The Code Afloat Challenge from Digital Yacht is a competition for innovative code writers from countries around the globe, that seeks to encourage and recognise ideas and applications that ‘change the game’ in the field of marine navigation, communication, safety, control or entertainment. Applications and ideas will need to utilise Signal K, the new open source interfacing platform. You can find out more about Signal K at https://www.signalk.org
Digital Yacht is a UK and US based marine electronics manufacturer with a special and altruistic interest in the Signal K project. In 2016, they developed iKommunicate – a NMEA to Signal K gateway allowing any existing marine electronics system to open up to the world of Signal K. It was created following a successful, 5 x oversubscribed Kickstarter campaign which shows the interest in open source within the marine environment.
This means that 100000s of boats equipped with traditional NMEA based marine electronic systems can now migrate to this new platform using a simple, low cost iKommunicate interface – without the need to buy new, expensive sensors and transducers. iKommunicate makes it very easy to integrate tablets, smartphones, PCs and MACS to NMEA systems and you can find more detailed information at https://ikommunicate.com
This competition is looking for game-changing and impactful ideas that have the potential to change the way we utilise systems aboard boats, ships and other marine assets. It could be a new visualisation of instrumentation, social media integration, engine diagnostics, digital control, logging, charting, monitoring or security – but don’t let that be a defining boundary. Signal K makes marine application development easy with its plain text, JSON based format. Want to grab ship position, identity, wind speed and depth for your idea? It’s all easy with Signal K, just let your imagination take over.
The competition will be assessed by independent judges – journalists and experts who lead the industry in the US and Europe. A headline prize of $2500 for the app award “Change the Game” is available and a 2nd and 3rd prize of $500 each for the best “Transform my boat” concept. Lots of boat owners may have a great idea but don’t have coding skills to develop an app so this 2nd and 3rd prize is for them, to come up with a concept which can then be taken forward by professional programmers.
All apps will be judged on innovation, practical implementation and value. We would welcome “Open Source” web apps, that benefit the Signal K community, but we are also happy for mobile apps to remain the property of the original developer so they can benefit from any future revenue stream too. The goal of this competition is to increase the use of Signal K data on all apps, open or closed source and give boaters more functionality and choices.
Apps can be submitted for any platform – iOS, Android, PC, MAC, LINUX, etc. and of course web server code running on Raspberry Pi type hardware or HTML5 web apps running in a browser are also appropriate.
The competition starts on the 1st July and closes on the 31st October 2017, when all entries will be judged by an International team of judges, before the winners are announced at the end of November 2017.