By @SimonCocking

We predicted two of the top three finishers, a useful device for triathletes, and an eCall device for all cars in Europe involved in a crash. However the BlueTape swept all before it …

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PCH announced BlueTape, which developed and prototyped a Bluetooth connected tape measure, won the Hardware Hackathon in Dublin. The product aims to reduce clothing returns for online retailers by helping customers find the right fit first time and was created in just 54 hours, from Friday 22nd – Sunday 24th May.

The two-day PCH Hardware Hackathon, in partnership with DCU and Irish Design 2015 and sponsored by leading computing innovation company Intel, is the third PCH Hackathon to take place at the DCU Innovation Campus. It brought together over 100 makers, collaborators, designers, engineers and entrepreneurs from Dublin’s hardware startup ecosystem, who had access to the latest prototyping equipment and mentoring from leading technology industry representatives.

Over the course of the weekend, participants collaborated to hack new hardware devices from concept, to working prototype, to final product. They ultimately developed a range of functioning hardware devices that have the potential to have consumer appeal and to answer a consumer need.

  • First prize went to BlueTape, which developed and prototyped a connected tape measure. The team was awarded a €3,000 cash prize, a service design workshop with Each&Other as well as a free starter office for four months at the DCU Innovation Campus, should they wish to pursue and further develop their idea;
  • In second place was Zero, which created a smart tri-shoe, designed to reduce the time for shoe changes during triathlons;

  • Third place was awarded to AutoAngel, which developed a ‘plug and play’ car emergency call system.

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Among the other prototypes devised and created at the PCH Hardware Hackathon were a smart fish lure which adjusts depth based on water temperature, a wearable health monitor, a smart oil management gauge, a health monitoring ‘checkup’ chair, a person to person community advertising platform, a connected weight monitoring device which is retrofitted to beds, a pedestrian tracking device to inform city planning and a throwable nightlight to help allay children’s fear of the dark.

Liam Casey, Founder and CEO of PCH said, “Hackathons accelerate innovation – helping entrepreneurs meet each other, create working prototypes, develop marketing pitches and test product appeal. The pace of development, the scale of ambition and the significant levels of creativity that we witness over just two days, is always outstanding. Hackathons are today’s garages where innovators get their start.”

Katherine Hague, VP Community Engagement and Hackathons at PCH added, “We are very excited to have hosted our third Hackathon in Dublin and to see such creativity and passion for product innovation here. We want to thank all participants for coming out over the weekend, not only the incredible hackathon teams, but also our partners DCU and ID2015, our sponsor Intel, technology providers and industry-leading panelists who supported. We love hosting Hardware Hackathons because we see design, ingenuity, creativity and technology come together very quickly with astonishing results.”

Prof. Brian MacCraith, DCU President said, “We are very pleased to partner once again with PCH on a hardware hackathon and to welcome ID2015 as an important partner in this event. The University has a key role to play in fostering innovation and encouraging excitement around the Internet of Things and these hackathons are instrumental in achieving that goal with our key partners. There is such a great opportunity now to develop the next generation of connected products, and we want our engineering and design community to join forces so that Ireland can play a leading role in this space.”

Hackathon participants began by pitching ideas to the crowd on Friday evening. After the best ideas were voted on, the participants worked together in teams over the weekend to bring their idea to life.

The event concluded with a lively panel discussion on the global hardware revolution and future of hardware development, with leading industry figures discussing how they took their companies from prototype to market.

Those involved were:

–       Sarah McDonald, Director Country IT Lead, MSD

–       Emer O’Daly, Co-Founder, LoveandRobots.com

–       Jack Phelan, COO, Drop

–       Gaia Dempsey, Co-Founder DAQRI

–       Tim Hannon, General Manager, Computers, Harvey Norman Ireland

–       Niall Austin, Co-Founder of Moocall Sensors

Further details on the winning products as well as videos and photography from the event are available at: http://hackathon.pchintl.com/hackathons/dublin

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