Metalworks & Maxus Singapore clinches Best Tech Prototype at Local Hackathon

30 Mar 2014, Singapore  16 competing team over the weekend vied for cash prizes sponsored by Singapore Tourism Board at the Chinatown coLAB 2014 Hackathon organised by UP Singapore. The grand prize winning team walked away with SGD$1500 (£700/USD$1200) in cash prize while the Maxus team represented by Angela Goh, Justin Tit, Rollen Gomes, Mithru Vigneshwara and Jayden Ma won the Best Tech Prototype prize category, walking away with the second highest cash prize of SGD$1250 (£590/USD$990).

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The objective of the 48 Hour hackathon was to improve the Chinatown visitor experience through community engagement, storytelling and technology. Chinatown is one of Singapore’s most popular destination experiences attracting millions of overseas tourists and locals every year.

Tom Kelshaw, Director of Technology at Metalworks was elated by the news. He said, "Participating in public hackathons is a great way for our team to maintain a creative edge and test the viability of technology ideas."

In this case, the main technology behind the winning idea is based on Augumented Reality. To tell the stories of Chinatown in a visual and evocative way, an augmented reality mobile application leads visitors to points of interest through the camera and GPS function in the phone. As the visitors walk through Chinatown, photos from historical archives are overlaid over the current location. Multiple trails can be created to lead visitors to different experience depending whether they're more interested in retail or cultural experiences.

The use of Apple iBeacons can also help enhance the experience of the trail by detecting nearby visitors and pushing bite size audio/text information to the mobile app users. The benefit behind using Beacon Technology is that data like visitor frequency, dwell time and follow through rates can be recorded to see the effectiveness of the trails.

Angela Goh, Associate Search Director at Maxus Singapore, said, "Winning a hackathon is a great way to get our name in front of potential clients and we'll continue joining future hackathons to bring more of these ideas to fruition with clients."

This is the 3rd time Angela Goh has led a team to a public hackathon and won cash prizes. The teams she led previously won 1st prize in the Active Ageing and Data in the City hackathons. Alice Chao and Rollen Gomes from Maxus Singapore and Metalworks were part of her team for the Active Ageing hackathon August last year.