About 500 participants developed numerous projects, from online tutorials for pupils, mobile phone games to learn proper behaviour in times of "social distancing" to technical innovations in the field of virus identification. The Public Spacers team emerged as the winner of the idea competition. Its concept: "Our project is a software enabling physical distancing in public space. An algorithm distributes passengers on train connections via recommendations and tries to avoid peak times with capacity utilisation exceeding 50 percent", says team leader Martin Huber. "In addition, we keep a rail wagon free for groups needing special protection, for example older people. These groups do not always have access to this kind of software (no smart phone). That is why we manage this via all other users".
Mr. Huber, who lives in Salzburg and works at Dental Manufacturing Unit GmbH, joined forces on a cross-border basis within the context of the hackathon with Georg Schelkshorn (TouchLay GmbH) from Vienna and Victoria and Laura Osterloh (both Zalando SE) from Berlin to launch the project. How far can one go in 48 hours? "The objective was to develop a white paper for providers such as the ÖBB and the Wiener Linien", Huber adds. (Note: ÖBB = Austrian Federal Railways; Wiener Linien = Viennese public transport operating company). Moreover, a mockup of a possible future App was designed. During the hackathon, the team was supported by Claudia Falkinger, Senior Innovation Manager at ÖBB.
"Innovative competitions such as hackathons offer an incredible opportunity for the digitalisation potential of a country. They strengthen digital competencies, showcase innovative talents and enable the quick development of innovative solutions in a very short time", states Claudia Falkinger.
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