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Recapping Digital Realty | Telx’s First IoT Hackathon

April 25, 2016  |  Written by Kristen McAvoy, Sr. Marketing Coordinator

Digital Realty | Telx kicked off its very first Innovation Week this past March! We kicked off the inaugural #innovationweek with three events. Each event created an atmosphere to foster learning and innovation in intimate settings conducive to networking.

On March 29th, as part of Innovation Week, we hosted our very first IoT Hackathon at our historic 60 Hudson facility (NYC1) here in New York City. We partnered with our friends, WearHacks, who provide the latest technologies, mentorship, and unique learning environment that inspires ideation and implementation. As well as bringing a great workshop to all contestants, WearHacks came with big personalities, onesies, L3D light-up cubes, and of course, some Nerf guns.

The mission: Contestants were provided with an Arduino maker kit and asked to create a "DIY" IoT device which measures temperature, humidity, and other factors in the data center environment—all within a deadline of three hours. We prepped to geek out with Red Bull and brain food, and had candy on-hand all throughout the afternoon.

Our participants had a wide variety of backgrounds, including first-timers, coders, front-end users, professionals, back-end users, and hardware users.

In the end, six teams completed their projects and gave one-minute pitches to the judging and mentoring teams, which included entrepreneurs, developers, designers, and professionals. The winning team created a device which not only measured environmental factors like temperature and humidity, but called the telephone number of the technician to tell them the door of their data center cage was open.

The quality of the projects went above and beyond what we were expecting–even our facility engineering team was blown away by what was accomplished in just a few hours! We could see how a team could build a prototype for an IoT product that could be sold to enterprises deploying gear in the data center. 

We closed out the Hackathon by celebrating the winners at Ward III. Our diverse group got to network and come together, all while discussing ideas and challenges spurred on by the Hackathon. Our first Hackathon blew our minds, and we are excited to continue on this journey and host more across the U.S.! The big takeaway? Some amazing learning and making can happen in just 3 short hours!

If you’d like to be kept informed of what’s new and next, be sure to follow us on Twitter @Telx_DLR. Also, check out the photos of the hackathon here on our Facebook page!