On 23-25th of November, a global community of over 1,000 hackers gathered together in Finland, Espoo in Junction 2018 – Europe’s biggest hackathon. What an amazing event it was! Ericsson was one of the major partners this year with 3 Smart challenges in their Smart Cloud track : Signaling Heroes, Threat Intelligence FTW and Saved by IoT. SOFIE was also present at the Ericsson stand, with participants from Aalto and Ericsson supporting hackathon teams, networking across the event and enjoying the spectacular atmosphere.
One could see from the different challenges and interesting discussions with various people that the interest in blockchain and DLT is broadening from cryptocurrencies to industrial use in different domains, and a healthy transition from hype to “what problems can this technology actually solve” is happening. Sure, there were blockchain-specific challenges also this year, but mostly blockchain was part of the challenges as an alternative choice of technology in IoT and finance but also other industry domains.
Looking at the fundamental problem statement for SOFIE - enabling trusted controls for siloed IoT applications to interoperate – it is safe to say that for many of the Junction 2018 challenges SOFIE would have been relevant or spot on. Why “would have”? Well, this year Junction came still a bit too early for SOFIE thinking of what assets we could have provided for the hackathon teams (the first SOFIE code is actually now available on Github!). So, for us it was a learning and preparation exercise for the next year. Let’s start the planning towards Junction 2019 well in advance and secure a SOFIE challenge in the event next November!
Oh, the winners of the Ericsson Smart Cloud track developed a Bluetooth enabled device with long battery life deployed with drones, using mesh network for crisis communication for the Saved by IoT challenge. Well done! Could blockchain have been part of the solution? Perhaps not. Or…?