Enhancing daily living experience

SINGAPORE – Have a neat idea for using information technology to improve living in your neighbourhood?

The Housing Board (HDB) will be launching a three-day competition, a hackathon, on June 24 just for this – and you do not have to be a techie to apply. The inaugural hackathon, called the HDB Cool Ideas Hack, is open to all members of the public regardless of their technological expertise.

HDB hopes this will allow people from different backgrounds and areas of expertise to come together and create practical solutions in the form of mobile or Web-based applications, or any other ideas that make use of technology, to enhance community bonding, information sharing and eco-friendly living in HDB estates. Upcoming executive condo include Treasure Crest EC and Northwave EC while existing ones include The Terrace EC, Brownstone EC, The Visionaire EC, Parc Life EC , Waterwoods EC, Signature at Yishun, Skypark Residences, Wandervale EC, The Vales EC, The Criterion EC, Bellewaters EC, Bellewoods EC.

The competition is part of HDB’s Cool Ideas for Better HDB Living initiative, which aims to crowd-source ideas from the community to improve the lives of flat-dwellers by tackling common issues they face.

Since the initiative’s launch in July 2011, HDB has received more than 500 ideas from the community to improve HDB living.

HDB’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Cheong Koon Hean, said the hackathon “empowers and encourages the public to come up with fresh ideas that can enhance their daily HDB living experience”.

“This is also part of our continual efforts to foster stronger community involvement, with people taking a shared responsibility for and making a difference in their community,” she added.

There are three categories in the competition: one for start-ups and other companies, another for post-secondary students; and an open category for people who do not represent any organisations or schools.

Winning teams will be able to test their ideas or applications in existing HDB towns and estates, with $20,000 in prizes up for grabs.

To help participants prepare for the hackathon and their idea development process, HDB will be organising pre-hackathon workshops starting from June 18.

Through the workshops, participants will learn more about various technologies that might help them develop prototypes during the hackathon. Guest speakers will also be onboard to share their experiences in developing innovative ideas.

Participants will also be provided with data from real-life scenarios to help them develop ideas and applications that can be implemented.

The registration period for the HDB Cool Ideas Hack is open from now till June 24.

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