Looking back at the many exciting things Hitachi Vantara accomplished last year, one event in particular stands out – our first ever public Fintech Codeathon, CodeSG, which took place in November.
Innovation is an integral part of this company’s DNA and we are always keen to understand our latest innovations are being applied in the real world. So we reached out to universities, start-up communities and curious geeks, and invited them to join us for a weekend to solve some real-world problems with coding. Naturally, we provided them with some interesting IoT gadgets to play with, including Anki cars, Raspberry Pis, Lego Mindstorms and even a drone, as well as mentoring support from our product specialists throughout the process.
The event kicked off on a Friday night at The Hangar on the campus of the National University of Singapore (NUS). Participants, unsure about what to expect, flooded in with cautiousness and curiosity; sentiments that were echoed on our side as well. Luckily, our worry melted away once the briefing kicked-off, and we were met by eager participants, keen to explore Hitachi Content Platform , Pentaho , and learn how blockchain can be applied and integrated into their ideas. It was inspiring to see how quickly they were able to embrace these new technologies and put them into practice!
The challenge was a tough one – each team was given a problem that related to the FinTech or insurance sectors and had less than 48 hours to put together the hardware, software and business plan needed to solve it. Hitachi Vantara’s mentors put in long hours, working side-by-side with the teams to help answer their questions on connectivity, coding and our products, as well as ensuring that everyone had fun!
Here’s a brief summary of the ingenious ideas that came out of the session:
Team 1: Car Accident Detection System
Team 1 was tasked with designing a car accident detection solution. Their solution involved the deployment of Anki robot cars along a track, alongside smart cameras with image recognition tools, to identify and send alerts if a car ran outside of the specified track. In the case of an accident, the image was uploaded, added to the object store in the Hitachi Content Platform, and the relevant notifications were generated. This combination of video and telematics analytics could save many lives in the future, providing fast accident detection and response. The team even suggested that the solution could be further expanded with the use of drones.
Team 2: Telematics Insurance Model
Team 2 was asked to design a solution to support a telematics insurance model – a hot-topic as the industry moves towards a usage-based approach. The team understood that installing telematics on the consumer side, for example in a car, would be too complex. Instead they solved this issue by demonstrating how girascpope sensors in mobile phone could be used as a replacement to record acceleration and braking. The data collected was fed into the Pentaho analytics platform and its AI algorithms where used to calculate the risk profile and associated premium for each driver.
Team 3: Accident Insurance Fraud Elimination
Team 3 was asked to address the problem of accident insurance fraud. Insurance companies rely on witnesses and evidence to process an accident claim but often this creates confusion due to inconsistent or conflicting stories portrayed. It even makes it possible for the involved parties to collude and report a fake accident. The team tackled this by designing a system that used a smart dash-camera, powered by Hyperledger’s blockchain technology on a Raspberry Pi. The analytics help to identify accidents automatically and save the accident information into an immutable shared ledger, with the actual video footage uploaded to a secure and immutable object storage system. This could provide a single, reliable source of information for easier accident management and investigation.
Team 4: Accurate Risk Profiling based on Public Driving Data
Team 4 was also asked to look at the car insurance market but from a different angle, this time using public data for risk profiling. The team decided to use public driving data from Uber and put it into the Pentaho analytics platform to derive more accurate risk profiles for pricing car insurance premiums. In this way, insurance companies can begin to make insurance more affordable and risks easier to manage.
Team 5: ICO Standardisation and Regulation
Team 5 decided to venture away from insurance into the topical area of Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). It is an instrument for a company to raise money similar to an IPO, but instead cryptocurrency is traded using blockchain. One of the main challenges of an ICO is ensuring that all regulations are met and that users are protected. The team here created a technical and business framework to standardise such offerings and make ICOs more regulation-friendly as a result.
All of the solutions were incredibly innovative and of a very high standard – making it very hard for the judges to pick a winner! But after a very heated debate, the first place went to Team 3.
The whole event was a truly amazing experience for all of us at Hitachi Vantara. The energy, positive attitude and entrepreneurial spirit that each of the participants, mentors and judges shared was inspiring and highly contagious. Events like these are the perfect embodiment of Hitachi Vantara’s values and we cannot wait to host the next hackathon, which will be even bigger and more ambitious!