Innovation Challenge Met For These PILOT Participants

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The innovation initiative of the National Association of Broadcasters has revealed the winners of its third annual PILOT Innovation Challenge at the NAB Futures conference in Seattle. The PILOT Innovation Challenge recognizes creative ideas that leverage technological advances in the production, distribution and display of engaging content.


Over 100 concepts were submitted to address the challenge question, “What is an innovative way broadcasters and other local media could serve communities?” A panel of judges selected the top six winners from 12 finalists. Conference attendees determined the placement of the top six winners following live pitch presentations at NAB Futures.

Thanks in part to a grant from Knight Foundation, the six winners were awarded cash prizes ranging from $15,000-$30,000.

They will also receive relevant mentorship, access to key broadcast executives and significant exposure at industry events, like the annual NAB Show, held April 6-11 in Las Vegas.

This year’s winners are:

    • FlyRight – Samuel Crane 
      Software solution that streamlines drone flight registration for media groups and local law enforcement.
    • Podium – Daniel Lewis, Tufts University
      Provides a platform for the public to participate in virtual town halls and crowdsourced interviews.
    • Zagrut – Mario Dcunha, The New School
      Zagrut is a news reader app that guides users against prevalent media bias.
    • AR Stories – Retha Hill, Cronkite School of Journalism, Arizona State University
      Provides a cost-effective way to create immersive AR stories quickly and without having to understand code.
    • I.D.E.A – Ronald Baez, Yellow Wood Immersive
      I.D.E.A is an immersive and interactive 3D mapping tool for use by broadcasters to visualize the effects of weather emergencies.
    • Lawmaking Live – Rodney Gibbs, The Texas Tribune
      Provides live analysis of policy development and makes the law-making process more accessible to consumers.

PILOT is a coalition of innovators, educators and advocates dedicated to advancing broadcast technology and cultivating new media opportunities. PILOT propels broadcast television and radio into the future. It provides a platform for innovation, an engine for incubation, a venue for testing new technologies and a forum for broadcaster education.


Additional information about the PILOT Innovation Challenge is available here.

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