The winner Pauline O’Callaghan, on the left, receives the prize money from Professor Dorothy Monekosso, Leeds Beckett University

The winner of the second MONICA hackathon, Pauline O’Callaghan, impressed the judges with her augmented hearing solution that enables stadium visitors to control their auditory environment during games.

Imagine turning down the volume of the game when wanting to hear what your friend is saying next to you and turning it up again when finished listening. This was one of several use cases that Pauline O’Callaghan presented at the Leeds Beckett Hackathon – Hackingley which took place on 26th to 28th October 2018 in Leeds.

High standard solutions

With the impressive Emerald Headingly Stadium as the scene for the hackathon, seven teams from Finland, Germany, Spain and UK worked on the challenge of designing digital technologies that could help enhance sports fan engagement and experience at the stadium.

The teams worked extremely hard to create what turned out to be very good solutions for the stadium. In general, the standard was extremely high and the judging difficult’, explains Dorothy Monekosso, Professor of Computer Science at Leeds Beckett University which was one of the organisers.

The hackathon started with a tour of the stadium and an introduction to areas where creative solutions could improve the fan experience.

Hearability for all

However, at the close of the event, it was Pauline O’Callaghan, a young electronic engineer from Berlin, who scooped the €5000 prize money with her winning solution ‘Hearability’, an augmented hearing device for spectators with the mission of giving everyone control over their auditory environment, making events safer and more inclusive to all.

The judges, including innovation and technical experts as well as stadium and project representatives, were impressed by the inclusivity aspect and the variety of possible use cases inside the stadium and elsewhere.

As part of the prize, Pauline O’Callaghan will now receive six months of business support from MONICA to help her progress her winning prototype.

Picture of group of people

The MONICA hackathon was organised by Leeds Beckett University and Emerald Headingly Stadium with support from IoT Tribe, an accelerator for start-ups based in Barnsley near Leeds.