Hackney Starts Olympic Crowdsourced App Race

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Local council’s app competition will showcase Hackney and East London to the world next year

Hackney Council, Shoreditch and IC tomorrow have launched a competition to crowdsource apps to guide visitors around East London during the Olympic Games next year.

The initiative is part of a wider plan to expand London’s Tech City to expand to Hackney Wick as part of the Olympic legacy.

Olympic Legacy

The Apps, which will preferably be an Android, iOS, Blackberry or web app, are designed to help journalists and visitors navigate East London. There will be five categories of application – finding your way, making connections, citizen journalism, fun and games and wild card – with gold, silver and bronze medals up for grabs in each.

The first eight viable submissions in each section will go through to the next round and will be tested by members of the IC (a government-funded initiative of the Technology Strategy Board) before they are due to completed in April 2012. Tech sector peers will then assess the apps, with the winners announced at the Digital Shoredtich festival in May.

Competitors will retain the intellectual property and commercial rights during the race and will work with a number of mentors including the UK Trade and Investment Agency and Vodafone.

The race is designed to show off Hackney when it welcomes an unprecedent level of visitors to the borough and provides an opportunity for local app developers to impress. Hackney will be host to the Olympic international broadcast and main press centres, which will provide employment space when the games are completed.

It is hoped that this will encourage the  Tech City in Shoreditch, also known as Silicon Roundabout, expand to the Olympic park.

Crowdsourcing, a concept which allows a company to ask a group of outsiders to perform a task which would usually be done by an employee or a contractor, has been used for a number of causes, such as creating public transport pressure groups and the government’s online petition website.

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