The 5G For Change

If the last couple of years have taught us anything, it’s that life needs some hacking. So for the first time in the history of The Webby Awards, we invite you to the 5G for Change Hackathon. There’s no shortage of things that need to be fixed. 5G is an invaluable tool in that pursuit—speed, access, and real-world change for the better.

Build something for change. Win a Webby and $50,000.

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Presented By:Verizon

The DataScape Team Pitches a Smart City Monitoring Tool

As a finalist team, DataScape proposed a monitoring system that turns user-generated data on infrastructure issues to enable predictive maintenance. Learn more about the team and their project pitched during The Webby Awards’ 5G for Change Hackathon, presented by Verizon.
Gina Zdanowicz and Peter Locharernkul at the 5G for Change Hackathon. Credit: Eryc Perez de Tagle.

Peter Locharernkul and his teammate Gina Zdanowicz shared that they are on a mission to reverse a trend that is prevalent throughout the United States: rapidly deteriorating infrastructure. It’s an issue that impacts US residents in various ways, and hinders progress.

“Without sound infrastructure—clean water, clean air, usable roads—the economy cannot function,” Locharemkul said. “Not only does it make economic sense, but it’s morally right.” 

On April 29th, he and his teammate Gina Zdanowicz pitched a solution to this problem: a monitoring app that helps users report on degrading infrastructure in real time, and lead to predictive maintenance. They delivered this pitch as one of five finalist teams selected to participate in The Webby Awards’ first 5G for Change Hackathon.

Gina Zdanowicz and Peter Locharernkul pitched at Verizon's headquarters in New York City. Credit: Eryc Perez de Tagle.

Presented by Verizon, the hackathon challenged teams to tackle an important issue, and solve it by using 5G and the Internet. Out of 150 submissions, only five teams were selected to pitch before a judging panel of industry leaders, from Verizon, MIT Solve, the Black Ambition Opportunity Fund and Stagewell Global, on April 29th at Verizon’s headquarters in New York City!

The winning team will be announced at the 26th Annual Webby Awards on May 16th, and will be awarded $50,000. Learn more about this team and their project.

Julia Hammond gave comments on pitches at the 5G for Change Hackathon. Credit: Eryc Perez de Tagle.

Team DataScape 

Topic: Infrastructure x SmartCities

Infrastructure in the United States is crumbling, and has been for decades. Despite being located in one of the richest nations in the world, major cities across the country tout unsafe roads and bridges, archaic public transit systems, unreliable access to power and more. Not only does this propose gross public safety issues, “aging infrastructure compromises American competitiveness and economic growth,” according to the DataScape team. 

Their team saw this fact, and envisioned a solution that uses big data to help fix immediate issues, and usher in a future of smart cities across the country. DataScape’s pitch was to develop an app to solve this. “It’s an infrastructure 3D-monitoring app…to track, monitor and find trends in the data for the maintenance of infrastructure projects,” Locharemkul said. 

The app would do this by creating a smart city digital twin of the selected city, and using 3D replicas of its infrastructure for monitoring. 5G connectivity would support the edge rendering for high-poly 3D models and real-time data overlays necessary for the app to function well. 

“We want to have a good foundation for the future,” Zdanowicz said.

Peter Locharernkul being interviewed. Credit: Eryc Perez de Tagle.

About the Team

With a background in gaming and building AR and VR applications, this team of three is focused on creating solutions to one of the United States’ largest problems. Team members include:

Peter Locharernkul, who has been developing interactives ranging from museum exhibits to trade shows to experiential marketing events to AR/VR applications. A full-stack developer, he has developed dozens of web apps for and MTV Games. He has implemented various OOH activations for brands such as Reebok, Nike, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, ABC TV and Nabisco. 

Gina Zdanowicz, who  is an Emmy-Nominated sound designer and music composer for games, film, TV and interactive experiences. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Gina focused on a career in game audio working in-house for developers as well as operating her own independent sound studio, Serial Lab Sound. 

Julie Chase, an interactive media designer and producer focused on casual and branded game experiences. Founder and managing director of Mini Monster Media, she led creative and development teams building game portals for major entertainment, food, and sports sites. She is the lead creative at Heavy Ninja creating direct to consumer iOS games.

Learn more about the 5G for Change Hackathon, and see the other finalists: Team Mayday, Team Frame Perfect, Team Whose Metaverse and Team MRM. The winning team will be announced on stage during the 26th Annual Webby Awards on Monday, May 16. 

Follow #Webbys to see who will this first-ever award at the 26th Annual Webby Awards, hosted by Roy Wood Jr. Catch the moment on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok or at on Monday, May 16 at 9pm EDT.