Sigfox Launches Chicago Hacking House With Smart-City Focus

The program will kick off on June 4 at the Chicago Connectory, where attendees will be introduced to Sigfox, its use cases and the Hacking House program.
Published: June 10, 2019

Sigfox U.S.A., the U.S. network operator for global 0G network provider Sigfox, has announced that its second U.S. installment of Hacking House will be hosted at the Chicago Connectory, a co-working and incubator space for those in the Internet of Things (IoT) industry. The program will kick off with an event on June 4 at the Connectory, where attendees will be introduced to Sigfox and its use cases, as well as to the Hacking House program and this class’s participants.

Sigfox’s Hacking House program is designed to provide students and young professionals with intensive IoT and Sigfox technology training, giving them the tools and skills they need to develop IoT solutions that can address real-world problems. Throughout the 12-week program, 15 Hacking House participants will work closely with Sigfox engineers and local IoT professionals to develop IoT-powered solutions that can enable smart cities. The program will close with a demonstration day on Aug. 23, when the participants will present their solutions to a panel of judges who will evaluate each project based on disruption and feasibility criteria.

This latest installment of Hacking House builds off the success of the inaugural program, the company reports, which took place in San Francisco in the fall of 2018. Participants in the first program developed projects that addressed a variety of issues, ranging from a solution that tracked when seals on shipping containers were removed inappropriately to one that alerts firefighters when wildfire breaks out.

Sigfox chose Chicago for its second installment due to the wide pool of talent from local universities—the majority of the participating students attend local schools, including the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Technology and Northwestern University—as well as accelerators and incubators, in addition to the company’s existing network presence in the city. For instance, Sigfox and Louis Vuitton offer a luggage tracker that allows passengers to track their checked luggage at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports. Sigfox also provides local hotels with IoT connectivity to enable panic buttons that can transmit critical safety information, following an ordinance set by the City of Chicago to enhance hotel worker safety.

“As a former Hacking House participant, I can personally attest to the impact and importance this program has on young people interested in the IoT,” said Alberto Mannil, Sigfox’s U.S. Hacking House manager, in a prepared statement. “Hacking House provides participants with the opportunity to gain deep, firsthand knowledge about the industry and to develop new, innovative ideas for leveraging its power to solve the world’s problems.”

“I’m excited to participate in the Hacking House because it gives me the freedom to explore a certain problem and try to solve it my way,” added Hacking House participant Justin Thomas in the prepared statement. “Using Sigfox and working with people from different backgrounds and even different nationalities is very appealing to me. Everything is new. I’m interested in IoT because having experience in the medical industry and seeing the potential of wearables and IoT in general makes me want to deepen my knowledge and further hone my skills while developing a solution that can make a difference in the world.”

Kevin McQuown, a technical mentor at Windy City Lab, added in the statement: “IoT continues to explode in a plethora of different industries, many of which are located right here in Chicago. Expertise in IoT requires a broad skill set from Cloud Computing to firmware development, hardware design, wireless technologies and power technologies, just to name a few. The Sigfox Hacking House brings together mentors and a creative working environment to help the next generation of professionals succeed in this vast and growing field.”