A couple of weeks ago, that time of year was upon us… PennApps time! Now let’s cut the chase and get straight to the point - “How was PennApps Spring 2014?” Quite simply…
…The Best PennApps, ever!
PennApps continues to amaze every one each year. It’s almost a routine, to be honest. This time though, they took it yet another level - 1. in terms of the sheer quality of the hacks produced 2. it was the best run PennApps I’ve ever witnessed. It takes a village to organize and manage a hackathon of PennApps’ scale. The UPenn kids now have it down as an art.
- On February 14th, 2014, UPenn hosted their 8th PennApps hackathon.
API Demos held at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, which needless to say, was epic.
It kicked off the 2014 Major League Hacking season.
Yes, it was over the Valentines Day weekend. Yes, it was awesome. Trust the kids at Penn with creativity and turn something that might’ve been a donwer to their advantage.
Over 1000 developers from various colleges around the world attended.
Over 200 hacks were built in less than 36 hours.
- 10 Apps were built using APIs from the Mashery network.
Apps were built using Intel XDK.
Thanks to API sponsors brought under the MLH umbrella, only sponsors with APIs actually got a chance to demo. Previously this has been a bit of a drag with demos running well over 2 hours. Kudos to the PennApps organizers for learning from previous experiences and doing the right thing.
- The quality of the hacks continues to amaze one and all. Here’s a look at some of the hacks built at PennApps -
Mashery Hacks built
- Crowd a Movie: A website that comes up with a list of suggested movies to watch for a group of friends based on their movie tastes and preferences using Rotten Tomatoes API.
- Wing It: Search for flights/hotels by price, rather than destination, using Hotwire API
- StrawDrate: An arduino powered straw that connects to an android device and tells the userif they need to drink more water and keep hydrated based on location (temperature and humidity using World Weather Online API ), age, weight, gender, and physical activity. If they don’t, the device will give off an alarm after a certain amount of time of being within a warning state. Very cool hack. Winner of Best App built using the Mashery API Network.
- Emacs Google Now: allows you to access and edit (in real time) your Google calendar and current location right inside Emacs! Also, you can listen and control music (using Rdio) right inside the text editor.
- Mosaic: A Graphic User Interface for Google Glass that supports widgets and launchers. Mosaic takes having the internet at your fingertips to the next level, providing an immersive Augmented Reality using World Weather Online API and Rotten Tomatoes.
- Homework Help (1st place) Homework Help is a hardware hack which can read simple math problems, and then write out the answer in your handwriting.
- PipeTeX (2nd place) is syntactic sugar for LaTeX. PipeTeX lets people type equations in an intuitive way, using just parentheses and slashes rather than LaTeX’s arcane functions. It also drops a lot of the boilerplate.
- Googolplex (3rd place) lets you use integrate other apps with Siri, without jailbreaking. Their demo involved changing the lighting on a Hue. Check it out at betterthansiri.com.
- Commodisense : fetches prices for stocks and commodities whenever you text it.
- WebNES : is a mobile web-based NES emulator built by a bunch of high schoolers. Check out my profile of WebNES here, and play WebNES here.
- Evolve: is a tool for Android developers which lets them deploy code without going through Google Play or asking users to download an update.
- What I Cook Up : Built by a team from Zurich, What I Cook Up lets you take a picture of a plate of ingredients, and will suggest recipes based on those ingredients.
- Trump is an iOS app that lets people play Cards Against Humanity (Apples to Apples) with pictures. Check it out at trumpyourfriends.com.
- Divvly : an iOS app that makes splitting checks easier. It runs OCR on receipts, lets people claim their items, and then settles the check using Venmo. Check it out at divvly.com.
- Pebmo : a Venmo client for the Pebble smartwatch. It checks Foursquare to see which of your friends are nearby, and then lets you send them payments with Venmo.