Lee Duffield

Edited by Lee Duffield
Freedom and Truth

Brisbane ‘innovation camp’ yields smartphone ideas

Designers hard at work during the Innovation Camp.  Photo Courtesy of City Studios.

Designers hard at work during the Innovation Camp. Photo Courtesy of City Studios.

Technical and creative IT designers were at Brisbane’s City Studios on the weekend to showcase their entrepreneurship and creative flair in the city’s first Innovation Camp.

Camp organiser Chris Hood said it was a great success.

“The camp was fantastic,” he said.

“We were aiming to promote design thinking in the form of a commercially viable product that’s beneficial for society.

“The effort the participants showed was amazing.”

The camp began last Friday night, with participants arriving at the Burnett Lane studios.

They broke into two groups, each with technical and graphical members.

Sleep was given a low priority as the groups then worked hard over the next two days to brainstorm ideas for an innovative product to be launched on Sunday afternoon.

HfreeO project

One of the projects, HfreeO, is a smartphone application that directs the user to nearby sources of clean, free water.

In some cases it eliminates the need to buy bottled water.

Tim Smith, one of five HfreeO team members said his group would be looking to take the idea into production.

“The next step involves getting the group back together to sit down and see where we’re at,” he said.

The team that designed HfreeO is made up of technical people to write the code and ensure the program functions, while the marketing team is in charge of press releases into the creative side of the product.

“It was a real challenge to work under such time constraints,” Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith said the group will face difficulties, including how to present the information without promoting poor quality drinking water.

However, he is still enthusiastic about the possibilities ahead.

“The plan is to go global eventually, I couldn’t be sure of a time frame to get (HfreeO) up and running, that’s one of the things we’ll discuss,” Mr Smith said.

“I’d have no hesitation participating in another Innovation Camp.”

Smokefree idea

Smokefree, a tool to help the user quit smoking, was another idea for a smartphone application to come from the weekend.

Essentially an aid to a person’s willpower, the program aims to use positive reinforcement and incentives to help the user increase the time they can last without smoking.

Blake Jakopovic was part of the team behind the brainchild.

“The initial concept uses game mechanics, points and a leader board to help quitting become a competition; either against yourself, a friend or smokers at a similar stage,” Mr Jakopovic said.

The Smokefree application is not currently online.

“The project started at one o’clock on the morning of the presentation, so at this stage it’s very crude,” Mr Jakopovic said.

Mr Jakopovic started on Smokefree after originally working on a website idea, Fun2help.

The website connects volunteers with event organisers and was on track to get developed, with time to spare.

Mr Jakopovic, with the help of some others, then decided put his energy towards Smokefree.

“The idea had a lot of interest after the presentation, several other participants said they’d be keen to take it further,” Mr Jakopovic said.

“We’ll be meeting with them soon to discuss thoughts, visions and what’s next.”

The three-man judging panel, made up of industry professionals, commended all three projects for being socially beneficial as well as great business ideas.

Organisers say another Innovation Camp is being planned.