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Looking for new ways to track anything – The Ideabird M2M Innovation Contest

An amazing group of companies including Deloitte, Deutsche Telecom, HYVE and The RWTH-TIM Research Group have banded together to hold a contest with prizes worth over $10,000, inviting people to use their imagination and present their wildest and best ideas for tracking anything – people, animals or objects of any size.

The goal is to come up with new state-of-the-art machine-to-machine (M2M) communications solutions. M2M is a field that is of phenomenal importance to people, the environment, safety and industry.

Portable GPS units are already used to locate trucks on highways in real time, and locate people who have been lost at sea or in an avalanche. Location based devices in cell phones can be tracked on mobile networks.

Many other ideas and applications exist in areas such as digital signage, telematics, tracking and tracing of objects and animals large and small.  The challenge is to come up with exciting and innovative new ways to use this existing technology.

The contest is open to anyone and everyone no matter where they live. Contest proposals can be submitted in any of eleven different categories from home & family, animals, outdoor & sports, fun & play, healthcare & well-being, safety & security, production & logistics, to nature & environment and more. Ideas will be judged by the degree of novelty, grade of freakiness, and usability.

The Ideabird contest is accepting submissions until April 10, 2012. Winners will be selected to share cash and non-cash prizes amounting to a total of $10,000.  The top three idea candidates will also be invited and flown to Dusseldorf, Germany to participate in an awards ceremony where they will present and discuss their ideas with a team of top managers from the contest partner organizations and members of the expert team. Winners and a group of top contributorswill also be invited to participate in an exclusive innovation workshop in Aachen, Germany on May 10, 2012.

The ideas are posted online where people can review and comment openly.  Candidates get the opportunity to receive feedback and exposure from people all over the world.

More info here.