Britain takes pole position in first F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize challenge

Tata Communications, the Official Connectivity Provider of Formula 1, has announced that two UK entrants have been selected as winners of the F1 Connectivity Innovation ‘Challenge One’. The prize is a three-part crowdsourcing platform for connectivity innovation that engages international brainpower against the demanding backdrop of Formula 1 racing over the 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship season.

The two UK entrants overtook international competition to take pole position following an extensive judging process by a panel including Formula One Management’s chief technical officer John Morrison and Tata Communications’ managing director of F1Business, Mehul Kapadia. Both winning ideas feature open application programming interfaces (APIs), representative of a broader industry recognition of the potential of open-APIs and a web-based approach to connectivity innovation.

The first of three challenges, announced in the lead-up to the 2014 F1 Santander British Grand Prix, called for demonstrations of new and insightful information that can be derived from Formula One Management’s live data feeds. Additionally, contenders were asked to create a visual package for this new information in order to add suspense and excitement to the audience experience.

The first winning entry came from Individual entrant Chris Thelwell. The idea: to create a new open-source data humanisation service that brings the data to life. It does this by taking an XML feed from the F1data set and comparing it to historical data and significant events through logic statements, attaching metadata to each story and delivering a story feed via an API platform for services to disseminate the story via a variety of channels. The feeds not only deliver to mobile devices for fans, but also wearable technology for track-side technical and engineering staff and audible screen reading technology for blind and partially-sighted fans.

The second winner is a team of Ben Lambert, Will Horner-Glister, Mike Albers and Fabian Birgfeld from W12 Studios. The idea: segmenting consumption of the F1data set by user groups: ‘The Team’, ‘The Enthusiasts’ and ‘The Fans’. Each solution is tailored to separate audience’s needs: an API and web-based feed prioritising readability and user-control for engineers and race officials in high stress situations; a fully interactive and personalised circular graphic language for the enthusiast’s individual consumption needs; and finally, a simplified version for fans that highlights key data in a format that is accessible via mobile devices and connected televisions.

Both winning entrants will each receive VIP trips for two to the glamorous Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco 2015. Furthermore, they are automatically entered into the race for the overall Grand Prize of USD $50,000 at the end of the 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship where they will compete against the winners of the next two challenges. The next challenges will be announced exclusively on Tata Communications’ F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize web site on September 3 and October 29 2014.

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