Hackathon BSH Stockholm Innovation Posted on 10/27/2017 via BSH Home Appliances Group

Hackathon 2017: Hackers develop new software ideas for Home Connect

Stockholm is without a doubt one of the world’s leading high-tech cities. So it was no surprise that Home Connect staged its third hackathon this year in the Swedish capital.

Under the slogan “Hack the House,” around 40 developers from the startup and IoT sector – including employees from companies such as Spotify, Vattenfall, Arla Foods and Nordic Choice Hotels – gathered at the Alma Creative Space in the heart of the city for two days in October. The participants formed 12 teams that were to hack with various Bosch and Siemens home appliances and develop creative new software solutions for the Home Connect ecosystem – integrating the Home Connect API, the technical interface that is made available to partners from the Home Connect Developer Program. Niels Kuschinsky, Head of Digital Strategy, explains in an interview what went on at the hackathon in Stockholm.

Just what is a hackathon?
A hackathon is a sort of marathon for hackers. The goal is to come up together with useful and creative software solutions within a defined time. Our “Hack the House” hackathon brought together people from startups and IoT-related companies to develop solutions that make everyday life easier for our consumers in their household – whether in the field of cooking, shopping, security or energy management. Over the two days, programs are written, hardware and software tasks are tackled, and tests are performed on how solutions might look in practice.

What was the aim of the BSH hackathon in Stockholm?
The objective of our hackathon is to forge new partnerships so as to enrich the Home Connect ecosystem with further smart solutions and increase value added for the consumer. Home Connect wants to establish itself in the world of the Internet of Things (IoT) and show how BSH is driving future visions.

What format did the hackathon have?
12 teams of 2 to 4 people were provided with Bosch and Siemens home appliances – from a refrigerator, dish washer to a tumble dryer – and were able to design new solutions with other smart home devices, such as Amazon Echo, and so enrich the consumer experience. At the end, a prize was awarded to the three best ideas. The winners – including Vattenfall and Spotify – have the chance to embark on a partnership with Home Connect.

Which project won?
IQ Chef is a smart guided cooking platform that steers consumers through the cooking process on the basis of personal recipe recommendations and so makes it easy for them. When integrated with our refrigerator with a built-in camera, IQ Chef enables these recipe recommendations to be coordinated with the fridge’s content.

What idea did you like best apart from the winner?
Apart from the winning idea, I liked Vattenfall’s idea for a resource-saving and economical means of activating home appliances based on the actual price of electricity at a specific hour of the day (price information for the next 24 hours is available in Northern Europe). That means the dish washer can switch on automatically when the electricity price is lowest, for instance. Music is played over Spotify, depending on the program selected on the Home Connect appliance – for example, an apt song is assigned to an oven while it is being preheated to suit the weather and personal preferences.

What is now in store for the winners?
The three top-placed teams will be invited to BSH’s headquarters in Munich to present its solution and then possibly enter into a partnership. The other teams will keep in contact with BSH and have the chance to develop their ideas further with the goal of establishing further partnerships down the road.

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