Telenor hosts first Narrow Band-IoT Hackathon in Norway

On 2-4 November, 2018, Telenor Group’s Start IoT programme hosted the very first Narrow Band-IoT (NB-IoT) hackathon in Norway. A total of 35 students from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) spent the weekend working on solutions for monitoring indoor and outdoor air quality.

Written: Nov 2018

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Internet of Things (IoT) is one of Telenor Group’s key strategic areas. Telenor Research aims to stimulate IoT innovation in Norway through its Start IoT program where students and entrepreneurs are supported with NB-IoT development tools and network infrastructure, in order to explore and test new generation IoT product ideas.

The students were recruited from different NTNU departments and worked in teams during the programme to develop air quality monitoring solutions. They were given access to the newly launched NB-IoT network by Telenor Norway, Telenor Connexion’s Managed IoT cloud platform (MiC) and NB-IoT compatible Arduino MKR 1500 development kits.

Award for most innovative solution

At the close of the event, three teams were awarded NOK 5,000 by the panel of judges consisting of professionals from Telenor, NTNU and Wireless Trondheim.  The award for most innovative solution was given to the “Clair” team. They developed a holistic concept assuring high air quality inside office buildings using machine learning algorithms to optimize air conditioning and ventilation systems based on input from an array of Co2 and dust sensors deployed inside the facilities.

Best business idea

The award for best business idea was given to the “Awair” team. They developed a solution for monitoring mould and fungus formation inside buildings deploying C02 (carbon dioxide) and dust sensors inside rooms and walls presenting the results for the customers online or just as notifications when threshold values are exceeded. Private residences and rental housing owners are their target customer segments. Partnering up with insurance companies is one of the important elements in the business model.

Best presentation

The reward for best presentation was given to the “Trivastmago” team for a solution offering an objective indoor air quality score based on dust sensors deployed inside hotel rooms. The presented a funny Trivago look-a-like “commercial” video presenting their concept.

“This hackathon has been a perfect opportunity to work with students and professionals from NTNU and Telenor on innovative digital solutions,” says Anita Fjuk from Digital Norway, who supervised the students on how to include user insight in the design of the solution.

An educational and enjoyable weekend

NTNU students Aksel Gundersen and Sondre Tagestag, both from the Awair team, appreciated very much the presentations from NAAF region Mid Norway on how poor air quality affects people with asthma and other allergic problems. They were also excited about prototyping novel IoT solutions for real use cases with the state of the art Start IoT development tools and network from Telenor. Aksel and Sondre are determined to continue working with their solution with the aim of commercializing it into the Norwegian market. They have already experience from other product development and commercialization projects at NTNU.

Aksel Gundersen and Sondre Tagestad from NTNU Elsys, 3rd class
Aksel Gundersen and Sondre Tagestad from NTNU Elsys, 3rd class

The hackathon was organized by Telenor Research with local partners Wireless Trondheim and NTNU Department of Electronic systems (Elsys), and with participation from Digital Norway.