BumpNBe winners of 2017’s Hack Access hackathon.

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If our first year was an experiment then our second year was the REAL thing. The pressure was on the Hack Access Dublin team as we sought to deliver a hackathon event that had ironed out those rough edges of first-year-experimentation! 

We did. 

As well as a group of amazing mentors who helped teams on the Saturday. We recruited the Potting Shed, a volunteer group of design thinking specialists, to support us manage the initial brainstorming sessions with groups of engineers, designers, technologists and business professionals which took place on the Friday. 

It meant that there was no confusion around what teams were there to do! Which was to work together, as one diverse team.   As we stressed in the first year, solving accessibility challenges and the system of disability is highly complex. This is not a challenge that can be solved by engineers working with engineers and designers working with designers.  These challenges requires multidisciplinary collaboration. 

It helps to have extra support on hand to help keep the various disciplines and their respective approaches aligned! And this is what we did in the second year of hacking access with the support of our partners The Potting Shed and representatives from Accenture who also helped.

Collaboration done right! Our diversely talented participants and a very special mentor in Gavin Neate, take a break to eat together on day two of hack Access Dublin 2017.

Collaboration done right! Our diversely talented participants and a very special mentor in Gavin Neate, take a break to eat together on day two of hack Access Dublin 2017.

And the quality of the ideas certainly bore testimony to the power of collaboration done right between  diversely talented people. All teams did extremely well and were incredibly enthusiastic and engaged participants. 

But there can be only one winner.  And that accolade went to BumpNBe. 

They had a simple but strong idea for a solution to create a solution for sensory and visually impaired people to navigate the transport system more efficiently and safely.

BumpNB addressed the danger visually impaired people face when crossing the road. Often the beeper, which sounds to direct their passage across the road, stops before they’ve reached the other side. This can cause disorientation. Their solution was a series of bumps placed at either of a crossing area to guide the person across the road. The bumps are made out of Recycled PVC Composite, which are very affordable. The solution could at a later date be developed to incorporate a RFID Chip to provide a virtual path.

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At the end of year two, we knew that there was something special here.  Hack Access Dublin was beginning to feel like a real close knit community.  All teams compete but really at the end of it all, each one just wanted to do something to make the world a better place through inclusion and diversity.  

As Darren Rooney, pitcher of BumNBe’s idea, said after the experience “I hope all teams continue their work as each team had a beautiful and simple idea to solve real world problems”.