Monday, December 22, 2014

MCC Partner News: AT&T Tech Challenges Inspire Apps for Safety and Accessibility

AT&T Tech Challenges Inspire Apps for Safety and Accessibility

Marissa Shorenstein 
New York State President, AT&T 

Dear Friends:

AT&T not only keeps New Yorkers connected, we work hard to keep you safe as well!
Technology and talent are critical to our efforts. Right now we are tapping into the amazing talent of developers to use the newest technology to keep New Yorkers safe, whether they are walking the streets of the city, biking, driving, or taking the subway.


Connected Intersections 

Do you cross the street while looking at your phone? Not if you have the grand prize winning “Tug,” an app created by students from Cornell Tech that’s synchronized with cross walk signals and alerts pedestrians walking into crosswalks to look up. Tug is one of several experimental apps that earned a prize in AT&T’s Connected Intersections traffic safety tech innovation challenge.

AT&T believes mobile technologies can keep people safe and connected with each other on the city’s crowded streets. That’s why AT&T partnered with the NYC Department of Transportation, NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering and the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation to create Connected Intersections. 
 AT&T New York Tug App

Developers from around the world joined the four-month challenge to create mobile and wearable technologies that utilize wireless networks and smart phone technologies to connect pedestrians, cyclists and motorists and alert them to potential dangers.  Forty-five teams from 13 countries and 26 U.S. states submitted apps and wearable devices for consideration. Eight teams shared prizes totaling $50,000. In addition to Tug, the Popular Choice award went to “Drowsy Detector,” which employs facial recognition technology to alert a sleepy driver
AT&T’s leadership in creating this challenge builds on our company’s campaign to end texting-while-driving and extends our commitment to traffic safety to everyone sharing the streets. Click here or on the image below to see the video.

AT&T New York Connected Intersections video 

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MTA AppQuest 

AT&T New York App Quest

In November, AT&T and the MTA announced App Quest 3.0, another app challenge this time focused on helping individuals with disabilities navigate New York’s transit system.
We partnered with the MTA, Transit Wireless, the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress and Challenge Post to give developers the opportunity to use beacons under the Grand Central Terminal-42nd Street subway station to provide smart phone apps with navigational cues for navigating the station.
To use the beacons, riders would download an app that communicates with the beacons continuously underground. 

To jump-start the innovation, AT&T and the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress hosted a “Transit Tech Developer Day” with the MTA on Saturday, Nov. 22, attracting dozens of developers. We awarded three teams $500 prizes for presenting promising concepts for apps that will hopefully encourage others to compete for $50,000 in prizes to be awarded in March 2015. 

These innovations demonstrate how mobile technologies are transforming our everyday lives in ways we’ve only begun to explore. Traffic safety, accessibility for the disabled and optimizing transit commutes are examples of the power smart phones and wireless networks can bring to public services, and we’re committed to collaborating with the public sector and leading computer scientists to make these visions a reality.  

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