5G Hackathon Grand Prix winner Augumenta: "Augmented Reality revolutionizes work and leisure, right now"

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Challenge

Augumenta won the Oulu 5GFWD Hackathon's Grand Prix prize and 10,000 euros in early June. Augumenta, a company specialized in Augmented Reality solutions, took part in Nokia's challenge at the hackathon.

"Nokia's challenge track was a clear choice, seeing as Augumenta is specialized exactly in industry Augmented Reality. The conversations and Nokia factory tour we had during the hackathon deepened our understanding of the expectations towards Nokia's 5G factory. Still, it was a long and rough weekend", Augumenta's CTO Peter Antoniac recounts the weekend's ambiance.

"Originally we had four ideas for the challenge, but the right solution and focus were found quickly upon meeting Nokia's people. It was a whole lot of coding and challenges to overcome in 48 hours. Our work was made easier with Augumenta's own product platform, upon which we tailored our solution for Nokia's challenge", Augumenta's Harri Kovalainen summarizes.

AR arrives industry first

Augmented Reality, AR for short, and Virtual Reality are already real in industry. They can help e.g. increase productivity and safety, and reduce mistakes.

"Augmented Reality development is still firmly based on industry clients' needs, but at the same time system manufacturers develop consumer solutions. Light, eyeglass-like, comfortable AR glasses are not far off. And when they arrive, large-volume consumer market opens up", Augumenta's CEO Tero Aaltonen says.

Augumenta: 100% export

Augumenta's homebase is Oulu, despite being made up of talent from Oulu, Taiwan and Japan. Tero Aaltonen, who lives in Taiwan, says global business doesn't concern itself with where you're based, but Oulu is a splendid environment for developing both products and business.

"Oulu has a highly talented cooperative company network and ecosystem. The university does research in topics related to our business, and that is partially where Augumenta stems from. I think it is great for Oulu region that coordinated efforts e.g. at expos help smaller companies reach larger markets and growth paths. Internationality is natural here, all of our customers are international for example. Of course it would be great to help Finnish industry as well", Aaltonen says.

A delayed Grand Prix victory

"It was a wonderful moment when the phone rang three weeks after 5GFWD Hackathon and we got the news of winning the Grand Prix after all", Peter Antoniac recalls.

Excitement was indeed abound. Augumenta's team won their challenge track at the hackathon and was a front runner to win the Grand Prix. The prize eventually went to another team. But competitions have their drama – so did the hackathon. The original winner did not stand further scrutiny and was deemed not to follow hackathon rules, the judges reconvened, and ultimately Augumenta was announced the rightful winner.

"Winning the Grand Prix was indeed grand. But most important for us in the hackathon was to get to discuss directly with clients, solve their challenges, and to explore different production methods. And even if you don't win, the feedback from mentors and judges is vital for participants. You can learn a great deal from it", Kovalainen says gratefully.

What is Oulu 5GFWD Hackathon?

Oulu 5GFWD Hackathon is an intense development competition organized by the city of Oulu together with Nokia, Telia, Oulu University Hospital and chosen partners. In the Hackathon teams utilized 5G technology to develop solutions to the challenges given by Nokia, Telia and Oulu University Hospital. 70 coders and other experts of various elds took part on the event. The hackathon took place in June 9-11 2017 in Tellus Innovation Arena in Oulu University.

Ultrahack and BusinessOulu handled practical arrangements of Oulu 5GFWD Hackathon.