It’s true that Skylo has rewritten the economics of Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity through narrowband satellite communications. We are also driven to do more—creatively. To prove that narrowband data connectivity isn’t just for classic applications such as location services and temperature monitoring, we recently hosted our inaugural Skylo Hackathon, with impressive results.
The hackathon was open to anyone at Skylo, from finance to engineering to HR. The rules were pretty simple:
1- Create a new application using the Skylo solution
2- Limit the budget to less than $100 USD
3- Live solution within 48 hours
Building the new applications proved to be pretty simple, as well. Using Skylo’s drag-and-drop development tool, non-technical users were able to easily build and customize their IoT apps quickly; our graphical interface brings together an entire ecosystem of IoT components to streamline development and unleash creativity.
The winners are …
Almost a dozen teams signed up for the hackathon. It was difficult to choose three winners from such an impressive field, but we managed.
The Hackathon winners are:
First prize: The winning team used Skylo to stake out our parking lot with smart IoT surveillance. Traditional video surveillance is continuous, racking up significant transmission and storage fees. Smart IoT surveillance with Skylo detects objects as they enter into the monitored area and then generates a live report, transmitting short bursts of information over the narrowband satellite network—saving untold costs compared to live feeds and never-ending video storage. Surveillance and processing was all done at the edge.
Using an inexpensive 1080P security camera connected to a local processing unit running machine learning algorithms, the winning solution was able to detect and classify all of the objects in our parking lot, including my bicycle when I rolled up, and generate live reports of how many cars and people were present in the lot throughout the day.
Image processing is a natural fit for high-bandwidth 5G wireless systems, and image classification unlocks extraordinary value in IoT. Use cases range from security (object detection), energy (deployment of safety measures) and agriculture (drone surveillance crop health) are just a few of the novel applications now possible with narrowband IoT solutions. This kind of edge-first computing will not only improve the efficiency and profitability of businesses, but it will also help to better the lives of consumers around the world.
Second prize: Team 2 did a riff on fuel efficiency, focusing on a key cost driver in the logistics industry: incorrectly inflated tires. Did you know that:
For this solution, the team put $10 air pressure sensors into tires, measuring and reporting PSI data at 10-minute intervals. The data was stored in the cloud, and could easily be piped into the Skylo Data Platform for visual analysis. In this way, fleet owners can monitor this key variable in the aggregate, with drill-down to the individual truck level.
Third prize: Team 3 tackled a significant problem in the global fisheries market by bringing online a fish catch weighing & reporting feature. They were able to report the type of fish, quantity, and weight through a handheld weight sensor, which then relayed that data back over satellite to an online platform while the fishermen were still out at sea.
The creative solutions developed for the Skylo Hackathon have significant commercial potential, moving IoT technology beyond traditional monitoring applications into a new realm of cost savings and revenue generation. For example:
Anyone can innovate
Skylo’s first Hackathon proved that the sky’s the limit for narrowband IoT applications, with technology that’s easy enough for non-engineers to design and implement. Our winning Team was led by Skylo’s General Counsel! As all team members return to their everyday posts, I look forward to seeing how Skylo’s Hackathon IoT innovations will continue to unfold in the real world.
Follow Skylo on Twitter @SkyloTech to keep up with our latest news and developments, and reach out to us to discover how your own business can benefit from IoT connectivity at firstname.lastname@example.org.