Snapdragon Spaces Blog

XR and 5G mmWave hackathon challenge in Tampere, Finland

For three days, the Finnish city of Tampere became the hub of the university and start-up developers, who took part in the first-ever Snapdragon Spaces hackathon. Participants had the chance to use state-of-art smart glasses powered by Snapdragon to design new use cases and leverage 5G mmWave connectivity and extended reality (XR).

OCTOBER, 24, 2022

Organized by Qualcomm Europe, the City of Tampere, Elisa Networks, Nokia, CGI, and Ultrahack, the hackathon presented a unique opportunity for local developers to compete and make the best out of the future “Europe’s fastest city” 5G mmW rich data infrastructure, including the iconic Nokia arena. Completed with ten independent teams of developers with various profiles, the event set out multiple goals. First, to enable developers to unlock capacities of fast mmW network. Secondly, to let participants apply XR as a new UI medium and use open data sets the city of Tampere has provided — all while using Snapdragon Spaces™ SDK and DevKit consisting of Lenovo ThinkReality A3 smart glasses and Motorola edge+ smartphone. With just two days and no prior experience working with Snapdragon Spaces SDK, all the teams could develop and demonstrate the potential of XR and 5G mmWave capabilities through innovative project ideas.

The hackathon started on Friday with onboarding, an opening session, and focused mentoring. Participants were briefed on the pitch and expected deliverables on the second day. Afterward, sessions interchanged with mentoring, checkpoints, and visiting the Nokia area for the 5G area for mmWave testing. Sunday, the event’s final day, was spent at the arena, where participants had a chance to do the final testing, get the mentor’s input and prepare for the pitch and presentation round. The jury consisted of Steve Lukas, Director of Product Management for Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Pekka Sundstorm, Nokia Head of Strategy Execution Europe, Teppo Rantanen, Executive Director at the City of Tampere, and Taavi Mattila, Business Lead at Elisa.

To succeed at the final pitch and demo, participating teams were asked to present concepts that will use the Tampere city data set over fast connectivity including 5G mmW, integrate XR, stand out from already existing solutions and bring additional value to the target audience. The teams were also expected to think through the ease of deployment and utilize Snapdragon Spaces SDK and Hardware Developer Kit, apart from other criteria. Two out of three winning teams leveraged user-generated content in their use cases, while all of them utilized open datasets made available by the city of Tampere. Tampere’s 3D “twin-city” model was particularly popular. Teams thought through how they would utilize 5G mmW both for data retrieval and content upload of user-generated and other content at scale in a multi-user, city-wide deployment.

The concept of Tampere xRT revolved around city location-based art installation and platform. The team delivered an impressive combination of pitch, idea, and implementation. Whispers of Tampere presented the idea of sneaking audio snippets into the city park, allowing people to interact with the city and each other. Audio messages can be placed at any city location and then discovered and retrieved by others. The third winner, AR Digital Spaces presented an idea of dynamic AR showrooms with an immersive ad-based concept. The jury was impressed with an effective combination of various technologies in one app that promised to make ads more engaging and purposeful. Another two participating teams received honorary mentions: ARenify for their promise to transform sports experiences and Public Commuter for the concept aimed to make the city transport network more accessible and inclusive.

All the winning concepts involved integration with XR, cloud-hosted UGC, fast connectivity including 5G mmW for at-scale, city-wide use, as well as audio recording features on Android, Azure Kinect, and web-based portals for managing content. The first of the many Snapdragon Spaces hackathons to come, the event has provided an immense learning experience for all parties in co-designing for the upcoming Metaverse era. The City of Tampere is already exploring the possibility of leveraging some of the ideas and teams as part of many smart city activities. At the same time, the project participants plan to apply for European funding to help expand the 5G mmWave network outside the arena and explore bringing hackathon ideas to the citizens of Tampere.

Snapdragon Spaces Developer team in collaboration with Qualcomm Europe

Snapdragon Spaces is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.