‘Hacking for Good’ to Benefit Public Safety in Indiana

24 hours.

First responders are well aware of just how many things can happen in 24 hours. A tornado or blizzard, a mass casualty event, a parade or concert requiring increased security.

For 24 hours in April, first responders in Indiana also got a chance to experience what “hacking for good” can achieve, and how we can make FirstNet even stronger.

More than 600 developers, engineers, entrepreneurs, students and first responders gathered April 20-21 at Launch Fishers and the new Indiana IoT Lab for the AT&T #IoTCivicHack. Their goal: to work together on solutions addressing the challenges that public safety faces every day.

Some teams worked through the night…some went home and came back in the morning…but by the time Saturday evening rolled around, they were ready to make their initial pitches.

Hackathon judges, which included civic leaders, representatives of public safety and data analysts, selected 10 teams as finalists. Those teams then pitched their ideas on stage.

In just 24 hours, #IoTCivicHack winners (full list here) came up with some amazing technology prototypes, as well as fully-produced apps. Here’s a quick look at examples of their winning solutions:

An app to help better engage and deploy civilian volunteers.

A web-based app that would allow a 911 dispatcher to take control of a caller’s smartphone so they could see and hear what is happening at the emergency location.

A lighting system that would alert the deaf community to tornado warnings.

Clearly, lots of “good” can happen over the course of a day.

In addition to the great ideas that were generated by technologists and coders, AT&T and the FirstNet Authority were able to bring two very different worlds together. But we all shared the same mindset: what can we do to help public safety? How can we improve their connectivity? For 24 hours, we were all on the same team, and we are all better for it.

* To learn more about FirstNet, please contact Angie Helminiak at [email protected] or 317-294-0363.

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