Event Recap: AT&T Mobile App Hackathon – Seattle
What happens when 177+ hyper motivated and creative developers & entrepreneurs get together in one space? Open discussions, great networking, new friendships and projects getting launched. In the course of two days, there were 21 teams formed around some exciting projects. At the end of the day, AT&T Hackathons are all about creating an environment that supports developers with new opportunities, life learnings, new friends and business connections.
A massive shout out goes to Intel, Hackster.io, and Wunderbar for their collaboration on the event as well as outreach to the local community. Also, we really have to thank the local community for helping to pull together the event, especially Clarissa, Hesper, Rex and the mentors who helped the teams polish their presentations. Finally to all those who stayed till the end to sort the trash (you know who you are) our hats go off to you for the sticking it out and handling the dirty work!
The projects that were pitched on Sunday were very innovative, ranging from child carseat safety hacks to IOT belts that vibrate to tell you the direction of your destination! Most exciting of all was the number of developers who showed up and stayed for the entire event. We had to make a couple of extra trips to Costco just to keep up with the rate that the food and snacks were being consumed! These hacks were created with the intent of building community and, to date, I have hosted over 100 hackathons with ever more demand. Please feel to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have and you can find out about our upcoming events via this link: http://goo.gl/qngMTs
Hackathon Event Overview
AT&T Hackathons bring together developers, designers, marketers and entrepreneurial types to launch projects and startups in a very short amount of time and enable developers to show off their development skills and ideas. Attendees pitch ideas, form teams and build prototypes within the short time frame and guest judges help pick the winners. The best part is that many of these aspiring entrepreneurs continue the pursuit long after the weekend is over and strive to launch a business from the concept.
This time around, we supplied the developers with quite a bit of hardware from Intel, Ardunio and Raspberry Pi along with an insane amount of sensors and other electronic components. We also had our WebRTC team onside to provide an overview of the new beta API that we were looking for the developers to hack on. The hackathon focused hardware as well as communication (WebRTC) projects.
Day 1 – Lightning Talks and Team Formation
We kicked off the event on Saturday morning with a full house and had close to 200 entrepreneurs pack out the venue. The event then moved into lightning talks to orient the developers as well as previously successful entrepreneurs who rallied the crowd to get excited about staying up all night to build apps! Attendees then came up in front of their players to pitch their ideas and skills to their peers. They had only three minutes to sell their concept and communicate:
- Who they are and their super power
- The problem they want to solve
- How they’re going to solve that problem
- What they need to solve that problem
Participants networked to self-organize around ideas that they liked and finalized on 12 ideas, which are listed at the end of this blog.
Day 2 – Code Completion and Pitching!
A number of teams worked right up until we shut down the venue at 11PM on Saturday night and then were right back with us bright and early on Sunday as we kicked off the morning with breakfast sandwiches, bacon and even French toast! To everyone’s amazement the snacks were thoroughly picked through and the soda fully consumed. So a bunch of us made extra trips to Costco to replenish the snack counter with enough sugar and caffeine to keep everyone bouncing till the 6PM presentation time.
One of the teams that really impressed the judges was team Doorman with an app that enables you to remotely sign for your packages even if you are not at home. The concept was to have two cameras, remote Bluetooth control of a door lock and the ability to sign a document. The team was able to deploy the remote video and remote control of a wired door lock, but were challenged on the remote physical signing so they opted for electronic signing. Even though some teams were further along than others at the end, everyone was ready for the 6PM presentation start time.
The winning teams clearly communicated the problem as well as the solution. This was followed by a demo of the prototype that walked the audience through the solution. The judges assessed the potential of each team, provided candid feedback to the presenters and selected the winners. The top teams were:
- Best AT&T WebRTC App ($1500) – Team RTC 4 RTC
- Best AT&T Overall ($500) – Team Doorman
- Best UI – Team CarComm
- Honorable Mention – Team TeaServer
Big Thanks to Everyone who Came Out!
These events are made possible by the generosity of the sponsors, amazing team of organizers, volunteers, judges and mentors. If you’re interested in receiving updates about future AT&T Hackathon events, please connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!
Here is a list of the projects that were pitched this weekend:
Team Ultimate Up – Frisbee: You just need a friend, a field and a frisbee. A way to attract more teams and make it social and inexpensive. Campus, for team building at work.
Team Tekkikat – Teaches morse code by playing a driving game with a DeLorean. Has an RGB LED with a slider Gui. The game was originally built in Java, but will be porting to C++ shortly and integrating into a mobile app as well as making it into an educational game.
Team Tuber – Dashboard time travel for the DeLorean, they made the booking site for the time travel Uber. Still searching through time for a ride? It tells you how many years it’s going to be before it arrives. It shows the weather
Team TeaServer – Seattle is a coffee city, but tea is more popular globally, but it’s hard to get just the right brew: Brew temp, brew time, drinking temperature – uses the Spark core. Lots of temperature data.
Team Yammer – Smart Cradle, monitor baby and track movements. Ambient Temperature control, can tell parents if their baby has a fever. You can set expected body temperature, and a fan can cool the baby. Fussy baby detector, sound sensor to see if the baby is crying or fussing, so the reaction is a vibrating motor that can help vibrate the baby to sleep 🙂
Team Seatsentry – Car seat safety to prevent crashes and injury or death to the child. Kids aren’t strapped in correctly and car seats aren’t installed incorrectly. Mistakes are incorrect initial installation and then the baby isn’t in tight enough. Azure, Intel Edison, WebRTC (but didn’t finish it) were used to make an app with a live help person on the app as well. Shows you if the seat is safe (based on vibration detection). If it slides too much, it warns you. When you install it, you shake it to test it. Question: What’s the difference between normal car movement? They want to attach an accelerometer to the car to make sure that the seat the car match. They want to have not a warning alarm, but nice music to signify – “pull over and check the seat”
Team TinyCheese – This is an app to help you make cheese with Intel Edison and other hardware! It senses the milk has reached the right temperature, candle makes the heat, lemon is released in for acid, and a tiny strainer. Display of temperature, serves that are beefy to make the big enough moves. How long? It takes 15-20 minutes to heat up, 5 seconds to coagulate with lemon, strain is quick too. They tested the recipe a lot. It’s always done at that time, no need to monitor it.
Team DoorMan – Packages are delivered, but no one is home to accept them, people steal packages, damaged in rain, etc. No worry about theft and deliveries aren’t delayed. You can accept packages from anywhere in the world. Delivery person enters the home and deposits the package. We used Intel Edison, Microsoft Azure, ATT WebRTC. How do you prevent theft? Relying on the safety of the Fedex/UPS/USPS delivery. Based on personal trust and the delivery persons are the ONLY ones who can send the request to open the door.
Team HTTFR (Tom) – DeLorean radio so you could tune by year to hear the music from that year. Time traveling radio. Biggest challenge was getting audio out of the radio, used a USB sound card. They had to modify the Linux install. They made a 3D printed panel for the DeLorean. Microsoft Azure. Cassette player is dead so they wanted to bring digital music to the DeLorean. You can change the music with the knobs. Shows the year of every song. Could also show a temperature. They used Node.js. They can also change the volume with the other knob.
Team OP Home Hub – This will toggle other devices, Nest, WeMo, etc. You’re sitting at home in your sofa, your windows start to open for you to normalize the temp. It starts to rain, Home Hub is hooked into the weather information, so the windows close before it actually starts raining. Intel Edison is the brain, Spark Core, Weather Underground API, Microsoft Azure. Website with data and monitoring. Ambient lighting can control the lighting in your house. Platform Agnostic? Java script and uses common APIs, ability to read sensor data.
Team LCDreamcast – An app for racing with your friends. Monitors your sound and displays on a custom made LED Panel.
Team Hacksterball – Programmable ball so kids can learn programming by creating very simple apps to interact and/or control the ball.
Team TagSweeper – The goal is to pickup as many tags as possible without “blowing up.” It’s a fun wrist game. There’s vibration motor. Barometer and more sensors were used to make their own smartwatch game device.
Team Luggaware – Sensors, motion, and sound alert through a centralized home hub, and a notification is sent to your phone or device. Each chip is the size of a postage stamp, you can place them where valuables are located. Protects you from theft, and reports and records criminals. Videos are used as evidence and to put you at ease. Videos are saved to the cloud and are downloadable. 1) You’re a traveler 2) You’re a party host trying to protect your closet or other valuables you can’t monitor during the party 3) You’re a parent, and want to protect your family – protect your kids from getting kidnapped / and/or film it for evidence. First hackathon.
Team HipSense – HipSense helps you navigate from the hips. Navigating the world is hard, let your hips do all the work. When you’re walking or driving, we all use a map app and you’re always looking at the screen, at the map. When you’re bicycling, you can’t look at your screen. Four vibrational motors gives you accuracy of which direction to walk, bike or drive. Directions can be mapped to your brain with other inputs than looking at a screen. This could help the blind for getting around too, mobile notifications possible too, could also be morse code to your butt!! Could be as glasses or a headband, audio feedback! This could replace a seeing eye dog. Based on a planar sense of direction, the belt has a compass and is aware of the X-Y-Z plane.
Team Queue Optimization – Order something online from Starbucks before you have to go and wait in line, your order gets to the front of the line. There are beacons. You can order from line and get your order by the time you get to the front. How does the app compensate for people not using it? We triangulate sensors at the actual Starbucks to show if people are waiting in line up to that point or past a certain point. Lines can be extended for businesses that can serve a small number of customers. They can increase revenue for drive-through customers.
Team Where’s My Bike – Bikes are stolen every year. Most thefts aren’t reported, but reported data is sky high. You alarm your bike, using Intel Edison and Node.js and Ambition, Nitrogen Service from Microsoft Azure. Shows you where your bike is using GPS location coordinates.
Team CarComm – Driving a car? Want to text a girl in another car? Want to tell a tailgater to screw off? You want to vent your frustration? We have the solution! CarComm! Car Communication the road needs. Scrolling message board to communicate via text using a web app and Android App. Laser etched and hand soldered LEDs into a Matrix. Speech recognition to verbally tell the matrix what to read out. Shift registers. Intel Edison.
Team Robodub – Epic robots, they came with something started, but rehashed everything. It can move in any direction, really cool wheels. Laser turret. Not a toy or a prototype. They made an iPhone app and an Android app. They rewrote all the code for this hackathon. This is a gaming platform. Battle bot physical game. Laser game that keeps track of the score, so the bots don’t actually damage each other. Microsoft and ATT APIs.
Team LightBulb – This app enables people to simply and remotely control physical devices such as light bulbs with your mobile phone. Used Wunderbar controlling a light bulb with a web app, Intel Edison. They have a temperature part using Weather Underground.
Team RTC4RTC – This app is an emergency app that auto dials family upon violent shaking of your phone of if you go into free fall. One scenario for seniors who have heart disease. Suddenly gets a heart stroke and falls down, very fast response and help. Smartphone can call 911, but if you’re in danger you can’t do that. Also, it’s not quick enough. This finds someone who is the closest to the incident to help and save their life. Makes a call for you and sends an ID so they know who is in need of help. The phone itself, with sensors in the phone already, makes a video call and sends all important information, so you could talk to your loved one and make sure that they are calm. False tripping of the app? The app can quickly ask if you are okay and with no response, it can go into action.