The 2013 TechAwards were held at the Brian M. O’Hara building recently, with the International Innovation of the Year awarded to MediaMine, LLC for their development of the Official Hollywood Walk of Fame Mobile Application.

Local Market Innovation of the Year was captured by Bermuda Aerial Media who are using a state-of-art drone helicopter for aerial surveying and photography. The Most Innovative Youth Program award went to Mount Saint Agnes Academy App/Tech Club. Easy Park Mobile App took the Most Innovative New Mobile Application Award and the People’s Choice TechAward, which this year was selected by the public through social media, went to the website Bermemes.

During the Award presentation at the Celebration of Entrepreneurship and Innovation on Thursday, 21st of November at the XL Conference Center in the O’Hara Building, Ms. Nancy Volesky, Director of the Department E-Commerce remarked: “This year’s recipients show how Bermudian’s technological talents have reached across the globe including reaching Hollywood, California.”

The Department E-Commerce started the Annual TechAwards Program 6 years ago and Dr. the Hon. Grant Gibbons, Minister for Economic Development in offering congratulations to all the winners said “Bermuda can be proud of each of the 68 companies, organizations, and individuals who were nominated this year. The creative use of technology illustrated by the variety of submissions received shows that technology innovation is alive and well in Bermuda and that we can compete globally.” He went on to offer the Ministry’s thanks to the judges for the 2013 TechAwards: Nigel Wright, Link Bermuda; Jennifer  Burland-Adams, BHS; Sheldon  Jones, TLF Advisory Board; Kai Musson, BEDC Board Member; Nigel Burgess, Ascendant Group ; Eric MacVicar, Gateway; Nhuri Bashir, GEW Committee; Peter Hebbard, AAC Saatchi & Saatchi; Karmeta Hendrickson, Bermuda College and past winner Rachel Sawden of BermyDeals ;

The judges had a difficult task in selecting the International Innovation of the year, but at the end of the day, MediaMine won over 6 fusions International. MediaMine has created the concept for the mobile application in partnership with the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which included digitizing the vast collection of movieland memorabilia and utilizing it in the mobile app. As Shawn Murphy, CFO and Co-Founder put it in the presentation to the judging panel, “MediaMine developed a unique mobile platform Digital Docent® that provides a unique interactive experience to visitors of tourist destinations. It is a levergeable piece of intellectual property that will be deployed in multiple locations and across an unlimited number of collections. By mining the collection media we allow the consumers of this to media to make it personal, thus making the media mine. The Hollywood Walk of Fame has 15 Million visitors each year. The platform is for visitors and locals alike.” All of the technical work was done in Bermuda, led by Chief Information Officer Michael Branco and a team of Bermudian designers and coders. In fact they used Front Street for the prototype of the Walk of Fame app and intend to further create that prototype to be unitized by visitors in Bermuda.

Second place finisher was also extremely impressive, demonstrating Bermuda innovation and “know how” of a significant nature and on an international scale. 6fusion is a patented “Workload Allocation Cube” (WAC) algorithm invented by Bermudian Delano Seymour. 6Fusion is intended to standardize economic measurement of supply and demand of IT cloud infrastructure usage for companies throughout the world.

In the Local Market Category, Bermuda Aerial Media also took a tight contest from its competitors , narrowly our scoring over The Ocean Vet, Bermuda Renderings and the Department of Conservation Service’s GeoTour Application for “Geocaching”. When Connor Burns and EJ Burrows showed the judges the drone helicopter they have assembled, all were amazed. The video footage taken by the state-of-art onboard camera is simply amazing. But the innovative way Bermuda Aerial Media is utilizing the vehicle is what really carried the judge’s votes. From overviews of residential and commercial properties, or breathtaking video of Bermuda’s beautiful scenery to advanced 3-demential shots, these engineers can create advanced depictions of construction sites. The example shown was the site of a recent explosion at the Ariel Sands Condominium. In that instance the drone was used to take a series of photographs depicting the property immediately after the explosion. This then allowed the investigation team to have these unique three-dimensional views of the site to continue their search for a cause allowing the clean-up to progress instead of waiting for investigators to complete their onsite inspections.

Such innovative use of electronic devices was also cited in selecting the runners up who tied for second place. Dr. Neil Burnie utilized “hacked” camera equipment and advanced audio devices to videotape and record ocean mammals and fish which he has incorporated into a special interactive “coffee table” book. The footage also provides material for a sensational documentary series called “Ocean Vet”; to be broadcast on a major cable network. Likewise Bermuda Renderings used video animation to create lifelike depictions of property development concepts such as Sir John Swan’s proposed Hamilton Harbor development. Third place in this category was the Department of Conservation Service’s GeoTour which takes technology into an innovative direction with their mobile application for “Geocaching”. This outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices is available for tourists and locals alike and is a fun, unique and interactive way of learning about Bermuda's most spectacular parks and nature reserves.

The Most Innovative New Mobile App went to EasyPark Mobile's parking service, which offers customers three ways to pay for parking using their mobile phones – text, call and smart application. Apple and Android smart parking application users, in addition to parking, can set parking reminders, add money to accounts, manage long-term airport parking remotely, view parking and billing history, and even locate one’s car all from a smart phone.

In second place was AppBermuda, which provides unquestionably the most comprehensive Bermuda travel guide in the palm of your hand with beautiful local photos. Third place went to Bermuda Festival Mobile App which was designed and developed in Bermuda by Cosmic and Reach. It provides an innovative approach to delivering information on the 2014 Bermuda Festival, including ordering tickets and syncing the schedule to your personal calendar.

One of the most enjoyable categories to announce each year is the Innovative Youth Projects. This year the Mount Saint Agnes Academy App/Tech Club volunteer Michael Sinclair and the club’s participants took home the first place award. Students in this voluntary after school program learn HTML5 programming with the assistance of www.codecademy.com and then each work on making their own mobile applications.

Bermuda Robotics Club took second. With a tie for third between the Somersfield Academy P5 Innovation Class, where students surveyed two Bermuda National Trust historic properties, converted their measurements into 3-D images and created the 3-D laser printed models of these buildings, and the Technology Leadership Forum 2013 Interns, who created a prototype mobile app for BAMZ.

Voting for the People’s Choice Award took place on the Bermuda Sun Facebook page and Bermemes.com, a local social media site, was the entry that proved the most popular. All nominees had to mobilize “a get the vote out” campaign through social media. Joe Mahoney of the Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative, who coordinated the TechAwards said: “The Bermemes team did a great job in getting people to vote and that’s what it’s about.” Runners up for People’s Choice were SJDWorld, Dept of Conservation Geotour, Nothing To Do In Bermuda, and Somersfield Academy P5 Innovation Class.

About the Technology Innovation Awards:

TechAwards was inaugurated in 2006 and is now celebrating its sixth year. It has become a highly anticipated annual event that helps promote and showcase technology in Bermuda and its use by everyone, everywhere, everyday.

The TechAwards ‘13, conducted as a part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, represents the pinnacle of achievement for the use of technology in Bermuda.

Dr. the Hon. Grant Gibbons, JP, MP Minister of Economic Development said: “TechAwards publicly recognises the outstanding achievement of Bermuda based companies, organizations, and individuals for their creation and use of innovative technology. Through supporting the TechAwards the Ministry aims to expand the reach and knowledge of technology in the community by appealing to the public to nominate innovators who should be applauded for the development of something that has enhanced one’s ability to achieve better results.” 

The Minister went on to say: “The World thrives on innovation and through this competition we have continuously shown that we can hold our head high on the international stage. It is important that we seek out and publicize these achievements so that Bermuda obtains credit for being the location from which these successes were launched. The TechAwards also go a long way in promoting Bermuda as a sophisticated technology and e-business jurisdiction.”