How to win a Glass hackathon

Today I attended the http://www.hackathon.io/breaking1 Breaking Glass Hackathon. It reminded me of the first iPhone Dev Camp. Great times, saw some cool apps. I think Techcrunch Disrupt will be a lot of fun (my employer +Rackspace is giving away $10,000 to a Glass developer, more on that contest and how to participate soon).

But I noticed some things. If you want to win one of these hackathons, there's some tips (I was a judge today).

1. Use the sensors and not just the camera. The winner, "Glass Frogger" http://glassfrogger.com/ used sensors to sense when you are jumping in the air (it is a version of Frogger that you had to play by jumping in the air, like a frog).

2. Have a demo that works. It's hard to get excited when your demo doesn't work. It isn't fair, but here's a tip: we only have to BELIEVE it worked. So, if the Internet isn't working, have a fake version that you can switch to that fakes it. Just be convincing if you have to go through this.

3. Have a demo. This is slightly different than rule #2. But some of the teams had very well thought out concepts, but didn't show us a demo. Sorry, this is a hackathon, so you are given extra points for showing our code working.

4. Have a complete package. The winning team, http://glassfrogger.com/ again, has a whole website up and you can get the app and try it. Other teams said "we won't be ready for a month." 

5. Do something with Glass that you can't do with a smartphone. The top three winners all did that. This is pretty much the same rule as #1, though.

6. Don't worry about the business model. Too much. The judges usually don't care at this point whether you can really make a billion-dollar business. If you can see the way to do that, great, but we'll be judging you more on if you do something we want to put on our face and try.

7. The trick is to demonstrate you know the platform very well. Using Bluetooth to talk to other devices? Excellent. Using the sensors in the Glass? Even better. Doing things with the API we though would be impossible? Even better! 

Anyway, I was at the first iPhone Dev Camp and this seems to be very similar. Developers who are pushing the platform past what it can do, throwing around ideas, teaching each other. 

I can't wait to see what's next from this community. Next weekend there is another Glass Hackathon. Info on that is over on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/166143383572472/ (it's in San Mateo). 

#throughglass  (all these photos were taken on my Google Glass).
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2013-08-18
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