Our best hackers revealed

Sunshine Coast Hackfest 2015 winners Sean Bannister and Jordan Josic
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An app aimed at helping motorists find a suitable car park and then remind them when they may need to move their car has won first prize in Sunshine Coast Hackfest 2015.

Designed by local duo Sean Bannister, of Birtinya, and 15-year-old Jordan Josic from Caloundra, the parking app was selected as the best “hack” to come out of the inaugural three-day event that attracted some of the Sunshine Coast’s (Queensland, Australia) brightest minds and “outside the box” thinkers.

“Sunshine Coast Parking will use sensors installed in car parks across the Coast, or other information, to help to turn our car parks into smart car park,” Sean said.

“Whenever someone leaves a car park, we’ll know that they’ve left and then be able to alert other people looking for a park that one has become available.”

“Council will now work with the teams associated with the best of Hackfest with the desire to provide real value, sustainable solutions to help our community, and explore potential new business opportunities.”

The runner-up, named Bin There Done That, was a team effort that may in the future provide an innovative way to help Sunshine Coast Council reach its strategic goal of reducing landfill as well as assisting residents by providing more information about household waste.

Winner of the business category, and third overall, was Adam Roth’s GeoPDO – a tool that allows the community to see all of council’s Planning and Development assessment applications on a map based on an address search or location search.

Bin Days, an application that reminds you when to put out your waste, recycling or green bin, was judged best community entry, while SICOOR, an easy to use tool that allows open data information to be embedded on a business or personal website won the prize for best use of open data.

New and Emerging Industries Portfolio Councillor Steve Robinson said the quality of entries for the inaugural Hackfest was above and beyond expectation and demonstrated the quality of talent available on the Coast.

“Hackfest has been a wonderful opportunity to take our Sunshine Coast’s Smart City Framework forward and to help our region become one of the most innovative and modern in the world,” Cr Robinson said. 

“We are progressing towards the Coast having the latest in global technologies for lighting, waste, parking, assets and other infrastructure and services to enhance the lives of our residents and visitors.

“Council will now work with the teams associated with the best of Hackfest with the desire to provide real value, sustainable solutions to help our community, and explore potential new business opportunities.”

With $20,000 in cash and prizes, Hackfest brought together some of the Coast’s most creative residents, as well as entrants from other parts of South-East Queensland, all looking to make their contribution to building a Smart City and region.

Hackers had access to open data information available from the council, State, and Federal governments to create a solution for an identified issue or problem on the Sunshine Coast – either now or into the future.

The major prizes included a first prize of $7000, including $4000 cash, as well as cash and product prizes to the value of $5000 for runner-up, $3000 for third and four category prizes of $1000 each, thanks to Hackfest’s partners platinum Cisco and gold partners Telstra and Spark Bureau.

Pictured: Sunshine Coast Hackfest 2015 winners Sean Bannister (left) and Jordan Josic.