For the second year in a row, AT&T’s M2M Application Platform (M2MAP) has been the underlying enabler of a number of finalists — and was a primary tool used by category grand winners at the AT&T Hackathon & Developer Summit. This underscores the fact that M2MAP makes it easy for rapid development of high-functioning application use cases. Developers at the Hackathon had an array of API tools available; however, those who choose to develop using M2MAP often found themselves finalists or winners in their categories. Why is that? What gave these particular developers a better chance at winning?

M2M rules engine shortens development time

M2MAP gave developers more power, offering APIs as well as a powerful M2M data rules engine that allows for easy “If-x-Then-y” logical scripting to enhance the application use case being developed. With this capability, developers can take a much more sophisticated approach in their presentation to the Hackathon judges. The typical 24-hour cycle does not allow the developer to create a robust solution, while M2MAP compresses development time, allowing developers to build more features and capabilities into their applications.

Winner SafeNecklace keeps track of students on field trips

Of the 112 teams who competed in the AT&T Hackathon, SafeNecklace was the grand prize winner in this year’s new Wearables category. In 24 hours, the team was able to create a fully-functional application that processed micro geo-location data to solve a real-world problem: losing track of children on field trips. The SafeNecklace team did not have the luxury of focusing only on application development. They also had to integrate wearable necklaces that contained a specialized, small, Bluetooth beacon for teachers and students that would broadcast immediate, critical, location data into the M2M (machine-to-machine) application platform. The application had to render the identified child profile data quickly onto a teacher’s smartphone as an alert that the child has moved away from the overall group.

IoT – A shift toward talking machines

This type of use case is also illustrative of a rapid shift over the last year toward the Internet of Things (IoT), where apps leverage M2M data exchanges. While previous Hackathons saw a majority of apps that were smartphone-centric, this year showed a trend toward IoT-centric innovations — from interactive pillows to specialized, colored lighting to help guide firefighters to people trapped in buildings. These new and interesting solutions rely on machines talking to machines to deliver unique value. This Hackathon also spotlights the overall trend of organizations leveraging M2M data to deliver greater value to their lines of business within the enterprise. These new IoT applications are heavily driven by enterprises on a global scale, with connected device strategies in healthcare — for remote home patient monitoring — to household or industrial appliances that proactively report on changes in their operational functioning in real time.

The pressure to drive innovation

The pressure-filled atmosphere of the Hackathon reflects the pressure shareholders place on today’s enterprises to deliver greater value to customers. The increase in innovative, connected products — and the need to bring them to market in a compressed time will continue. A one-year product development cycle is no longer sustainable in this rapidly changing global marketplace.

The Developer Summit & Hackathon’s winning developers have demonstrated the art of the possible by leveraging AT&T’s M2M application platform — with more than 4.5 million lines of code and decades of built-in M2M best practices – to drive innovation. The Summit was an exciting indicator where the overall market is heading.

What do you see on tap for the future of development? Is your enterprise exploring the art of the possible in M2M?