Talk about being “dialed in.”
Students from Indiana University’s School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI swept up several of the biggest prizes at the recently held AT&T 5G Sports Hackathon, the fifth tech competition that AT&T has hosted in central Indiana in the last six years. This year’s event, which was held at Butler University’s Health and Recreation Complex, focused on the potentially game-changing effect that fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless technology can have on the sports industry that continues to be such an important catalyst of the Hoosier economy.
The hackathon, which took place from Oct. 22-24, challenged teams of student developers, designers and other creatives to develop cutting-edge mobile technologies that enhance the fan experience and spotlight the benefits of a 5G network. Around 300 students participated in the roughly 48-hour event, during which they also interacted with various 5G and edge computing experts, as well as leaders from local sports teams, top entertainment venues and public safety organizations. IU Ventures, which assists IU students, faculty, staff and alumni in work that advances high-potential new venture opportunities, was one of the sponsors of the event.
More than $100,000 in prizes were up for grabs during the competition, over which IU’s student participants reigned supreme.
In doing so, they showcased the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired during their time at IU – including design thinking, user experience and industry research, data management, coding, communication and presentation – as they competed in a high-intensity, fast-paced environment. Faced with several key challenges that will impact the future of Indiana’s dynamic sports economy, they delivered the kinds of innovative solutions that the state is hoping will translate into saleable products and services, new business ventures and new jobs for Hoosiers.
A team led by Priyanjali Mittal, a graduate student in the Human-Computer Interaction program at the School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI, took home the grand prize for “best overall application,” for which it received a $25,000 prize and 1-year memberships to several of the state’s premier spaces and initiatives for entrepreneurs and startups, including the Indiana 5G Zone, Indiana IoT Lab and Launch Fishers. The team also won top prizes for the “best use of 5G” and “best accessibility solution.”
Students from the school also captured first and second place prizes in the “fan engagement” category, totaling $15,000, as well as second and third place prizes for “venue public safety,” and a top prize for the “best use of FirstNet technology.”
The 5G mobile standard, which cellular phone companies began deploying worldwide in 2019, is the planned successor to 4G networks, which provide connectivity to most current cell phones. The new networks deliver greater bandwidth, giving markedly faster download speeds than 4G. As such, it is expected they will increasingly be used as internet service providers for most desktop and laptop computers, competing with existing ISPs such as cable internet. They are also expected to have a dramatic impact on the development and application of the internet-of-things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.
In Indianapolis, investment in 5G connectivity is seen as a major development in the city continuing to be a mecca for world-class sporting events, such as the Indianapolis 500, the Super Bowl and NCAA March Madness. According to the Indiana Sports Corp, which partnered in the hackathon, Indianapolis has hosted more than 500 national and international sports events since 1979; these events have led to over $4 billion in direct spending in the community over that time.
Below is a complete list of the winning teams from the School of Informatics and Computing, including their prize money earned.
- Best Overall Winner ($25,000), Best Use of 5G ($2,000) and Best Accessibility ($2,000)
- Winning team: Funyans
- 1st Place Fan Engagement ($10,000)
- Winning team: Game Mate
- 2nd Place Fan Engagement ($5,000)
- Winning team: SOIC Jags
- 2nd Place Venue Public Safety ($5,000)
- Winning team: 3 Amigos
- 3rd Place Venue Public Safety ($2,000)
- Winning team: Brute Force
- Best Use of FirstNet API ($2,000)
- Winning team: Journey
Check out the opening program from this year’s Hackathon.