Realo wins “Smartest City App” contest

The rockstar team representing Realo in the Mapps for Ghent challenge.

A few weeks ago a team of Realo engineers participated in the Mapps for Ghent hackathon.

Wait, that’s not right.

A few weeks ago, 5 engineers and a disoriented VP Marketing from Realo participated in the Mapps for Ghent hackathon and won the Smart Cities App contest.

How did that happen?

A nasty problem

If Ghent was ever married with its’ parking spots by now they would’ve had a nasty separation. With an ever expanding car free city center, finding a parking spot close to the city center is no easy feat.

Typical human looking for a parking spot in Ghent.

Tourists and visitors of Ghent are pretty well accommodated by underground parkings and the combination of parkings outside the center with public transport. But for people living in the center of Ghent, finding a parking spot near their front door is nearly impossible.

An elegant solution

Parkiet, a mobile app, would be able to tell you at a glance where and how many parking spots are available. Not just in underground parkings — that information is already available as open data — but also on the street.

After all, these street parking spots are most wanted by inhabitants of Ghent.

How it works, a birds’ eye view

Parkiet would connect with camera’s attached to street lights. These cameras can detect whether or not a parking spot is available.

Technically, that’s the main thing we focused on during the hackaton. Building the POC for a camera detecting available parking spots. You can see how far we got in the video below:

In the mean time, our VP Marketing created a presentation and script that was so good it would’ve won us the award even if the POC had failed.

And now?

But the best thing was coming back to the office and working on even bigger technical challenges. If that sounds like something you get excited about, check out our available jobs or drop by for a coffee.