By Hayley Ringle – Reporter, Phoenix Business Journal
Seven finalists have been named for Phoenix’s third Smart City Hack, which invites entrepreneurs with tech ideas to solve local urban issues.
Because of the number of quality applications, the Institute for Digital Progress, the nonprofit group organizing and running the competition, expanded the list of finalist presenters from five to seven, said Dominic Papa, the nonprofit’s executive director.
“The diversity of the solutions this year is truly exciting,” Papa said. “We have all sectors and industries represented: from an app that promotes sustainability by connecting foodies with local chefs who source from local farms, to a global neural network supercomputing platform capable of accelerating cancer research. Smart Cities are predicated on smart citizens and the finalists this year prove once again that our #yesphx ecosystem contains some of the most innovative entrepreneurs that the world has to offer.”
The finalists will pitch their company at the city finale, 5-8:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at Galvanize Phoenix. The event is free and open to the public.
A panel of judges and a Crowd Mics live audience vote will crown the Phoenix city champion.
The winner gets $3,000 and an all-expenses paid trip to Barcelona, Spain, in November for the international competition.
Here are the seven finalists:
IoT Supercomputer has developed a global neural network supercomputing platform that is capable of harnessing idle CPUs (central processing units) and GPUs (graphics processing units) across the Internet, or even within an organization’s data center and desktops, to turn idle computers into a private supercomputer capable of performing massively-parallel computations, as well as artificial intelligent and meta language neural net computing. This supercomputer can be used for cancer research, city planning, renewable energy, crime research and to counter cyber terrorism, among other uses.
World Symphony is an app created to connect musicians and artists from around the world and provide the opportunity to interact with each other. The app utilizes LoLa (low latency audio and video transmissions) with the goal of connecting artists and performers so they can share ideas, practice together, teach each other or simply jam. Users are encouraged to go to a location (like a public community center, arts center or school) where there is a LoLa node accessible and use it to communicate and connect with others who are available and online.
Bites is a farm-to-table mobile app connecting foodies with local chefs who source from local farms, bringing ingredients straight from the farm into the foodie’s home, to create a complete dining experience from scratch in the foodie’s own kitchen.
AirGarage is a peer-to-peer parking marketplace that connects students and drivers searching for affordable parking with homeowners, businesses and churches that have under-utilized spaces. This reduces the need for new parking structures and encourages the development of human-centric cities. AirGarage is fully functioning at Arizona State University with more than 150 students parking in spots at homes and churches near campus.
By deploying open city-wide networks of bluetooth low energy beacons, Saguaro empowers Internet of Things developers to build and scale products that connect to these city beacons in an easy to use, yet powerful IoT sandbox. A network of beacons elevates BLE technology from limited retail use cases to a powerful city platform for developers and entrepreneurs to build solutions that increase public safety, improve the public transportation experience, or gamify the experience of exploring a city for the first time.
Life365 connects the hospital to the home by distributing kits that consist of a cellular hub or tablet that connects to up to 300 different medical devices to take a patient’s vital signs in the home and transmit them wirelessly into the health care providers electronic health record for review and action. The LifeConnect tablet also has the ability to ask behavioral survey questions and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliant two-way video chat between the patient and their health care professionals.
Hauthority’s solution and its components are designed to build progressively on a platform they developed. The platform scales to leverage Cisco’s Edge Fabric Framework and Cox Communication gigabyte capabilities as support infrastructure for machine learning and real-time data analytics. It is innovative in that it uses emerging technologies and offers new functions for workers to improve efficiency and reduce costs, and improves interaction between the city of Phoenix Public Works customers.
Hauthority was the winner of the Cisco IoT Challenge in March and was guaranteed a finalist spot, Papa said.
Last year’s Smart City winner, Phoenix-based Storage Together, won first place in the International Smart City competition in Spain and also won Grand Canyon University’s sixth annual Canyon Challenge.
The first local winner was ParkX, a former Scottsdale-based mobile parking payment startup. ParkX was acquired in December by Passport Inc., a Charlotte-based mobile payment provider for parking and transit.