Battlehack Sydney winner announced

Sydney BattleHack Winners Team GearboxA system to allow people to borrow fitness equipment has won Battlehack, which was held last weekend in Sydney.

Team GearBox competed against 15 other developer teams during a 24-hour hackathon over the weekend, where they were challenged to build a mobile or web application that solves a local problem of their choice. Christopher Michaelides, Michael Barlow, Andrej Griniuk and Tom Frauenfelder, of Team GearBox, created a storage locker powered by an Arduino Yun that allows users to borrow fitness and sports equipment using a mobile app. It is an Internet of Things solution that allows access to the sports item, uses a timer to calculate total rent and provides payments through PayPal. Congratulations to Team GearBox; although you have to wonder if they felt it was all worthwhile when told they had to wear the little Viking helmets for the photo…

Team Local Heroes built a geo-tagged crowdfunding platform that allows the community to prioritise their needs; allowing anyone to pledge funds towards local issues. They won the second prize at BattleHack Sydney and took home PlayStation 4 consoles. Team Small Solutions created an app that allows users to buy magazines from various vendors by using BLE Beacons for cashless payments. Team Small Solutions landed the third prize and won Polaroid Instant Cameras.

John Lunn, Senior Global Director, PayPal and Braintree Developer Network said, “”I am so pleased we could bring BattleHack to Australia this year to give Aussie developers a chance to show off their skills. It’s amazing what can be achieved when you bring brilliant minds together for just 24 hours to focus on solving local problems. The creativity and quality of code we saw proved that Australia has world-class developer talent.” BattleHack is a global competition that will visit 14 cities around the world before culminating at the World Finals event in November. The winning team will receive $100,000 USD, a battle axe trophy and the title of being the ‘’Ultimate Hackers for Good’’.

While these are all fantastic achievements, it’s a shame there seems to have been a bit of a focus on the business and payment end of things rather than the strongly pitched ‘doing good’. The aim of the competition is to find a solution to a local problem and much of the press focuses on an app to make micropayments to the homeless. It would have been nice to see a bit more of that sort of problem solving – those are areas that could do with a bit of axe-wielding hacking.

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