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Richardson To Host Smart Gigabit Cities Challenge For Local App Developers

On Thursday, Dec. 14, from 1-4 p.m., the City of Richardson will host a Smart Gigabit Cities Application Challenge event for app developers from the local high-tech ecosystem. This event, funded by two recent grants from the National Science Foundation’s US Ignite initiative, is designed to present software developers with a challenge to develop two gigabit applications that will provide advanced internet technology solutions to issues faced by the community.

The event will be held at the Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts and Corporate Presentations, Bank of America Hall, and detailed information about Richardson’s specific challenge to developers will be introduced that day. For more info, click here for details. You must register to participate by Tuesday, Dec. 12.

Richardson, Texas is one of more than 25 communities participating in US Ignite’s Smart Gigabit Communities program, a network of communities nationwide that have each committed to leveraging next-generation smart city and Internet technologies to keep pace with the world’s rapidly changing, information technology-driven economy. Each community also agrees to share their prototype gigabit applications with other communities in the network, but the application developer retain all IP rights to their application while sharing their apps under a licensing agreement with those other communities.

Similar to a hack-a-thon, this development challenge event will provide developers with the goals of the project, the list of resources and tools at their disposal for developing gigabit-capable applications, and cash prizes to be awarded to the two grand prize winners of $10,000 each for the top two application ideas and working prototypes. Unlike a hack-a-thon, this program will not be a weekend or all-nighter event, but will present the information and the timeframe required to submit a proposal for consideration and delivery of a working prototype application. A panel of judges will review all proposals submitted and select a group of finalists who will pitch their application idea and development plans to the judges, from which two will be selected to receive the two $10,000 awards.

In addition, plans are being developed to use some of US Ignite’s recent grants to Richardson for software designed network (SDN) education and training sessions on tools and resources available for development of Smart Gigabit Cities internet applications. Such applications are capable of handling 1-10 gigabits per second data transmissions with low latency responses. These informational and training events will be held several times throughout next year to reach as many local developers as possible.

As part of a US Ignite grant, a GENI rack (Global Environment for Network Innovations technology) has been installed on The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) campus in Richardson. This equipment will allow the community to test applications and share with other US Ignite communities. In addition, LED street lights with HD cameras, audio microphones and other sensors have been donated by iWire365 and Anixter to be used for smart city/smart campus application development. This is the second such competition hosted by Richardson. Of the two winners from the last challenge, one prototype has already been developed and approved: the UT Dallas team’s Emotive Virtual Reality Patient System. This application will allow medical students to practice strategic, clinical communications skills with “virtual” patients, while at the same time affording professors and other subject matter experts opportunities for real-time remote review and assessment.

The Richardson Economic Development Partnership, a joint effort of the City of Richardson and Richardson Chamber of Commerce, first partnered with UT Dallas in June of 2013 to join US Ignite, with the goal of fostering development of next-generation, high-bandwidth, low-latency fiber optic network applications. The community’s participation in US Ignite is expected to yield significant technological advancements and economic development benefits for North Texas. With the help of researchers at UT Dallas, the initiative has already resulted in several such applications being conceived and prototyped.