January 27, 2015

There’s no better place to code than a nightclub in the desert.

If you are a developer, designer, student, or entrepreneur interested in working with the latest technology, tools and services for the connected car, connected home and wearables, chances are you were probably at the Rain Nightclub in the Palms Casino Resort on January 3rd and 4th.

att-dev-summit-logoStrategically positioned in the lead up to CES 2015, more than 500 developers took their laptops, snacks and Red Bulls to the most vibrant desert in the world to hack together the future of our connected lives. After forming more than 100 teams, participants had two days to build and code their mobile app solution with help from a roster of top sponsors and access to top notch technical experts while they compete for their share of over $100K available in cash and prizes.

We sent our Developer Evangelist, Govind Dandekar, and our Director of Development, Robb Lovell, to Las Vegas to educate developers about the incredible potential of building connected car apps on Mojio’s open platform. They also provided hands-on support to those using Mojio’s API. After a fun-filled weekend, Govind & Robb selected two “Mojio Prize Winners” from the masses. Here are the apps that showcased the best usage of Mojio’s API:

PrioriCom App (Mojio Prize Winner)

We asked Dave Nespoli of Silver Salmon five questions about their proposed app, PrioriCom.

Q1 – What is the name of your app and why did you name it that?

PriorCom-Mojio-ConnectedcarWe decided to call the app, PrioriCom. We came up with this name because the app is a priority based communication system. It allows the user to decide what the priority of certain people would be when the user is engaged in an activity from which they do not want to be distracted.

Q2 – What’s the problem that you and your team are going to solve with the app?

We live connected lives. It’s always possible to put your phone in a drawer, but sometimes there are certain people in your life, say your spouse, boss or assistant, whom you always want to be interrupted by. There’s really no useful solution today for this. We integrated the Microsoft Band to allow a PrioriCom user to put their phone away and know that they can relax and not have to check their messages. PrioriCom will make their watch vibrate if anyone on their allowed list needs to contact them.

Q3 – How does your app work? What kind of data is it utilizing from the Mojio API?

prior-com-mockup-screenOne of the most important use cases of our application is to allow a driver to focus on the task of driving. Our system detects from the Mojio API when a user is driving and switches them in to ‘Emergency Only’ mode. When a contact on the ‘Emergency List’ messages a user that is in ‘Emergency Only’ mode, the system asks the contact if this issue is truly an emergency. If they respond in the affirmative, it will notify the user via a vibration in their Microsoft Band. The user then knows to pull over and turn off the ignition. Then, and only then, will the PrioriCom system allow them to see and respond to the emergency message. If the contact chooses not to elevate the message to emergency status, the message will be delivered when the user has reached their destination and turned off their ignition. Mojio integrated perfectly with our system to facilitate this important functionality.

Q4 – Can you tell us about your vision for future of the Connected Car?

Distracted driving remains the biggest challenge. There’s simply no replacement for a driver being able to focus 100% on their journey. As cars become more and more connected there are some serious risks which need to be very carefully and thoughtfully designed for. Both ends of the “connected car” will need to respect the priority of safety first.

Q5 – When do you hope to release a production version of the app to the Mojio community?

Silver Salmon has a few new products in development now including our PingARing.com product. We’re not sure when the integration with Mojio will be ready for public consumption, but we are working towards that goal with urgency. The Mojio API is not the roadblock, as we were able to integrate our hackathon product with Mojio in just a few short hours. As soon as we work out the rules of interaction we will let you know!

Carma App (Mojio Prize Winner)

We asked Team Carma five questions about their proposed app, Carma. Team Carma is: Sankalp ShereAdam Smith-KipnisBharat ChatlaKatherine Martin and Nick Lupien

team-carma-mojio-connected-car-developersQ1 – What is the name of your app and why did you name it that?

We called it Carma, a play on words about how driving your car well can reap good benefits. Carma enables you to see how you are driving and help you improve your skills, in addition to making your car an integral part of your home.

Q2 – What’s the problem that you and your team are going to solve with the app?

Today one of the most accident prone portions of the population is the segment of young, new drivers. Right now there is no effective way to get  immediate feedback on your driving habits, or gain insights into what you can be doing better. Often times, it’s the bad habits that build over time that result in accidents. We try to address this issue buy generating real time insights for parents and more in depth data views for the drivers themselves. The idea is to embed a reward system like low insurance premiums or loyalty points to redeem against real world rewards like gas purchases or retail discounts, etc.

Q3 – How does your app work? What kind of data is it utilizing from the Mojio API?

carma-screenshot-4We used Mojio events and configuration API to keep track of events like hard braking or speeding. The API allows us to gather statistics and build insights over a period of time. We also integrated AT&T digital life API to connect your Mojio powered car with your garage. This enables your garage door to open automatically as your car is approaching the house and to close as it is moving away from your house. You can read a more detailed explanation of our implementation on our blog post here.

Q4 – Can you tell us about your vision for future of the Connected Car?

The average Joe spends about 100 minutes per day driving a car. Among these drivers, teens are most prone to get into accidents ~ 30% of accidents are accounted to teens even though they just make 14% of US population. As new cars get smarter, something has to be done for the cars that already exist on the road. Mojio fits the market need for existing cars perfectly. Just like there is fitbit for tracking your body, activities, sleep, food etc., we need Mojio for your car. It’s like they say – self awareness is the key to self improvement. We do want to make this process fun rather than disciplinary in nature by providing rewards for good driving!

Q5 – When do you hope to release a production version of the app to the Mojio community?

Right now I am trying out this app out on myself, analyzing the driving performance, accuracy of the APIs (false positives and negatives). The next step is to try it on some of the most popular used cars like Mazdas, Toyotas and Nissans. Hopefully we will be able to reach out to friends for that. At the moment, we are limited by the physical separation and the full-time work obligations of our team members. This combined with access to one device per person makes it a bit tricky to test it faster.

Thanks to both Silver Salmon and Team Carma for sharing their connected car app ideas with our community. We hope to see their visions on the road in the near future!

Still can’t get enough of this hackathon?

Geek Beat was on the scene checking out the event and put together An Inside Look at the AT&T Hackathon. Check out the video below.