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How Malaysia's inaugural LoRa hackathon can reshape cities

AvantiKumar | Aug. 17, 2016
MDEC, Cyberview, and The Things Network Netherlands hope to encourage new IoT solutions for Cyberjaya and other smart cities.

JomHack participants, judges, and partners at LoRa Hackathon, MY 

Photo - LoRa Hackathon 2016 in Cyberjaya, Malaysia


National ICT agency Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Cyberjaya tech hub enabler Cyberview joined with The Things Network Netherlands and Pixaworks Creative to host  a 24-hour Internet of Things (IoT) hackathon known as JomHack.

The partners aim is to encourage the development of new IoT solutions for Smart Cities using LoRa with the event, held early August 2016 at Cyberview Living Lab in Cyberjaya.

Thirty (30) teams, each comprising three members with various computer programming, application development and engineering backgrounds, collaborated to develop usable IoT solutions for Cyberjaya, within 24 hours.

Commenting on the inaugural event, Dato' Yasmin Mahmood, chief executive officer, MDEC said, "The IoT represents the next frontier of Information Technology, with tremendous new capabilities waiting to be explored."

Reshaping cities

"With JomHack, we are a step closer to transforming the nation and fundamentally reshaping the way our cities operate," said Yasmin. "Through the partnership with Cyberview Living Lab, The Things Network and the ideas we see brought to life by the participants, we look forward to planning the future of our connected Malaysia."

Ten winning projects were shortlisted with the top three teams selected as grand winners based on their ability to build IoT solutions around the Smart Cities theme, real-world application, innovation and individual capabilities of the teams. Seven other winners from the top ten received RM300 (U$75) as consolation prizes.

Participants also made use of Long Range (LoRa) technology - a signal modulation technique that provides long-range communication link for low-power wide-area network which can reach up to 2-3 km in urban areas and over 15 km in sub-urban areas. The technology was provided by The Things Network (TTN) Netherland - global, open, crowd-sourced Internet of Things data network with more than 200 communities worldwide.

Johan Stokking, co-founder and technology lead of the TTN said he was "impressed with the determination and innovation presented despite the time constraint for the participants."

"Part of becoming a smarter city involves setting up the right opportunity and infrastructure that invites community participation," said Stokking. "JomHack certainly hit its mark with these brilliant pitches from its very talented community from all over the country. I'm happy to surmise that everyone here is without a doubt, the best group of hackathon participants I have ever seen."

 "Innovation is at the heart of daily life here in Cyberjaya," said Mahadhir Aziz, head of Technology Hub Development Division, Cyberview. "" As Malaysia's Capital of Creation, we are beyond excited to have played host to such a prestigious event."

"Through this collaboration with MDEC and The Things Network Netherland, we  hope that these ideas will be developed to become enablers and key elements of our smart city vision that is driven by a culture of innovation and supported by unparalleled connectivity, sustainability, security and liveability," said  Mahadhir.


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