PEOPLE | Sep 24, 2018

Gathering of ideas with a hackathon on augmented and immersive reality

On September 27 and 28 in Orvieto, #TIMBoxHackathon, Mixed Reality programming marathon

30 hours non-stop. Forty developers, designers, business developers and communication experts between the ages of 18 and 35 are invited to gather in Orvieto to devise innovative services and apps, able to apply augmented and immersive reality to the contents provided by the TIM Set Top Box, a decoder that allows users to better enjoy content and services by offering an engaging experience.

#TIMBoxHackathon, a TIM and Engineering initiative, aims to stimulate not only the gathering of new ideas but also the search for new talent. “With this initiative, says Gianluca Polegri, Digital Solutions director at Engineering, we intend to enhance not only new ideas but people and their skills. This is demonstrated by the fact that the first prize is a six month internship with Engineering”.

Participants will work in teams comprising different skills and profiles, from the developer to the communicator, and will be guided by a mentor who can accompany them from the conception to the presentation phase of work done.

Why a Hackaton?

Hackathons, says Antonio Imbimbo, Head of Entertainment & Digital Services at TIM, represent for companies like ours an opportunity of exchange with the outside world, especially with young people, to gather their ideas in relation to our business and some technological topics of interest. What will be held in Orvieto is the second edition of a program focused on TIM Box. During hackathons participants come into contact with mentors, professionals who can transfer know-how and useful indications not only for the purpose of the contingent experience, but also for follow-up in the working world”.

“It is essential to measure ourselves against the new generations, continues Polegri, because the trends and ways of using services change very quickly. Young people bring new points of view and also help to understand inductively which directions to follow. The hackathon is a very concrete way of condensing all these experiences in a short time. The mere carrying out of the event already helps us understand what kind of interest a technology, a product or a service has”.

How can Mixed Reality change the use of entertainment services?

Mixed Reality, explains Imbimbo, creates a hybrid reality between the real world and the imaginary one, which intersect with each other in a digital way, maintaining adherence to the world around us at the base . This combination will not remain an exercise in pure theoretical technology, but we believe it will apply in the future to different areas by creating a new way of experiencing content, as well as new content.

The boundaries between one content and the other as we understand them today will begin to fade, approaching worlds that today are very distinct. A film could come closer to the world of interactive video games giving us the impression that we too are among the protagonists and part of the film. All this will require the use of new technologies in the networks of distribution of content to end customers, with great bandwidth, speed and low latency, a new way of producing and creating content, and finally the availability of devices with which the end customer can fully enjoy these new experiences”.

To what extent does the profiling of data increases the degree of satisfaction of people in use of the service?

“Today at the base of any service we use on the move or at home, explains Imbimbo, there is the availability of a fast, reliable and stable data connection. Each of us as a consumer, and we as marketing people, know that services have greater support and customers are more loyal when they find content that meets their preferences. Today the offer of content is unlimited, customers are increasingly accustomed to gathering suggestions based on the content already seen or the preferences expressed, so any service must complement its catalog with modalities of recommendation that are oriented towards simplifying and speeding up the passage between the search for content and its use. We work to offer all this to our customers, obviously in full compliance with guidelines on privacy and current regulations.

“The value of data collection through profiling, adds Polegri, lies in our ability to shape and adapt an offer based on the tastes, preferences and desires of those who are looking for a product or a service. And this is what is aimed at every time we profile“. 

What is the added value of an Engineering-TIM partnership?

Engineering, says Imbimbo, has been a partner of TIM for many years and in different areas. The collaboration ranges from infrastructural issues, to the development of apps and opportunities like this of the hackathon. It is a question of two realities that have always been oriented towards the future, towards innovation, towards the creation of entertainment services for end customers. The value of each collaboration lies in the exchange that is created between the professionals who work in each of the two realities, from the comparison of business ideas to the sharing of a project that is implemented and carried forward together . It is only by acting as a team that projects are implemented and this occasion is further proof”.

“With TIM, concludes Polegri, we have a consolidated partnership that allows us to face major challenges in the telecommunications sector and in innovative services. In this context, and at this time, Mixed Reality offers a promising evolutionary path. Users are now accustomed to obtaining increasingly qualitative and engaging services, which require increasing availability of resources and technological knowledge. The event in Orvieto will be attended by young people from all over Italy, many of them specialists in the field of Virtual and Augmented Reality. It will be an excellent opportunity to find out first-hand what the trends of the moment are and see real talents at work”.