,” said ITSC chairman Yap Chee Yuen.
“The ideas that participants came up with have real potential to help communities, especially those with special needs. I hope to see many of the solutions developed and fine-tuned further to be adopted in the community.”
This year also saw the introduction and use of open data to the hackathon. Participants were encouraged to use the Singapore Government’s datasets available from data.gov.sg, OneMap.sg or government agencies to develop comprehensive solutions that harnessed data and its subsequent analysis.
There were additional cash prizes of S$1,000 and S$500 for the Open and Junior Categories respectively, for the most innovative use of government data. [S$1 = US$0.80]
This year’s grand prize of S$9,000 went to team Tria Artifex, formed by Wong Wai Tuck and Kong Yu Jian, both aged 20 and currently serving their full-time national service, and Clarence Ngoh Peng Yu, 21, a freshman from Singapore Management University (SMU).
The team created BlackBox, a car crash detection system that shaves precious minutes off emergency response time in the event of an accident, and could mean the difference between life and death.
The BlackBox immediately signals for emergency responders upon detecting a genuine crash and activates a live camera feed to assess the condition of the driver. The device also sends data and alerts the nearest hospital with the driver’s pre-registered vital medical details such as blood type, allergies and medical history to ensure a hospital is ready for a patient even before they are rushed through its emergency doors.
For the innovative use of incorporating road and traffic data from the Land Transport Authority (LTA), Tria Artifex was also awarded the data.gov.sg prize.
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