HDB Cool Ideas Hack

Singapore’s vision is to become the world’s first Smart Nation — a nation that provides opportunities for all and creates the conditions for a caring and gracious society, whilst doing so in a sustainable manner in our built environment.

HDB, which provides homes for over 80% of us, is pivotal in realising this vision. Stronger community bonds where we live add to a happier, healthier nation. The more connected we are both physically and emotionally, the more the opportunity for us to care for one another.

Equally, understanding the environment in which we live and our impact on the quality of our environment provide us with a shared purpose and a means to make a positive impact.

At the HDB Cool Ideas Hack we challenged participants — students, professionals, and startups — to create technology-enabled solutions that help us connect with and care for our neighbours, share relevant information quickly and easily, and take care of the environment as a community.

Read more about the themes for the HDB Cool Ideas Hack here.

Key Dates

workshop 1
workshop 2
workshop 3
workshop 3
hack
hack
 

Organised By

HDB logo
 
 

Technology Partners

IBM Bluemix logo
Microsoft logo
 
 

Rapid Experimentation Partner

innovator sg logo

Themes

What makes for better, smarter HDB living? Better ties with our neighbours; access to relevant and useful information when we want it and how we want it; greener homes and a more sustainable living environment.

 

Foster neighbourly ties


Neighbourliness is a function of personal attitude and familiarity. Much work has been done by HDB around the physical spaces to encourage chance encounters and interactions around shared interests.

Very simply, we want to encourage residents to talk to each other more. Greater social interactions create familiarity and greater empathy, which reduces barriers and enhances conflict resolutions.

Opportunities

• Neighbourliness can be enabled, amplified and celebrated with innovative use of technology. How can we help residents build social capital as a community, so they are more inclined to do things for each other? • How does neighbourliness in a “Sharing Economy” work? How can we enable the community to share time, expertise and resources? • Neighbourliness is about taking care of each other, whether doing small favours or assisting those in need like seniors living on their own or those with special needs. How can we encourage greater volunteerism and maintain support networks?

 

Connect residents to the news they want


Information is the foundation from which we build community, enhance neighbourliness and learn about eco practices. And information can be a tool of change. If we don’t know what’s going on in our estate, how can we join in? How can we be neighbourly or share our skills or things, if we don’t know someone is in need?

In older estates and more established communities, news and information is spread through word-of-mouth. In newer estates, residents are already turning to social media and mobile tools connect with each other to share news.

Opportunities

• What tools and platforms can be adopted to make better use available information and update residents on local news, needs and activities? Can the information sharing be more personalised or targeted by location or profile, or even predictive? • Better communications is not just about providing tools, but also useful content. What is the opportunity here to tap into new data sources, like sensors in a “smart estate”, or data from our shared spaces like fitness corners, playgrounds and gardens? • How can we turn residents from passive recipients to more proactive seekers of information, and make them go from knowing to doing?

 
Want to get more insights into these themes Join us at the Themes & Insights Workshop on Saturday afternoon, 18 June.

Make HDB living greener


In the face of climate change, we all have a duty of care to manage scarce resources more efficiently. More than creating comfortable, more liveable spaces, HDB living should be more sustainable.

Being green is not just what we do at home, like waste separation, recycling and waste minimisation. It is also something that can be extended to our estates. By caring for our living environment together, we show our care for our neighbours and their enjoyment of the estate. Exploring and adopting eco-living practices is a wonderful opportunity to get residents to come and work together.

Opportunities

• How can we equip residents with knowledge on best practices, and a better understanding of our impact on the environment? What can we do to share greater responsibility – and the benefits – of eco-living? • How can technology, such as Internet of Things, help monitor these eco-friendly practices and provide feedback on how well we are doing at home and in our estates? • What are the communal activities, like community gardening, that can help inculcate good personal attitudes or habits, and how can technology enable them?

 
Want to get more insights into these themes Join us at the Themes & Insights Workshop on Saturday afternoon, 18 June.

Programme

While attendance for the pre-hackathon workshops was not compulsory, participants were highly recommended to attend, to learn more about the hackathon themes and meet like-minded innovators.


Themes & Insights Workshop

Participants gained insights into the hackathon themes and the opportunity areas from HDB and subject matter experts.

Programme Outline • Welcome by Derrick Chiang, UP Singapore • What HDB has been doing to foster better neighbourly ties and encouraging residents to lead more eco-friendly lifestyles by Melissa Sim, Community Relations Manager, Community Relations Group, HDB • Relevant social observations with regards to the area of neighbourliness in HDB estates by Sangeetha, Senior Researcher, Research & Planning Group, HDB • HDB’s designs and best practices to drive greater community bonding in towns and estates by Yew Wei Jun, Senior Architect, DPG, HDB • Learnings from BlockPooling.sg and HoodChampions.sg by Moh Hon Meng, Founder, HoodChampions • What to expect at the hackathon by Derrick Chiang, UP Singapore

Date Saturday, 18 June Time 1.30pm to 3pm Venue Oscar Room, HDB Learning Centre, Level 3

Check out the slides at bit.ly/HDB-hack-resources

Hackathon – Day 1

The Friday evening kick-off that featured expert presentations to inspire participants ahead of the weekend. Participants were also given an overview of the themes and some thought-starters. Finally participants got the opportunity to pitch your idea to the audience and form teams! All hackathon participants were required to sign the Terms of Participation at the hackathon in order to be able to participate.

Programme Outline • Recap three themes and data • “Am I a neighbour to MY neighbour” by Dr William Wan, General Secretary, Singapore Kindness Movement • Idea pitching and team formation

Date Friday, 24 June Time 6.30pm to 9pm (programme begins at 7pm) Venue HDB Club (at HDB Hub / Toa Payoh Interchange)

Tickets for the hackathon are sold out

Hackathon – Day 2

Participants worked with their team to develop ideas and prototype them. A Hackathon Canva was provided to help them identify and articulate the problem(s) they were trying to solve. There were mentor consultations in the afternoon to help participants test their thinking and clear any roadblocks.
Programme Outline • Check-ins with teams • Panel sessions with HDB consultations • Mentor consultations

Date Saturday, 25 June Time 9am to late Venue HDB Club (at HDB Hub / Toa Payoh Interchange)

Hackathon – Day 3

On the final day of the hackathon, conducted presentation clinics to help teams make the most of their three minutes and articulate their ideas effectively, in preparation for the final presentations to the judging panel.
Programme Outline • Presentation clinics to help you refine your presentation • Team presentations to judging panel • Judges’ deliberations • Results announcement / closing

Date Sunday, 26 June Time 9am to 5pm Venue HDB Club (at HDB Hub / Toa Payoh Interchange)

Experts

Here’s a look at the speakers who shared their insights into the themes at the workshop, mentors were present at the hackathon to support teams and members of the judging panel for the final presentations on Sunday.

 

Speakers

Jon Hoel, Senior Partner, Innovator SG Moh Hon Meng, Founder, HoodChampions Melissa Sim, Community Relations Manager, CRG, HDB Sangeetha Panearselvan, Senior Researcher, RPG, HDB Dr William Wan, General Secretary, Singapore Kindness Movement Yew Wei Jun Senior Architect, DPG, HDB  

Mentors

Edmund Lim , Customer Experience Manager, KPMG Innovation Ventures Fabian Lua, Senior Product Manager, Shopee / Garena Online Jodie Collins, Managing Director, RE/digital Moh Hon Meng, Founder, HoodChampions Nur Adibah Abdul Majeed, Environmental Engineer, Singapore Environment Council Suresh Mylavarapu, Founder and principal, Nearcircles  

HDB Consultants

Melissa Sim, Community Relations Manager, Community Relations Group Lim E-Farn , Principal Researcher, Research & Planning Group Yew Wei Jun Senior Architect, Development & Procurement Group  

Tech Mentors

Mohamed Ashraf Abu Samah, Software Engineer, Appcelerator Tan Wei Kok, Co-Founder Les Robotique, Research Scientist and Engineering Product Designer Mohamed Izzat Khair, Technical Evangelist, Microsoft Developer Experience & Evangelism (DX) Group Riza Marhaban, Technical/Developer Evangelist, Microsoft Developer Experience & Evangelism (DX) Group Ujjwal Kumar, Senior Technical Evangelist, Microsoft Developer Experience & Evangelism (DX) Group  

Judges

Open Category

Tan Chek Sim , Director, (Urban Systems & Smart Services), Building Research Institute Quah Choo Seng , Director, Business Information Systems 1, Information Services Group, HDB Michelle Tay , Associate General Secretary (Partnerships), Singapore Kindness Movement Gary Lim , Senior Academic Programs & National Plan Director, Public Sector Group, Microsoft Singapore  

Start-up & Student Category

Eileen Neo , Director, Policy & Planning, Corporate Relations Group, HDB Wong Swee Khian , Deputy Director, (Building Design & Precast System), Building & Research Institute, HDB Edwin Seah , Executive Director, Singapore Environment Council Lim Han Boon , ASEAN Leader, Cloud Tech Sales, IBM  
Nur Adibah Abdul Majeed, Environmental Engineer, Singapore Environment Council
Nur Adibah Abdul Majeed is an Environmental Engineer in Singapore Environment Council. Her main focus is in technical research and development of Eco-certification schemes for products under the Singapore Green Labelling Scheme (SGLS).
Edmund Lim, Customer Experience Manager, KPMG Innovation Ventures
Edmund leads customer experience as part of KPMG Digital Village where he works closely with start-ups to contextualise their solutions to address corporate challenges. He is also actively involved in building and connecting the Internet of Things community in Singapore through IoTSG. He has been involved in numerous digital transformation projects with high profile clients from Public Services, Finance, Retail and Healthcare across the APAC region.
Edwin Seah, Executive Director, Singapore Environment Council (SEC)
Edwin has served in various roles in the public and private sectors in a career spanning over 18 years. His last position in the public sector was Deputy Director of Corporate Communications at the Energy Market Authority, where he worked on enhancing the profile of the agency as well as driving public awareness and education on energy issues. In the Civil Service, he worked on policy development, marketing and corporate communications with the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore Sports Council, to name a few. In between these, he was Senior Account Manager with a local boutique PR agency where he handled both government and corporate accounts, and also served as Centre Director for the government’s Contact Singapore office in San Francisco. He has worked on urban and environmental sustainability issues for a good number of years, including leading the organization of the World Cities Summit 2010 and playing a significant role in the successful hosting of the Singapore International Energy Week 2011.
Fabian Lua, Head of Product (Front-end), Shopee / Garena Online
Fabian Lua is Head of Product (Front-end) at Shopee, a social-first, mobile-centric e-commerce marketplace by Garena with more than 12 million app downloads across 7 countries. Fabian also founded Architecture Walks Singapore, a series of walking tours that bring residents to uncover the hidden stories behind Singapore’s neighbourhoods.
Gary Lim, Senior Academic Programs & National Plan Director, Public Sector Group, Microsoft Singapore
In his role, Gary is responsible for helping to transform the education agenda for the 21st century through successful execution of a broad set of initiatives within Singapore and the region. He engages with Educators, Government and Policy Leaders as their trusted advisor to ensure all stakeholders are provided with the latest in education technology to enhance learning outcomes and ensure a steady pool of future-ready individuals. Prior to joining Microsoft, Gary spent a large part of his career in academia as a senior faculty member where he was responsible for spearheading education partnerships to enable Singapore’s infocomm manpower needs to be adequately met. Key to his achievements was the launch of the Microsoft-Nanyang Polytechnic Cloud Innovation Centre, a world’s first cloud innovation centre in an academic institution during its launch. Gary holds a Master’s Degree in Computing from the National University of Singapore, as well as many Microsoft-related industry certifications. Gary is also the recipient of the SPRING Singapore Excellent Service Award.
Mohamed Izzat Khair, Technical Evangelist, Microsoft Developer Experience & Evangelism (DX) Group
Izzat has developed applications on various platforms such as Xamarin, UWP & Android. He is looking forward in helping others to leverage on new and exciting products by Microsoft.
Jodie Collins, Managing Partner, RE/digital
Jodie Collins is the founder and managing director of RE/digital, a digital consulting and training firm based in Singapore which works with companies across Asia to develop their digital strategies and workforce capability. Jodie has been working in digital marketing, creative and media strategy for 18 years, spending 5 years in China and almost 4 years based in Singapore while working across the APAC region. She has worked for some of the world’s leading agencies and media companies including M&C Saatchi, OMD and News Corporation, and with clients including McDonald’s, Johnson & Johnson, Intel, Hilton, Carlsberg, Standard Chartered Bank, Commonwealth Bank and Estee Lauder.
Jon Hoel, Senior Partner, Innovator SG
Jon helps organisations rapidly generate and test decision options using Design Thinking, Soft Systems Methodology and Lean Startup Methodology. He has collaborated with Padang & Co. on several workshops and hackathons. Based in Singapore’s heartlands since 2010, Jon has lived in Asia for 11 years. He has run workshops for SPRING Singapore, Sentosa Development Corporation, the National Climate Change Secretariat, NEA, BCA and EMA. He has consulting experience with science-driven organisations such as Parkway Health, J&J and Dow Corning; and experience with technology companies such as SAP, Intel and HP Enterprise Business. He holds a BA from the University of Melbourne and a Graduate Diploma in PR from RMIT University.
Moh Hon Meng, Founder, HoodChampions
Moh Hon Meng is a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded businesses in Finance, Education, Transport and Gaming. His latest project is HoodChampions.sg, which is a social network for people living in the same neighbourhoods.
Michelle Tay, Associate General Secretary (Partnerships), Singapore Kindness Movement
Michelle oversees the partnership team in the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM), to promote kindness through the 3P (people, public and private) network. With an experience of over 9 years at SKM, she firmly believes that there is always opportunities for kindness in our everyday lives. An active volunteer with the NEA empowered volunteers and Mountbatten Youth Executive Committee, she embodies the spirit of kindness to serve the community.
Riza Marhaban, Technical/Developer Evangelist, Microsoft Developer Experience & Evangelism (DX) Group
Riza Marhaban is a Microsoft Technical/Developer Evangelist at Microsoft Singapore. Riza is a long time developers and software solution architect. He is the co-founder of .NET Developers Community and Azure Community in Singapore and manages the communities as well. He is a speaker and a trainer. His motto is, “I’m just a simple developer.”
Samah
Mohamed Ashraf Abu Samah, Software Engineer, Appcelerator
A Software Engineer in Appcelerator, now part of Axway, Ashraf works on the Android side of things in the Appcelerator Titanium product. Titanium is an open-source framework that allows the creation of mobile apps on platforms including iOS, Android and Windows Phone from a single JavaScript codebase. His development background include improving the Titanium SDK (on the Android side) as well as having done Android app development for a e-commerce app in his former company. If you need help on Java/Android, you know who to find.
Suresh Mylavarapu, Founder and Principal, Nearcircles
Suresh kickstarted his software company, fresh out of college, in 2005. When it was later divested for a small profit, he went back to basics to open a curry joint, slightly indulging his love of food. Suresh then went on to pursue his Masters in Business Administration and proceeded to become a consultant for Fortune 500 companies in Singapore.   After being relocated, Suresh encountered difficulties in fostering bonds with his neighbours. He saw the lack of a convenient platform to do so, rose to the challenge to create easy access for neighbours to communicate with each other conveniently, and aimed to provide a platform for residential clusters to strengthen their social relationships, thus giving rise to the neighbourhood social app- Nearcircles.
Ujjwal Kumar, Senior Technical Evangelist, Microsoft Developer Experience & Evangelism (DX) Group
As Senior Technical Evangelist at the Microsoft Developer Experience & Evangelism (DX) Group, Ujjwal assists partners, startups and enterprises to adopt the latest technology platforms. With over 13 years of industry experience, he has extensively worked on C++, C#, Microsoft Azure, Windows Internals, Robotics Studio and game development. An avid technologist, Ujiwal is a prominent speaker and the co-founder of the IoT community and India Gamers Community
Dr William Wan, General Secretary, Singapore Kindness Movement
Dr. William Wan is the General Secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement. He is also a winner of the Active Ager Award (Council of the Third Age) 2011. Prior to taking on this role as General Secretary, he was practising law and managing a psychometric company. He has always been active in community-based work and believes that kindness breeds kindness.

Ideas

 

Check out the winning ideas from the HDB Cool Ideas Hack!

Chat platform that allows people to share information with other users, chat with people nearby, and engage in conversations based on mutual interests.

A location based app for residents to spontaneously connect with their neighbours. Users can create an activity with a click of a button and invite everyone near them.

Messaging tool that allows residents to connect with people near them (without requiring their contact details). The app also facilitates the creation and discovery of events and interest groups. Residents can filter chats based on criteria, like location, to view related chats.

A SG School Bot for easy networking. By interacting with the Bot on Social channel, parents can easily be grouped into clusters based on school location. Use cases include note sharing, car pooling and group tuition sessions.

Project Helen is a voice enabled technology for installation in lifts at HDB. No app or no website needed, Helen is an infrastructure enabler that engages residents with useful information and triggered conversations. Helen allows government agencies to connect to residents using voice.

An intelligent social running app that builds communities based on where you run.

Locopoly helps residents discover activities happening nearby. The virtual assistant sends users push notifications via Facebook messenger to share relevant activities with them.

Carpark management system that allows users to book parking lots in advance and provides directions to get there.

A mobile application that allows users to reconnect to hidden communities. Using three touch convenience, users can create, view and join public events. Location based targeting enables users to connect to relevant events. The app also focuses on private groups, allowing sustained relationships to flourish after public connections.

Dyscover, a web application for real time information curated for the community by the community. Using an intuitive, predictive analytic platform users can discover highly personalised news, information and events in their neighbourhood.

Hangout.SG – A mobile application that connects users to others in the neighbourhood based on similar interests. The app is primarily about connecting people through passions through location based targeting.

A mobile application using QR codes to receive vouchers. Users then have to “bump” phones with another user to be able to redeem the voucher. Users can also also “Shake it” to let someone else nearby receive the voucher, encouraging the spirit of giving.

A mobile app that allows users to discover open events that need more people, and also broadcast their own events using a Jio button. Jio maps all the facilities in an HDB area, and using an overlay of user data with publicly available data, can be used by Policy makers to make informed decisions.

Identify and target HDB influencers using big data to increase RC event attendance. They have created the HDB Influencer score, by analyzing data such as number of events attended, frequency of attendance, and exposure of network in local community to enable targeted marketing efforts to boost RC event attendance.

Prizes

HDB Cool Ideas Fund Winners for the HDB Cool Ideas Hack are eligible to apply for the HDB Cool Ideas Fund. To find out more about the fund, click here.

 

Start-up Category

First Prize

$3,000

First Prize

Second Prize

$2,000

Second Prize

Third Prize

$1,000

Third Prize

Open Category

First Prize

$3,000

First Prize

Second Prize

$2,000

Second Prize

Third Prize

$1,000

Third Prize

Best Use of Data

$1000

Best Use of Data

Awarded to the team that demonstrates the best use of the datasets released at the hackathon.

Best Tech

$1000

Best Hack

Awarded to the team that demonstrates the ‘best hack’, based on its technical difficulty and ‘Wow’ factor.

Best Design

$1000

Best Design

Awarded to the team with the best User Experience (UX) and / or User Interface (UI) design.

Student Category

First Prize

$2,000

First Prize

Second Prize

$1,000

Second Prize

Third Prize

$500

Third Prize

Best Use of Data

$500

Best Use of Data

Awarded to the team that demonstrates the best use of the datasets released at the hackathon.

Best Tech

$500

Best Hack

Awarded to the team that demonstrates the ‘best hack’, based on its technical difficulty and ‘Wow’ factor.

Best Design

$500

Best Design

Awarded to the team with the best User Experience (UX) and / or User Interface (UI) design.

FAQ

 

What is UP Singapore

“Urban Prototyping” is a new movement where people from the public, private and people sectors come together to tackle the wide range of social and environmental challenges facing our cities. Urban Prototyping (UP) is a platform managed by Padang & Co, the Open Innovation Company, for crowdsourcing ground-breaking innovations – creating technology and data-enabled enterprises by giving participants access to new technologies and data. At the heart of this platform is a UP Singapore community of 8,000 innovators and change-makers.

Do I need to be able to code to participate?

Not necessary. We welcome people with different skillsets and would expect everyone to contribute to their respective teams. We ask you to indicate what type of participant you are at registration, so we know the mix.

It’s my first UP Singapore hackathon. What exactly will happen during the hackathon weekend?

Our hackathons are intended to be a fun work event, where people volunteer their time to work on their ideas in teams. The hackathon starts on Friday. There is a pitch session that happens that evening. If you have an idea for a project, you can do a one-minute pitch to the audience to attract people to join your team.

The Saturday and most of Sunday is work time for the teams. On Saturday, mentors and resource persons are invited to come and help the teams develop their ideas. The weekend culminates in the team presentations on the Sunday afternoon, and prizes are awarded.

Participants are free to come and go as they please. But if you want to work on a team, please make sure you come on Friday evening to hear the pitches and join a team. If you are joining a team, please commit enough time, so that you are sharing the workload with your team mates.

Please also see the UP hackathon code of conduct and Terms of Participation that you will be required to sign at the hackathon in order to participate.

Check out the UP Singapore blog post “How to Hack a Hackathon” for tips and tricks to make the most of your hackathon experience here!

What is expected at the hackathon? What do I need to show at the final presentations on Sunday?

The goal of the hackathon is to build innovative, technology-based solutions that address the themes and challenges. You will need to present either a ‘working prototype’ of a technology solution (consumer or enterprise, where appropriate) or a data visualisation – but not just beautiful charts or cool pictures – that provides real insights, accompanied by at least one well-articulated, meaningful, use case that shows how the insights might be adopted and / or how the data can power a new application. We understand that one weekend is not a lot of time, and so are not expecting polished applications or hardware solutions. We’re looking for something that demonstrates your idea and goes beyond just a concept or presentation slides.

What is the judging criteria?

The judging criteria for the three categories can be found here.

Who owns the Intellectual Property rights for the ideas developed at the hackathon?

Our hackathons are governed by the Creative Commons license. For more details on this, please read the Terms of Participation that we require all participants to sign.

Is attendance at the pre-hackathon workshop mandatory? What is in the workshop?

Attendance is not mandatory, but is highly encouraged as it is a good primer for the hackathon. You can learn more about the themes; hear about the technologies or data that can help you with your solution; and connect with like-minded people and start sketching out some ideas. See here for the full programme for the three workshops.

How many people are allowed in a team? Must I form a team beforehand?

Teams need to be between 3 to 5 people. If you have more than 5 people, come speak to us to see if we can accommodate the additional members. You can form your team before the hackathon. But that is not necessary. You will have opportunities to meet people at the workshops and also a chance to pitch your idea and form a team at the hackathon kick-off on Friday evening, 24 June.

Are the participants free to use any technologies?

Yes, you are free to use any technologies. The IBM Bluemix and Microsoft Azure team will be present on Saturday, 25 June to provide support for teams using their respective cloud platforms. However, it is not compulsory to use these platforms. For those of you who intend to use any hardware as part of your solution, please bring the sensors, board, etc. that you need with you. You will also have a chance to head out to purchase hardware during the day on Saturday if needed.

Are the participants free to use external datasets?

Yes, you are free to use any external datasets that complement or mash-up with the datasets released for this hackathon. You shall be responsible appropriate use of these external datasets, subject to the originators’ terms and conditions. We have also curated a list of useful datasets that can be found here.

What is the closing date for registration for the hackathon?

Registration for the hackathon is now closed as we’re at full capacity.

Do the participants need to be present throughout the weekend? Must participants stay overnight?

There is no restriction on your movement. However, if you intend to participate in a team over the weekend, you should come to the kick-off on Friday evening, 24 June, since team formations happen then. The workspace will stay open till late on Saturday. But you are not required to work overnight!

Is there any age limit for the participants?

There is no age limit. We welcome anyone of any age, so long as they have something to contribute. However, if you are below 18 years old, please let us know ahead of time, so we can prepare a parental / guardian consent form for you.

Why do you need a deposit of $15 at registration?

The $15 deposit is only to ensure that participants remain committed to attend the hackathon. Once you check in at the hackathon on Saturday morning, the full amount will be refunded.

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