It’s been a long night at Pier 70 in San Francisco. Yesterday, hundreds of hackers spent the day in front of their laptops even though it was a beautiful Summer day. That’s because they all took part in my favorite competition — the Disrupt SF Hackathon. Some of them were participating in our event for the first time, while others were regular hackers. Their challenge was to come up with a neat, funny and smart hack in just 24 hours.
We could all feel the excitement in the air when the 167 teams took the stage to present a short one-minute demo to impress fellow hackers and our judges. But only one team could take home the grand prize and $5,000. So, without further ado, meet the Disrupt SF 2015 Hackathon winner.
QuickActions is a 3D touch alternative. It’s a virtual button that lets you preview links, use shortcuts and more. For instance, when you hover over LinkedIn, you get actions — “Your Profile, Updates and Compose.” Choosing “Your Profile” opens your profile directly which was otherwise three or four taps away.
The team used Android Overlays and reverse-engineered popular android apps to discover their deep links. It’s pretty neat. Find this app in the Play Store in the coming weeks.
Runner-Up #1: PitchPal
PitchPal helps you improve your public speaking by accurately recording and transcribing your speech, which is very helpful when you are… pitching a hack at a hackathon. It also helps you fine-tune your delivery of your pitch, speech or presentation by providing helpful analytics and feedback. PitchPal was built using Google’s Speech API.
Runner-Up #2: Harvest
Harvest is a cheap crop stress detector that cost less than $50 to build. It prevents crop loss caused by water stress. It’s a modified point and shoot camera with the infrared filter removed and a new filter put in. It can fly on a drone, plane, or in our case, a balloon.
Harvest also provides a web app that processes these infrared images and shows “hotspots” and allows you to compare originals with the analyzed images, and compare your crops over time.
Our software also pulls in Landsat imagery, weather, and makes smart suggestions.
Co-founder, Thington Inc.
Tom Coates is the co-founder of Thington Inc. – focused on new ways to interact with the Internet of Things. Before that he was Head of Product for the Yahoo Brickhouse incubator where he created the Fire Eagle location-sharing platform. He’s also developed new products for many other companies, including the BBC, UpMyStreet, Time Out, and Jawbone. You can find Tom on Twitter @tomcoates.
Gayle Laakmann McDowell
Founder/CEO of CareerCup.com & Author of Cracking the Coding Interview
Gayle Laakmann McDowell is the founder/CEO of CareerCup.com and the author of Cracking the Coding Interview, Cracking the PM Interview, and Cracking the Tech Career. As a previous software developer and interviewer for Google, Microsoft, and Apple, she now works with tech companies to improve their hiring process and with startups to coach them through acquisition interviews. She is passionate about solving technical problems and helping build excellent technical teams. You can find Gayle on Twitter @gayle.
General Manager and Founder of Health at NerdWallet
Christina is a Harvard-trained expert on consumer health, hospital price transparency + health insurance. She founded the Health business at NerdWallet because medical bills are the leading driver of personal bankruptcy in America. Nerdwallet content, award-winning tools and high-touch service empower consumers to live better lives. You can find Christina on Twitter @lamontagne_c.
Founder of Delicious (acquired by Yahoo!) and Tasty Labs (Acquired by Walmart), Joshua is an angel investor in over 100 startups including Etsy, Twilio, Pure Storage, and Makerbot. You can find Joshua on Twitter @joshu.
Founder/CEO of Particle
Particle founder and CEO Zach Supalla is an entrepreneur, a designer, and a maker. With Particle, he designs and produces a suite of tools that make it easier for engineers and manufacturers to build and manage connected products. Zach juggles hardware design, front-end software development, and leading his team through the trials and tribulations of a hardware startup. You can find Zach on Twitter @zsupalla.
Chief Product and Design Officer, Smule
Jeannie Yang is the Chief Product and Design Officer at Smule. She blends her engineering background and passion for music to build new interactions for people worldwide to connect, create, and share music through social mobile music apps like Sing! Karaoke, Magic Piano, Autorap, and I am T-Pain. Prior to Smule, she helped start Yahoo’s first social media research lab and launched several projects including Fire Eagle, the first geo-location brokering platform, at Yahoo Brickhouse. Jeannie holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a M.S. in Information from UC Berkeley. You can find Jeannie on Twitter @jeanniey.