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Startupbootcamp partners with Spotless Group to host IoT and datatech hackathon at the MCG

At over 150 years old, the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground has given birth to countless legends and been the backdrop to more than a couple of fairytale finishes. Since playing on its hallowed turf will remain but a dream for the majority of us, Spotless Group and Startupbootcamp have partnered to offer techies another way to make a contribution, launching Hack at the G, an IoT and datatech hackathon at the MCG.

A facilities management provider, Spotless works across industries including sports, leisure, and entertainment, business and industry, government, education, health and resources.

It has worked with the MCG for over 30 years, handling both match day and non-match day management. With the MCG able to accommodate over 100,000 spectators at capacity on match days, there are a number of challenges Spotless faces in its management of the venue.

As such, the hackathon, to be held at the MCG on November 21-22, will ask participants to work across the areas of catering and food services; facility maintenance, including assets, energy management, and grounds; cleaning and waste management; and security.

Trevor Townsend, managing director of Startupbootcamp Melbourne, said the organisation was excited to offer some interesting business challenges the tech and startup community wouldn’t normally encounter.

“IoT makes things come alive and we are looking forward to showing how leading-edge thinking and digital technology will continue to improve and enhance service delivery. This will ultimately benefit Spotless customers and the wider community, from spectators at sporting venues such as the MCG through to people’s experiences at airports,” he said.

Successful teams will win up to $10,000 in cash, with six months of space at Startupbootcamp’s workspace, access to Amazon Web Services, and Sigfox network and development kits also up for grabs.

Julian Fogarty, general manager of brand, innovation, and technology at Spotless, said a core component of the company’s strategy going forward is driving growth by enabling diverse, entrepreneurial, and customer-centric thinking. As such, it is collaborating with a range of organisations to “become a smarter Spotless”.

“Many emerging trends like IoT are quickly becoming disruptive forces in our industry and for our customers, we want to be at the forefront of developments. From smart beacons to drones to robots, the capability for objects to communicate and interact with each other and with the public has the potential to completely transform the services and experiences we offer our clients,” he said.

Sporting venues around the world are becoming increasingly hi-tech as they look to compete with slick television broadcasts, looking at how to offer attendees better experiences beyond the performance of the team on the field to keep them paying ticket prices.

Also looking at different ideas for the smart stadium is Intel, which has created a ‘Smart Building and Venue Experience Center’ in Arizona showcasing over a dozen smart stadium capabilities. It is also working with Croke Park in Dublin to test different applications.

At its Arizona space Intel shows how IoT can be used to help fans navigate their way to points of interest in a venue using an app or find their friends, inform fans of parking space availability and direct them to an empty spot, allow fans to order food and drink from their seats to avoid queues, and use sensors to detect cheering fans and show them on monitors throughout the stadium.

On the operational side, potential solutions include the triggering of a maintenance work order when the visit count exceeds a set threshold to ensure cleaner restrooms, optimised energy usage by allowing building managers to monitor and change temperatures throughout the stadium using a mobile app, and using smart lights to change lighting conditions based on predefined occupancy levels.

You can learn more about Hack at the G here.

Image: the MCG. Source: Epicure.

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