IoT Olympiad Charts Course for Sustainable Maritime Economies

Internet of Things Developer Competition opens IOT Week

HACK-THE-HACKATHON-NEW-logo CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – May 5, 2014 - Hack The Hackathon, global producer of advanced developer competitions, today announced the successful completion of the IoT Olympiad, a developer competition (‘hackathon’) held May 2 through May 4, kicking off Internet of Things (IoT) Week Boston. In related news, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick officially proclaimed May 2-9, 2014 “Massachusetts Internet of Things Week”.

During the IoT Olympiad, engineers and industry experts met at the Cambridge Innovation Center to produce working demonstrations and prototypes for the application of sensors, cloud services, data, and mobile devices to a more sustainable maritime economy. Several developer teams focused on both the bottom and the top of the ocean food chain: oysters and whales — while others took on healthcare outcomes, public safety, and supply chain efficiency.

Sustain2Working hand-in-hand with Axeda Corporation, Maritime Gloucester, the City of Gloucester, Woods Hole Group, Ocean Alliance, MIT SENSEable City Laboratory, and others, the IoT Olympiad encouraged teams of developers to harness sensors, meteorological, oceanic, GPS, tidal, and fishery data resources, combined with their own innovation, to create IoT-based solutions to meet the challenges of New England’s struggling maritime economies.

  • Team Coast Watcher: Hong Zhang, Ari Roshko, and Jennifer Jones prototyped iotolympiad-may2014-2795“CoastWatcher”: a mobile app for oceanographers that uses smart sensors to measure seawater clarity, temperature, bacterial load, and salinity. The app also incorporates streamed video from key seacoast locations, and was posted to the Windows Phone Store. The team took home the Axeda Grand Prize and was “adopted” by Woods Hole Group of Falmouth Massachusetts where the project will continue to receive ongoing support and incubation services.
  • Team All’s Whale that Ends Whale: Eliza Kosey, Nathan Tarp, Steve Cooke and iotolympiad-may2014-2851Alex Ogunsanya created two working demos: Whale Snap and Whale Scale. Whale Snap is an end-to-end integrated app and cloud service to harness the power of ‘citizen science’ for Ocean Alliance on coastal whale watches, which directly contribute over $150 million annually to Massachusetts coastal community economies. Whale Scale uses ocean buoys equipped with advanced audio signal processing to capture whales song in their natural habitat, connected to a cloud database that automatically categorizes the signals into ‘themes’.  The team won a celebrity whale watch and office space at the Ocean Alliance oceanographic Institute in Gloucester, MA.
  • Team Blue Pearl: Jerry Zhang, William Zhang, Daniel Speroni, Joe Rothermich, BluePearl-at-AutoIDexpoand Mike Wissner won the Axeda 2nd place prize, for their Cold Chain solution using smart sensors to stream temperature and location data to a cloud service for tracking the freshness of oyster shipments.  They also won an Island Creek Oyster Tour and Farm Share, plus complimentary exhibit space at the AutoID Expo at MIT on May 7.

iotolympiad-may2014-2611 “Through our efforts to foster a culture of innovation in emerging and under-served markets, Hack The Hackathon has observed that while a challenge may be global in scope, its solutions are realized locally”, said Russ Klein, founder of Hack The Hackathon. “Therefore, in the spirit of global social good, we selected a core challenge for this event that is both urgent and universal. Marine scientists, sea-bound and seaside economies, and both local and regional, and national government overseers often seem at odds with one another regarding access to our oceans. Yet with the introduction of sensor networks and real-time monitoring, we have an opportunity to find sustainable solutions that are universal and highly relevant on a local level.”

Other working demonstrations created during the IoT Olympiad include: “Help Me! was founded by audience member-turned team leader, Vilpa Patel. She joined with iotolympiad-may2014-2745iotolympiad-may2014-2747Chandu Dondeti, Teddy Wing, John Whelan, Malik Bennabi (via video conference from Istanbul Turkey) and a student to build a working prototype of a personal emergency system for mobilizing communities in support of the effort to reduce rape and abduction in developing nations.  A wearable sensor triggers a iotolympiad-may2014-2860multi-channel data blast, alerting everyone within a certain radius of the incident. For their shared vision and dedication to continue to work on this project, they won a cash prize and a tour of the SENSEable City Lab at MIT from Lab research director Yaniv Turgeman.

Dude, Where’s my Grandpa?” team members Julie Corwin, RJ Steinhert, Dogi and Gen iotolympiad-may2014-2829Ohta built a home-based observation system to automatically monitor the physical whereabouts of the elderly to alert in-home healthcare service agencies. They were awarded the Axeda third place prize of an Oculus Rift Dev1 developer kit. Truevis team member Eric Boehlke prototyped a physician calendaring system incorporating streamed real-time and historical biometric patient data.

iotolympiad-may2014-2705The IoT Olympiad also featured developer iotolympiad-may2014-2628education from legal expert David Crosby, council at Nixon-Peabody; technology insights from Tom Coyle, of MIT Enterprise Forum’s Auto-ID and Sensing Circle; industry expertise and theme chairmanship from Don iotolympiad-may2014-2638Carli of the Institute for Sustainable Communication iotolympiad-may2014-2633—who, with Dr. Iain Kerr of Ocean Alliance and Dennis Aubrey, CEO of Woods Hole Group provided leadership for the Sustainable Maritime Economies teams.

Embridge Events head of developer relations Gaurav Patil led the talented crew, which included Sooz, BostonTweetUp, Data Hive Consulting, eC3 Consulting, guaravCamberville Chow, and many energetic volunteers. Some of the best food ever served at a hackathon was provided by Legal Sea Foods, Pizzeria Uno, and Island Creek Oyster Farm. Additional support was provided by CelloTape / Tap4Mor.

About Hack The Hackathon

Founded in Cambridge Massachusetts, Hack the Hackathon is dedicated to bringing expertise, resources, and education to aspiring application developers. We serve a worldwide community of independent and institutional app developers, we offer them access to rich resources, and we stimulate their enthusiasm and creativity with fresh ideas, valuable prizes, and notoriety. Hack the Hackathon runs successful developer competitions in the USA, as well as London UK, Istanbul Turkey, Algiers Algeria, and streaming online. To learn more visit

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Andrew Borg, COO

Embridge Events LLC, dba/ Hack The Hackathon



Event Photos from the Iot Olympiad in Cambridge, May 2-4

View photos of the IoT Olympiad and its 50-hour competition that began at 6pm on Friday, May 2nd at the Cambridge Innovation Center. Thank you to the hackathon event sponsors for making the event possible including platinum sponsor Axeda.

 Click on an image to see a larger photograph and to view the photo slideshow.

Event Photography by Sooz / Hootenanny Studio

Axeda Provides Around-the-Clock Support to IoT Olympiad Competitors

We are grateful for the support of Axeda at this weekend’s IoT Olympiad in Cambridge. Not only did they provide financial support to make the hackathon possible, a large team of Axeda developers participated and stayed around-the-clock on Saturday night to make sure competitors had someone to talk to if they ran into questions or issues. Each hackathon participant was also provided with a hardware kit including a Raspberry Pi to use with Axeda’s IoT platform.

Click on each image to see a larger photograph.

Support Portal Available 24/7 Connecting IoT Olympiad Competitors with Global Hack The Hackathon Community

Hack The Hackathon
One of the cool things that will be shared with competitors at this weekend’s IoT Olympiad is the global community of Hack The Hackathon’s developers who have participated in past competitions. Need help with something you are working on? Developers around the world will be available online 24/7 during the hackathon. Registration is open until 6pm on Friday, May 2.

Get to know the IoT Olympiad PRESERVE LIFE Theme and Challenge


Consider the oyster, a fascinating creature, miraculous in its ability to thrive over millions of years despite dramatic climate changes, its simple defenses, and the appeal of its pearl. And yet, for all its resiliency, the oyster is highly perishable. Seafood, like many edibles, presents a serious health risk when it is not handled properly on its way from the sea to the table. This is just one example of the challenges of storing and transporting sensitive materials. From blood and human organs, to delicate equipment, to railcars filled with crude oil, the ability to track items, verify their pedigree, and ensure their safety in transit or at rest, all represent opportunities to apply continuous monitoring technologies to preserve and protect life.

Our PRESERVE LIFE challenge aims to stimulate innovation and the creative application of the Internet of Things to supply chain visibility, in any of its myriad forms. To protect our health, avoid disaster, and ensure the quality and authenticity of our most precious and vital resources, applications of NFC, RFID, GPS, and other monitoring systems have risen to the forefront and present nearly endless examples of the need for the “Internet of Useful Things”.

The IoT Olympiad is a chance to learn how to work with sensors, tags, and data, explore the opportunities for novel applications of continuous monitoring systems, build useful prototypes, share ideas and expertise, and immerse in the Internet of Things to develop mastery in this critical field of applied technology.

Register for the hackathon and join us at the Cambridge Innovation Center on Friday, May 6th at 6pm for the kick-off of the IoT Olympiad.

Photo by Doug DuCap

Win Cool Prizes Including Oculus Rift Dev Kit and Whale Watch with Sir Patrick Stewart

As Gaurav mentioned in his “Why You Should Compete at the IoT Olympiad” post — prizes are certainly one of many reasons to participate at this weekend’s hackathon.  Here are some of the prizes that will be given away.

Sir Patrick Stewart

View the complete list of prizes here.

Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Why You Should Compete at the IoT Olympiad

Whether you are an expert in your field or looking to expand your skills, the IoT Olympiad
will provide you with the opportunity to get under the hood of Enterprise-class IoT platform services and possibly win an Occulus Rift V1 dev kit. Competition participants are developers, engineers, scientists and UX designers.

The IoT Olympiad presented by Hack The Hackathon will be the first event of what Governor Deval Patrick has officially declared as IoT Week here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Kendall Square, the heart of Massachusetts next wave of innovation, is where the Olympiad will be held. Cambridge Innovation Center has teamed up with Hack The Hackathon to provide participants who attend the event a well-equipped sandbox for this 48-hour competition.

If you love innovation, real-world problem solving, free food, cool prizes and a hackathon with a purpose, then this event is for you.

For the many students in the Commonwealth graduating in the next few months, why not network with a community that could possibly launch your career into the stratosphere? Topics such as IoT, Healthcare, cold chain/supply chain, sustainable maritime economies, and Big Data are just some of the areas that will be explored at the event.developer's sandbox

I must admit, for me one of the best things about events like the IoT Olympiad are the toys, tools and gear participants get to play with. The Axeda M2M cloud services platform and Raspberry Pi and a mountain of cool RFID and NFC tags are just some of the tools that will be available. A winning team will also be selected to demo their project at the Auto-ID & Expo in front a panel of experts. And just so you know, Hack The Hackathon is known for having last-minute surprises at all of our events.

Registration is free for developers, UX designers, engineers and scientists of all levels of expertise. I hope to to see you there. Don’t miss out — register today!

The IoT Olympiad SUSTAIN LIFE Theme

sea-goddess Life on this planet sprang from the sea. Yet since the dawn of the Industrial Age, our oceans have been viewed as a natural resource to be exploited, a vast expanse to be crossed over, or simply the source of bad weather. The confluence of global connectivity enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT) with the growing awakening of our interdependence with the sea and its bounties underlies one of the three themes of the IoT Olympiad: SUSTAIN LIFE – Sustainable Maritime Economies.

The intertwined relationship of man and sea has a 400-year history in the greater Boston area and the Cape Ann region. The fragility of this co-dependence has recently become more evident with the collapse of the traditional fishing industry, rising sea levels, and increasing ocean pollution. Although technology indiscriminately applied has contributed to or exacerbated many of these problems in the past as well as the present, it also has the potential to provide the foundation for a more sustainable and restorative future.

The SUSTAIN LIFE theme will focus on realizing this potential. Working with our sponsors Ocean Alliance, The City of Gloucester MA, Maritime Gloucester, Woods Hole Group, and the Institute for Sustainable Communication, we have prepared several developer challenges. Among these are:

  • WHALE SNAP: Whale Snap will allow average citizens to discover, identify, and track over 16 different whale species in the Gulf of Maine, while assisting real research initiatives. Can you build a great mobile app that will allow whale watch participants, fishermen, recreational boaters and more, to “snap” a picture of a whale from a mobile device, instantly identifying the species of whale, updating a regional database, and distributing information back to the users mobile device? Information updated to the database will include: the “snapped” image, latitude and longitude of the sighting, the date and time, the weather conditions, and other pertinent ecological/biological information. This information will be compiled to provide valuable data for oceanographic research programs. In return for their “snap,” all information on the sighted species will be made available on the user’s mobile device, including links to species-specific threats, conservation efforts, adoption programs and prevalent research initiatives. The app could also have the potential to carry advertising for whale watch tours, raising money for ocean conservancy and whale preservation efforts.
  • FISH FRAUD: 18% of fish sold in Boston are mislabeled; the Boston Globe reports that up to one-third of imported US fish are caught illegally, fostering a $2 billion shadow market. Fish Fraud will be a consumer app backed by a cloud service (like Whale Snap), but focused on addressing seafood fraud. Can you prototype an app in a weekend that would empower a consumer to go into a supermarket, take a picture of a filet of fish, and determine its origin by comparing it to a visual database of accurately labeled and well-documented fish filets? The objective of the app is to raise consumer awareness of the importance of fish type and pedigree authentication, providing a factual basis for greater involvement by the US Government in enforcing accurate fish labeling, as well as fish catch quotas. This will ultimately serve to reduce the market for pirated fish, a major contributor to global over-fishing in foreign fishing banks such as those found in Brazil, Chile, and the Philippines.
  • COAST WATCH: Sustainable shellfish aquaculture, an important and growing sector of the maritime economy, is threatened by storm water system overflow from coastal communities. These overflows, which are often merged with effluent from local waste treatment facilities, can introduce unsafe levels of fecal coliform bacteria into the water, forcing shellfish growing areas (SGAs) to shut down. Can you build an app that analyzes projected storm water overflow, along with predicted and historical weather and ocean current data to provide an early warning system for the SGAs? With adequate warning, the shellfish farmer could then harvest early, or relocate the oyster beds to a safer locale.

Are you a developer, UX designer, scientist, or engineer who wants to put the Internet to ‘good use’, and support the sustainability of maritime economies and good stewardship of the oceans? And possibly win a great prize for doing so? Then click here for free registration, and join us in Cambridge May 2 – May 4!


IoT Olympiad and IoT Week Boston

"Canal @ Kendall Square" by Greg Peverill-Conti

Hack The Hackathon is proud to present the IoT Olympiad, the first of IoT Week Boston’s series of events. The IoT Olympiad is a 48-hour developer competition intended to demonstrate the application of the Internet of Things to real-world business and cultural challenges taking place at the Cambridge Innovation Center May 2-4.

Our IoT Week Boston partners Security of Things, Auto-ID & Sensing Solutions Expo, and the NFC Bootcamp — have come together to create a comprehensive investigation into the state of the connected device market — and the challenges and opportunities presented when smart people apply data analytics, cloud computing, and smart social and mobile endpoints, to the monitoring, measurement and tracking of everything.

Through our efforts to foster a culture of innovation in emerging and underserved markets, Hack The Hackathon has observed that while a challenge may be global in scope, its solutions are realized locally. Therefore, in the spirit of global social good, we have selected a core challenge for this event that is urgent and almost universal — Ocean Management and Sustainable Maritime Economies. Ocean sciences, sea-bound and seaside economies, and government oversight seem at odds with one another regarding access to our oceans. Yet with the introduction of sensor networks and real-time monitoring, we have an opportunity to find solutions that are highly relevant on a local level.

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, especially Axeda, platinum event sponsor for the IoT Olympiad, we are able to provide a rich assortment of tools and services and access to industry and technical experts who will help us understand what is possible. In addition, local New England industry experts, political leaders, and ocean scientists will help us understand the challenges that they face in data collection into balanced and sustainable strategy. Participation is free of charge for all competitors: developers, UX designers, scientists and engineers.

The IoT Olympiad is a great way to begin the week. But to really understand the Internet of Things and the impact it is having in the world, one must also understand its vulnerability. A rich array of experts will assemble to look at the “Security of Things Forum”, on May 7th: debunk myths, explore new data encryption and tag-locking solutions, and focus on key verticals, such as Government, Automotive, Building Security, and Social Media.

Also on May 7, The 5th annual Auto-ID and Sensing EXPO takes place at the MIT Media Lab. Meet the experts, enjoy a showcase of 60 exhibitors, participate in panel discussions, and see the technology in action.

Finally, serious developers have an opportunity to participate in NFC Bootcamp Boston, May 8-9. Create, deploy, test, and manage NFC solutions. Learn how others have created NFC campaigns and what it takes to create your own NFC solution.

Join us at the IoT Olympiad. Not only will the event include a developer sandbox, good food and refreshments, rare access to experts and to the other events in the IoT Week Boston series plus and a chance to learn, explore, build, share, and master the technology — we are also offering prizes to recognize innovation and learning. Teams presenting projects at the end of the competition have a chance to win thousands of dollars in cash and prizes, gain media attention, and have access to ongoing support.

We look forward to seeing you at the Cambridge Innovation Center, May 2-4. Visit our Eventbrite page for complimentary registration.

Photo credit: “Canal @ Kendall Square” by Greg Peverill-Conti

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