Student developer team claims $25,000 prize with extreme weather reporting application
Melbourne, Australia – May 18, 2018 – A team of university students have won the Motorola Solutions (NYSE: MSI) hackathon for the first time.
A developer team from Swinburne University claimed top honours with an app concept designed to improve the quality and accuracy of public reports about landslides, fallen trees and other dangers.
The challenge was provided by the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES), one of four public safety organisations participating in the event.
In 2016-2017, VICSES recorded its second busiest year on record, responding to more than 31,000 incidents and providing more than 302,600 hours of operational support time to Victorians in need.
Having accurate data is essential to managing such an enormous volume of emergency support requests safely and efficiently. Swinburne’s app concept enables citizens to use their smart phones to capture images of fallen trees and other obstacles and leverages other software tools to accurately measure the size of hazards. It also enables real-time reporting of road conditions.
Providing emergency services with this vital information helps them to send the right resources and skills to a job and to determine the best and safest route to get there.
The fast-paced, 44-hour app development challenge brought together a large and dynamic mix of app developers and emergency service organisations to solve the most diverse set of problem statements in the event’s three-year history.
One of the strongest themes that emerged from this year’s hackathon was the growing need for technologies to enhance citizen engagement with public safety organisations.
From mitigating the impact of shoplifting for Australian retailers to broadcasting mass communications for major public order events and improving the quality and accuracy of emergency reports – app development teams rose to the challenge.
“It is becoming increasingly important for emergency services to access more of the vital data that Australian citizens can capture using smart phones,” said Steve Crutchfield, Vice President and Managing Director for Motorola Solutions Australia and New Zealand.
“Citizens have an important role to play in protecting their communities, and by providing first responders with the right data at the right time, we can all have a profound impact on the future of public safety,”
“As Motorola Solutions celebrates 50 years in Australia, hackathons, agile development practices and partnerships are helping us to develop new skills and capabilities while accelerating innovation and service delivery for our customers,” added Mr Crutchfield.
Nami Shah from the winning Swinburne team said “Before the hackathon we had no idea that we could apply the skills we are developing at university in this way. “It has been so rewarding to learn that our apps can help public safety agencies to work more efficiently while making our communities safer.
“We have gained great confidence from the hackathon and now plan to develop our app further by adding multimedia and social media components to it.
“It would be a dream come true if we could put our app into the hands of public safety agencies and citizens across the country.”