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Winning four out of seven prizes at The Next Web hack battle

The Nerdalize Hack Warriors

Two weeks ago, our “Nerdalize Hack Warriors” rocked at The Next Web hack battle. The theme of this hackathon was IoT - the battle of the sensors, where our Nerds have won four out of the seven prizes! Ad van der Veer, software engineer at Nerdalize, tells a bit more about their idea and their secret of winning this hack battle.

The Nerdalize Hack Warriors

Every team member had a unique expertise and knew its role in the team, which made us the fierce Nerdalize Hack Warriors. Our team was ambitious and had all the expertise which was needed to develop an idea around the theme IoT. Some could write a program in low-level language, others could develop the front-end or had experience with the installation of the sensors. We had a full stack team, which made it possible to create a fully functional product in a short period of time.

Rock-on.space - measuring the mood in bars

Our idea is an app that lists nearby bars and venues on a map and show real time information on what music is playing and gives you an indication of the mood. In one hour, we got in one interested cafe owner for our product. During the final presentation, we even had a working version live at the venue!

We would like to thank the following sponsors for the prizes:

IBM - Using their Bluemix cloud platform effectively

Radix - For our creative domain name: “rock-on.space”

The Things Network - For our brilliant use of the sensors

Toon - For our application for measuring the average mood in bars

Additionally, we got a honourable mention for the grand prize, effectively a second place. Altogether a great event to develop our skills and work with our Nerd team in an inspirational and fun setting. Up to the next Hackathon!

Congratulations Marinus with your graduation!

Marinus

We are very happy to share that Marinus graduated in Mechanical Engineering today with an 8.1! Marinus joined Nerdalize as a working student in our first hour and has been helping us a lot with the work he did for his graduation project over the last six months. After a well-deserved holiday, Marinus will now join our team as a full-time hardware engineer.

Congrats Marinus! We are very proud of the result and extremely happy that you will stay part of the Nerdalize team!

On the move

What started with three people pursuing a (rather ambitious) plan, already developed into a team of 16 working on hardware development, software development, business development, operations, sales, marketing, finance and HR. A bigger team requires a bigger office. So after extending our current office a number of times it is now officially time to take a bigger step. Last Friday we moved into our new office!

No worries, we are still based at YES!Delft, we just moved into their new building where we have more space, a better view and a bigger workshop. So everything we need to work even harder on building our sustainable cloud!

Curious? Feel free to come by and check out our new spot!

Heating houses even more efficiently with computing power

Together with students Computer Science from Delft University of Technology (DUT), Nerdalize has developed a way to save even more energy!

Computer servers produce a lot of heat. In data centers, where a lot of servers are stacked together, it additionally costs a lot of energy to cool all these servers. In order to solve this, Nerdalize doesn’t place the computer servers in data centers, but in houses. Therefore the heat that comes off the server can be used to heat these houses. This way homeowners save up to 300 euros a year on heating and 3 tons of CO2 is saved per household per year. Additionally, companies save up 30 to 50% on cloud costs, because they do not have to pay for the overhead costs of building a data center.

This approach already causes a huge decrease in the energy usage. But it could be done even more efficient, is what DUT students Robert Carosi and Boris Mattijssen thought. For their bachelor final project in Computer Science, Robert and Boris found a way to utilize the heat that comes off the computer servers. Instead of using just any server to do a computation, they developed a way to always use the computer server in the house that needs the heat the most. For example in a place where it is a bit colder that day.

How does this work? Instead of doing one complete computation on one heater, this computation is cut up into smaller pieces. This way the computation can be divided over multiple houses. The pieces can then be computed in the house where the temperature is the lowest. When the wanted temperature is reached, the computation can be transferred to a house where the heat is still desired. This makes that the energy will always be used to its full potential.

Last Friday, the first of July 2016, Robert and Boris presented their project to family and friends. For their solution, they made smart use of Kubernetes, an open source system initiated by Google. This makes that not only energy can be saved, but our computer servers can run even faster and more efficient. A smart technological solution with a positive impact on the environment, that is what we love at Nerdalize!