NEWS Events

Creating a Smarter Manchester – Hackathon

Continuing our successful series of Hackathons in Manchester, we hosted our most recent event in our WELL Certified™ Gold office and offered attendees the opportunity to imagine the future design of Smart neighbourhoods in our city. We hear a lot about Smart, but what are the opportunities beyond apps? What can the data and technology we use every day tell us about how to live life more efficiently, more sustainably and enhance the quality of our lives?

The teams were shown a short video of the day in the life of a character ‘Phil’ and the levels of Smart technology and data he used; the judges were looking for ideas from our teams to push this further, to answer the challenge: ‘Create a SMART neighbourhood in Manchester’.

Four teams were assembled in their groups; GREEN, BLUE, PINK and RED and began their task, with some interesting debates as the attendees were encouraged to think big and “think future”!

The teams were looking at how a day would pan out for an individual in a Smart neighbourhood, analysing the future of home life, wellbeing, travel, workplace and sustainability.

Initial ideas focused a lot on sustainability and environmentalism. This included; smart waste systems, featuring technology that could sort through rubbish into correct recycling buckets, also ‘NINDER’ a neighbourhood meeting and sharing app integrated within your home to allow neighbours to share equipment and food, and communicate in a friendly neighbourly society, and lastly, alerts which can book your autonomous carpool vehicles to collect you at times based on the best air quality.

There were also ideas that built on our wellness culture, including imbedded biometric technology which allows people to know their personal health statistics at any moment in the day and which are then connected to shopping and gym memberships to ensure diet and exercise is adjusted accordingly.

Of course, a lot of ideas were based on efficiency, with the teams recognising time is our most valuable asset. There were multiple suggestions of vehicles that can be booked and routed automatically based on the most efficient traffic avoidance, workspaces that are set up for your perfect environment on arrival to deliver the most productivity were among the suggestions that many felt could be normal in the near future.

After a half time break with lashings of pizza the teams topped up their glasses and returned to focus their ideas and prepare their presentations. Presenting to our panel of judges, the winning team was the BLUE team, who the judges praised for their focus on the interlinked technology, saying goodbye to phones and focusing on the touch nature of sensors. The PINK team received a highly commended nod from the judges for their well put together presentation focusing on the adaptability of environments and fusing across workspace, home life and community.

It is thanks to our guests that we had such a thought-provoking evening with some excellent discussions and great feedback and also thanks to our judges who did an outstanding job – John Deasy (Hilson Moran) Phil Hepworth (AEW) and Charles Entwistle (Bruntwood).

Hilson Moran @HilsonMoran

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