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This weekend DCU played host to, and PCH sponsored, a fantastic Hardware Hackathon. Over the course of just 2 and a quarter days a lot went on! Ideas were pitched, products were worked on, and presentations were given in front of an audience of industry pros.

In case you didn’t get the chance to pop along yourself I’ve put together a list of the top 3 projects as ranked by the elite judging panel.

3rd place: Eco.pulse

Eco pulse

Coming in at 3rd place was Eco.pulse with a piece of hardware designed to read water quality and alert home owners if their water supply becomes compromised by chemicals/compounds.

Pitched (expertly by @taraannosaur) as “smart rural”, Eco.pulse is aimed at rural households that are not connected to mains water and instead draw their water from wells which could easily become contaminated with runoff from farming activities.

Aside from selling units directly to customers Eco.pulse also plan to sell water quality data to relevant governmental departments who are tasked with doing water quality testing (but at the moment only do it at an impractically slow rate)

ecopulse 2

2nd place: HomeBox


We’ve all been there. Waiting at home for the delivery man to bring us a package between “12-5” or some other outrageously vague timeline. To put it lightly, it’s not a great user experience… Well HomeBox aims to make that history.

The smart (and sturdy) box would be mounted to the outside of a property, and only users with permission (such as deliverers) would be able to open the box and leave the package within it. The box is fitted with cameras that will photograph both the box opener, and the inside of the box to confirm that a package is actually there. Upon closing of the box a message would be sent to the box/home owner telling them their package has arrived. The box also comes equipped with a small compartment for household keys for the usage with the likes of AirBnB.

It was pointed out that this would also help delivery companies reduce the amount of packages they end up having to redeliver (circa 10%), and would mean they could actually deliver 24/7

The idea was pitched so well on the day by @ciaranmag that I’m convinced that I want this in my life, NOW!


The team behind HomeBox

1st Place: Pharmalytics


Most people think of pharmacies as stocking mostly dry stuff (powders, tablets), that will last for years on end at room temperature. Well as @Tracy_Keogh informed us,  it turns out that pharmacies also stock very temperature and time sensitive medicines that are extremely high value that can be ruined very easily. (Even a small pharmacy might have €30k of stock in a fridge)

At the moment temperature and stock shelf life is recorded manually for the most part, Pharmalytics aims to automate these measurements and make life a lot easier, and a lot less risky for pharmacists.

The hardware itself comes in the form of shelf inserts that can easily be added to existing fridge units and contains both pressure sensitive and temperature sensitive sensors. In the event of the temperature exceeding safe limits an alert will be sent to the relevant people instantly.

It was suggested in the future RFID tags could be used to give further depth to stocking data available.

Better call... Pharmalytics

Better call… Pharmalytics

Aside from the top 3 the standard across the board was amazing and I think at the end of the day with events like this everyone from organiser to participant to attendee on the final day comes out winning.

Also, if you want a quick idea about what the other projects were check out the whiteboard below, nice one liners about what was on show!

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