Press Releases

Sigfox U.S.A. kicks off Hacking House in Chicago with a focus for students and young professionals on smart cities

May 24, 2019

Posted by: Anasia D'mello

Alberto Mannil of Sigfox

Sigfox U.S.A., the U.S. network operator for global 0G network provider Sigfox, reports that its second U.S. installment of Hacking House will be hosted at the Chicago Connectory, a co-working and incubator space for those in the IoT industry.

The programme will kick off with an event on June 4th at the Connectory where attendees will be introduced to Sigfox and its use cases, as well as to the Hacking House programme and this class’ participants.

Sigfox’s Hacking House programme is designed to provide students and young professionals with intensive IoT and Sigfox technology training, giving them the necessary tools and skills to develop IoT solutions that can address real-world problems.

Throughout the 12-week-long programme, the 15 Hacking House participants will work closely with Sigfox engineers and local IoT professionals to develop IoT-powered solutions that enable the smart city. The program will close with a Demo Day on August 23, when participants will present their solutions to a panel of judges who will evaluate each project based on disruption and feasibility criteria.

This latest installment of Hacking House builds off the success of the inaugural program, which took place in San Francisco in the fall of 2018. Participants in the first developed projects that addressed a variety of issues, from a solution that tracked when the seals on shipping containers were removed inappropriately to one that alerts firefighters when wildfire breaks out.

Sigfox chose Chicago for its second installment due to the wide pool of talent from local universities — the majority of the participating students attend local schools, including University of Illinois at Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology and Northwestern University — accelerators and incubators, as well as the company’s strong network presence in the city.

For instance, Sigfox and Louis Vuitton have a luggage tracker that allows passengers to track their checked luggage in Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports. Sigfox also provides local hotels with IoT connectivity to enable panic buttons that can transmit critical safety information, following an ordinance set by the city of Chicago to enhance hotel worker safety.

Justin Thomas

“As a former Hacking House participant, I can personally attest to the impact and importance this program has on young people interested in the IoT,” said Alberto Mannil, U.S. Hacking House manager, Sigfox. “Hacking House provides participants with the opportunity to gain deep, firsthand knowledge about the industry and to develop new, innovative ideas for leveraging its power to solve the world’s problems.”

“I’m excited to participate in the Hacking House because it gives me the freedom to explore a certain problem and try to solve it my way. Using Sigfox and working with people from different backgrounds and even different nationalities is very appealing to me.

Everything is new. I’m interested in IoT because having experience in the medical industry and seeing the potential of wearables and IoT in general makes me want to deepen my knowledge and further hone my skills while developing a solution that can make a difference in the world,” said the Hacking House participant, Justin Thomas.

“IoT continues to explode in a plethora of different industries, many of which are located right here in Chicago. Expertise in IoT requires a broad skill set from Cloud Computing to firmware development, hardware design, wireless technologies and power technologies, just to name a few. The Sigfox Hacking House brings together mentors and a creative working environment to help the next generation of professionals succeed in this vast and growing field,” added Kevin McQuown, technical mentor, Windy City Labs.

The Hacking House program is made possible through collaboration with the Chicago Connectory and through from ST Microelectronics, Windy City Labs, Dracula Technologies, Spacebot, SeaSlugLabs, Soracom and Matrix Industries. For more information, click here.

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