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Oct 12, 2016

Double victory for UID at the AAL Hackathon

Successful Hackathon premiere for UID: The UID teams took the first and second place at the AAL Hackathon "Hack for Ageing Well" on 25 and 26 September in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Within two days and a very short night, seven teams developed creative ideas for age-appropriate AAL solutions that are designed to help elderly people stay active, healthy and independent. Our award-winning project "Permanent Memories" brings generations together by turning digital photos into printable postcards.

"The Hackathon was a great experience for us. It was fascinating to witness what creative solutions interdisciplinary teams are able to come up with when they are away from their daily routine and given the necessary time and space to consequently pursue an idea," explains Martina Uhlig, who formed UID's AAL Hackathon team togethet with Stefan Hintz, Katrin Schäfers and Martin Ecker.

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Bringing generations together

The AAL Hackathon's challenge: developing product ideas that make the lives of elderly people easier and bring generations together, and transforming them into a prototype – all that within 29 hours. Thanks to the "Permanent Memories" project developed by Martina, Katrin and their team member Gerard, grandchildren can now share their special moments with their grandparents. Via web app, they can send digital photos, that are printed automatically at their homes as tangible picture postcards.

In order to visualize their idea, the team not only developed the web app but also a corresponding printer. Any memories sent via the app are also collected on a web platform that serves the entire family as a "memory database". The idea and the prototype developed by the UID team convinced the jury of experts: "Permanent Memoris" came in first, which meant that we were allowed to present the idea in two sessions at the "AAL Forum" convention, which took place at the same time.

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And we were also awarded the second prize: In Switzerland, there are many websites offering support in the country's different cantons, e. g. for people with addictions. In their "Social Data" project, Stefan, Martin and their team partner Markus collected such data and developed an easy-to-use search engine that enables users to search for
appropriate counseling services all over Switzerland. As opposed to "conventional" websites, their site doesn't present the search results as a list but displays them on a map.

We will integrate the ideas developed at the Hackathon into our everyday project work, continuing our work with the "Permanent Memories" project as part of our InterMem research project.