Consortium Launches Contest for Visionary M2M Ideas

A consortium of leading German organizations has launched a contest soliciting visionary ideas for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. Christened Ideabird, the consortium defines M2M as any technology that allows machines to communicate directly with each other.

“The project was originated by Deloitte in Germany, who provide thought leadership in the area of machine-to-machine communication (M2M), together with HYVE, a Deloitte partner and specialist in the area of innovation and community management. Deutsche Telekom joined the consortium, as has RWTH Aachen University, an academic partner of HYVE,” says Wolfgang Kathan of HYVE.

Rather than focus on short-term innovation, Ideabird is setting its sites on identifying ideas, concepts and trends that will emerge in the future. In addition to APIs we can expect special emphasis on location-based services, GPS, lightweight batteries and technologies that are critically associated with telecommunications.

Submissions will be accepted in a wide array of categories that include home, animals, sports, healthcare, security and others.

The contest will award $1,000, $3,000 and $5,000 US and submissions will be evaluated on their novelty, creativity and utility. There’s an additional $1000 prize for the best concept design.

While this is a competition, Ideabird is promoting crowd sourcing and collaboration. Entries are publicly shared on Ideapool, a community Platform where any registrant can comment upon or help refine submitted ideas.

“Active participation and discussion is encouraged and within one week more than 550 comments on ideas were contributed and more than 400 idea evaluations were submitted,” added Kathan.

Ideas submitted so far include a mobile app that feeds your cat when you are away from home, tracking devices for personal items, and remote sensors for optimizing the energy efficiency of urban street lights.

Submissions will be accepted through April 10, 2012 and winners will be announced in May.

Award winners will be invited to meet with industry leaders in Dusseldorf. Additionally, a larger group of selected participants will be invited to attend an innovation workshop in Aachen.