Launch Fishers and the Indiana IoT lab will this weekend host what organizers call Indiana’s largest hackathon. This year’s At&T #IoTCivicHack will focus on public safety solutions. Fishers Police Chief Mitch Thompson says new, cutting-edge technology ideas are especially helpful in an industry where "we tend to surround ourselves with other professionals that are in public safety and we all tend to think alike." Participants will use a 24-hour coding session to address industry challenges.
The competition begins at 8:30 Friday evening. The teams will be competing for $15,000 in total prizes. Organizers say tech coaches, first responders and developer tools will be available to the teams.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Thompson says the public safety industry can benefit from having "young minds" evaluate current practices and bring new ideas to the table. He says, like in all industries, technology is a "constant evolution," and there is a constant need to become more efficient and more accurate.
Thompson cites the example of a crash investigation. He says officers used to do measurements by hand, then with lasers. Now, he says, officers can put a tripod out that scans the scene in a few minutes and measures distances for them.
Among the public safety leaders taking part in this weekend’s hackathon is former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, who led the department during the response to the Boston Marathon bombing. Others include Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter and Indianapolis Fire Department Chief Ernest Malone. Tech leaders taking part include ClearObject Chief Executive Officer John McDonald, AT&T Senior Vice President for IoT Solutions Chris Penrose and Launch Fishers and Indiana IoT Lab founder John Wechsler.
The Indiana IoT Lab officially opened last month to support Indiana businesses dialing into the emerging industry. The first tenants of the lab include Indiana University, ClearObject, Flexware Innovation and Rook Security.