Hackathon IoT l'Usine Digitale
Nov 27, 2015

Hack the Echo 2015

Picture taken at the Hack the Echo

From November the 27th to November the 29th, l’Usine Digitale, a french tech news website, is organizing its first hackathon and craft ai is the technology partner of this event. During three days, almost a hundred participants will create services around connected devices in three categories:

  • Mobility, sponsored by the french railway company SNCF;
  • Beauty and wellness, sponsored by L’Oréal;
  • Smarthome, sponsored by Zagatub.

As a partner, the craft ai team is rightfully not allowed to participate, but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about ideas! Here are a few that we came up with internally or talking to hackers during the workshop we organized on November the 20th as a prelude to the hackathon.

Mobility

The mobility category is under the patronage of the SNCF, the government-owned company in charge of France’s railways. Different categories of new use cases can be imagined around their activities especially if you consider deploying connected sensors in their infrastructure. Real-time data on trains would be useful for passengers trying to optimize their daily trips. Once you have such data you can also develop interesting use cases to monitor and help with the trains scheduling or the equipment maintenance.

Useful services can already be created using what’s available. One idea could be to build upon our earlier Connected Mother concept to create a proactive route planner. It would leverage real-time train traffic information, a connected watch for location, motion and notification, an online calendar and craft ai to orchestrate the notifications and learn from the user’s habits.

Let’s unfold the scenario.

As usual, our user is woken up at 7:00am by repeated notifications from her watch, taps on the wrist for example, until she actually gets up. 25 minutes later she is notified that it’s time to leave, the SNCF is reporting some heavy traffic on her usual train line, better leave a little earlier. She works as usual in the morning preparing for her 1:30pm presentation when at 11:45 a gentle tap on the wrist reminds her that if she wants to take her usual 45 minutes for lunch she should leave now as it’ll take 50 minutes by train to go to this important presentation. At 12:15 a more urgent tap interrupts her meal, the train she was expected to take has been cancelled, she need to leave now! Thanks to the proactive route planner, she’ll be on time to her big presentation !

Beauty & wellness

The beauty and wellness category is sponsored by the french cosmetics and beauty giant, L’Oréal. This area is perhaps a little less matured in terms of connected devices, even if some projects are emerging. On top of these B2C services, connected devices can be an asset for a company like l’Oréal on different aspects. Connecting the products themselves can allow measuring how they’re used to get a better understanding of the customers globally, it can also enable a more personal marketing by adapting it to what each user is doing and liking. In retail too, connected devices such as beacons can improve the relevancy of offers by targeting customers based on what they’ve done in the store. In both cases, craft ai can enable richer scenarios by being able to instantiate agents that get to know and learn from each individual user to make more relevant decisions based on it.

Smart Home

The third category covers everything connected in the home and especially how these devices can be used to create services that improve the family’s comfort. Such services usually have different objectives:

  • automating chores, from watering plants to monitoring the fridge content to know when a refill is needed;
  • automatically adapting equipment “settings” (lightness, sound volume, temperature) to improve comfort;
  • improving the safety of the household by implementing equipment malfunction detection, hazard automated responses and triggering alerts.

Because every family is different, generic services won’t be satisfactory. Since everyone prefers things that just work, having a user settings panel that resemble an aircraft cockpit is not viable. In both cases craft ai can help by providing personal assistant-like features! In fact we’ve already showed what can be done with a single object such as a thermostat at WebSummit.

Start using craft ai now!

craft ai workshop on November the 20th Picture taken during the craft ai workshop on November the 20th

During our preparation workshop last thursday we helped around 16 enthusiasts get started with craft ai in our office in Paris. We spent a fun evening with everyone, brainstorming on use cases and learning Behavior Trees. Even if you’re not planning on participating in the hackathon, you can easily catch up by registering now and playing with our tutorials!

In this article, we tried to give an overview of a few potential use cases, but we’re sure there will be a lot more explored during the hackathon and we’re eager to see what the participants have up their sleeves! We’ll be on site during the week-end to help and advise the hacker teams. On December the 3rd, we’ll do a post mortem of the hackathon during the Paris AI, Robotics & IoT Meetup and we’ll post it here soon after that!

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