Hack The Hackathon – London, July 5-7, 2013 Event Summary
The weekend event began Friday evening at HUB Westminster when nearly one hundred developers listened to presentations from Cheng Luo from Samsung, Federico Vanzati from Arduino, and Morris Marah from Africa Gathering. A keynote was delivered by University of Brighton’s Gillian Youngs. Then Russ Klein led a round of networking, with dozens of concept presentations from the attendees, and a developer “dating” session.
By morning, 12 teams had formed and another two would be added later in the weekend. On Saturday, participants were offered the opportunity to attend several workshops and focus groups during the day. Federico Vanzati provided a deep-dive introduction into Arduino’s architecture and development best practices. He also provided plenty of shields, sensors, and other equipment for the developers to use during the event. At least 40 people, new to Arduino became familiar with the technology and its capabilities.
Sameer Ballewar presented a Samsung DevTalk, explaining the details of Samsung’s Chord SDK and developer training classes. After the talk, one participant said, “I learned enough in this DevClass to put Chord into my application”. Hundreds of people from around the world followed our social media posts from the event using hashtag #HTHLON. Later, Ballewar hosted a special workshop on Samsung’s sPen APIs, giving developers first-hand examples of the capabilities of the interface. Samsung also provided hardware for developers to use during the event and five teams made use of Samsung technology in their solutions.
Later Saturday afternoon, Morris Marah presented a focus group and open discussion on the opportunity for Hackathons and other developer-facing programs in various countries in Africa. He presented the work of Africa Gathering and other ICT initiatives as well as his own research into the application of crowdsourcing in post-conflict reconstruction.
Despite the most spectacular summer weather in recent memory, 14 teams worked on projects all through the night and right on to Sunday afternoon. Mario Morello and David Sergey, both past Hack The Hackathon winners, rounded out the judges’ panel. We also welcomed four “VIP Spectators” to the presentations and awards portion of the event, all of whom acknowledged receiving tremendous value from their participation. Deliberations were fierce. In the end, nine prizes were awarded to deserving teams and individuals. Among the teams were:
EVENTZ: An app using Samsung’s Chord SDK to share pictures and 7-second videos between phones, even in places with no WiFI or 3G connectivity. Jagdeep Nagpal, Mohamed Idries and Ben Stokoe comprise the team and won the “Smarter Living” award for their work.
MEDITEL: A system for improving healthcare delivery in rural Africa. Katie Bibbard, Edwin Senjobe, Duncan McKenzie, and Julian Carstairs brought together a diverse team, tackled a big problem, and took home the “Sustainable Business” award. Meditel is an exciting project, sure to become an agent of change in global health.
SMARTWELL: Using various water-related sensors, allow anyone to check the quality of well water in rural Africa and India using any phone. Omkar Vadpathak, Munya Mutikani, Thura Z Maung, Javier Madrigal digging deep with Arduino articulated this solution and showed a working prototype microcontroller (and a simulated environment). They won the “Social Good” award.
HAPPYCycle: A team of one, Javier Madrigal presented a concept and prototype for giving bicyclists better awareness of the things around them (especially nearby moving vehicles) and warn the cyclist when there is danger. Javier took home the “Road” award for his work on HappyCycle.
VICTIMMapper and AutoPROFile: Shahid Hanif and Edd Harpham showed the judges (and the audience) how facial recognition can be used during video capture on a phone. Though several use cases could be called “Social Good”, it was much easier to think of use cases for “Social Bad”. Edd went on to explain how he planned to apply that technology in the automobile to enhance the experience of driving. We awarded the “Field” prize for this work.
ICEBUDDY: A post-tragedy search and rescue application using Arduino and the Samsung Chord SDK. Hoi Lam talked about rescue in the wake of an avalanche, mudslide, or other locally-devastating event. He also talked about the broader implications of applying viral solutions to disaster readiness. Hoi won the competition’s “Aid Award”.
Every one of the presentations was both educational and inspirational. 100% of attendees said they learned something of value during the event. We especially thank Charles Cai, Per Griffiths, Sam Mbale, Fei Manheche, Alex Gonzalez, Carlos Miguel, Gianfranco Cecconoi, Mark Martin, David Grigoryan, Tomasz Jureczko, Matthias Buchting, Matt, Quentin and the good people of HUB Westminster and Jackie and the team at Kitchen TPS.