Geek

M’sians Upped The Communication Game For Society At JomHack’s End-Of- Year Hackathon

To end the year properly, JomHack has made sure to launch one more Hackathon before they close 2016.

On the December 10 to 11, JomHack launched their fourth event into their 24-hour Hackathon series, RE:Hack – Smart Living. This event was held in collaboration with TM (RE:).

What Is RE:?

RE: is meant to cultivate a culture of innovation within the TM Group and in turn, instil creative innovation within the country itself by supporting other entrepreneurs.

Held at the RE: Innovation Lab at the TM Innovation Centre in Cyberjaya, this Hackathon saw more than 100 participants make up the 36 competing teams. Most of the attendees ranged from students to professionals with many teams coming from reputable local institutions.

“JomHack Hackathons never fail to surprise me,” said Inbaraj Suppiah, the Programme Director of JomHack Malaysia and the CEO of Pixaworks Creative Sdn Bhd, the agency behind this initiative.

“With Hackathons, we can never be sure how the outcome will be after 24 hours but every edition of our Hackathon so far has seen really impressive projects. The fact that these participants can build a working prototype app within 24 hours is also pretty amazing,“ he added.

Image Credit: JomHack

This Hackathon, the main goal they hoped to achieve was to create a learning platform for the participants to develop smart solutions for mass consumers powered by TM APIs.

An Application Program Interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. It specifies how software components should interact.

For this occasion, TM opened up their APIs for developers to build their innovative solutions. The APIs ranged from communication, map, payment, authentication, and more. Participants acted as beta testers to work with TM APIs through their Developer portal.

The teams were closely assisted by the product team from TM and other technical and business mentors invited by JomHack Malaysia.

“This is the first time we did an open software based hackathon, so can’t really compare with the previous IoT ones or the special one we did for iflix. Surprisingly, about 1/3 of the teams built hardware projects at RE:Hack,” said Inbaraj.

Judging The Teams

How the teams were judged was based on real world usability of their solutions and the successful execution of their ideas during the competition.

Image Credit: JomHack

The winning team was Team DevCon with members Faizul Hidayat, Muhammad Iqbal and Saifi Ikmal. They impressed the panel of judges with their Automated Disaster Reporting app that allows a large number of victims to report their status to an automated response system. This will track their location and status on a map. The team brought home a cash prize of RM6,000.

“The team that won 1st place actually stood out from day 1. They also participated in my first IoT/LoRa hackathon. After the final Top 10 demo, all the judges were pretty impressed with their disaster reporting app, and we felt they were worthy winners,” said Inbaraj.

The runner-up position went to Team 19 comprised of Arif Hatim, Arman Izad and Lim Sze Wan who developed the Gaze Communicator app which allows disabled users to communicate by composing messages using an eye-tracking system. The team walked away with RM3,000 in cash.

The second runner-up place was won by Team Discovery made up of Eric Goh, Muhamad Amin Husni and Raymond Choo. They came up with a Simplified Communications app to protect the privacy of users by masking their personal mobile numbers. The team snagged RM1,000 in cash prizes.

Promoting Variety

JomHack has always been known to attract participants across a large demographic. This time, their oldest participant was 52-years-old while the youngest was 20.

Image Credit: JomHack

RE:Hack also saw 9 female hackers present, which was encouraging considering the JomHack organising committee  has been working hard to encourage more participation from women. There were also some foreign participants from as far as Yemen and Bangladesh.

“We have great talents in this country, hungry for opportunities like this, to come test themselves. I think Hackathons can play an important role in the entrepreneurship and startup ecosystem. Participants get a taste of building a working product, working in a team, and they get to meet awesome mentors, which can easily lead to a new business venture,” said Inbaraj after having run 4 successful hackathons.

With the success of RE:Hack 2016, JomHack Malaysia will now be focusing all efforts on creating more tech programmes for 2017, from their new base at The Launchpad, a new co-working and event space in Cyberjaya, due to be opened this month.

Their most ambitious project will be the setting up a JomHack Incubator to develop new startups, especially in IoT, Health and Security fields.

“I think we’re happy to have brought together people from government agencies, large corporations and startup scene to organise something beneficial to our tech talents. We’re hoping to do this at a larger scale, and also spin off other tech events in 2017,” said Inbaraj.

RE:Hack – Smart Living was organised by JomHack Malaysia in collaboration with TM (RE:).

Feature Image Credit: JomHack

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