Students make financial data physical at Makeathon

By Cinnober - 2016.02.08


How will we receive and review complex information in the future? Will it be through wearables rather than from a device screen? During the last two weeks, students from Umeå University and Umeå Institute of Design explored how to visualize financial flow in physical objects at the Makeathon challenge, where software and hardware are delivered in a different, yet practical way.   

Last Monday, the students impressed the jury with their prototypes, which featured new, creative fintech ideas.

Cinnober, together with the Sliperiet and Uminova eXpression, organized the Makeathon Challenge. The participants had free access to Sliperiet facilities such as the FabLab1) and the SoftLab2), both of which are equipped with production and prototype machines. During the two-week event, students from different disciplines collaborated and produced prototypes that demonstrated how complex financial information can be shared through physical objects, such as wearables and sculptural dashboards. When the event was over, the team presented their imaginative creations, which included a bracelet that vibrates system notifications and a cube with bars that change their angle and color depending on the health of a system.

The winning team used the traditional concept of a city map to describe the server layout, traffic flow, and system health. The map was the creation of design students Nicole Waniowska, Keyur Jain, Eduardo Roxius, and Alfred Ödling. 

“It’s so inspiring to see the students work in this creative environment that I almost want to go back to school myself. Fresh minds that dare to challenge traditional thinking—this is what the financial industry needs more of,” says Veronica Augustsson, Cinnober CEO. 

Ease of implementation and potential usefulness to Cinnober’s customers were among the criteria the jury considered as they judged each of the prototypes. 

“It’s great to see how all these innovative ideas take form when creative skills from different disciplines meet, collaborate, and create,” says Alex Sehlin, head of Cinnober Labs3) and an initiator of the event.

 “Events like this can definitely inspire us to work even harder to affect the future of fintech. The concept is something Cinnober will continue to explore together with academia, partners and customers,” Alex Sehlin concludes. 


1) FabLab, short for Fabrication Laboratory, is a workshop open for everyone interested in design and fabrication. It is part of an international network initiated by Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

2) Soft Lab is a lab for production of prototypes related to smart textiles, wearables, fashion, interiors and retail.

3) Cinnober Labs is an innovation facility that offers new and existing customers an opportunity to conduct exploratory projects together with Cinnober and relevant parts of academia. It is located among startups at the Arts Campus in Umeå.

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