Hack the North

24 Sep 2014 hackathon,, community

Last weekend we were excited to travel up to Waterloo, Ontario to be a part of the largest hackathon ever in Canada: Hack the North.

Over 1000 undergraduate students attended Hack the North and there were over 200 teams working to make some killer hacks. We had the opportunity to work with lots of hackers in Waterloo, helping them to use Wit.ai in their projects and also providing general mentorship and guidance. At the end of the hacking, 16 teams using Wit.ai presented their projects to us and the level of execution was outstanding. Three out of the top 10 final hacks used Wit.ai in their projects. We had a really tough time picking a winner.

Team Home East

Team Home Ease posing with their voice controlled microwave and toaster oven hack.

We awarded the Grand Prize for Best Overall Use of Wit.ai to team Home Ease for their voice controlled microwave and toaster oven hack. The team of four from University of Waterloo tore off the old interfaces for their appliances and hacked together a new interface system using a Spark Core and the Wit.ai API for voice control. We felt their hack was original, ambitious and overall really well thought out. Congrats, guys and enjoy your Pebble Steels!

Team Open Pokemon

Team Open Pokemon demoing the voice controlled battle portion of their game.

There were a number of other really cool hacks using Wit.ai at Hack the North as well. Some of our favorites included:

  • Open Pokemon - A GPS-enabled mobile/real world Pokemon game that included Wit.ai to power voice controlled actions. (Top 10)
  • Remember All - A Google Glass app that records video and uses Wit.ai to help catagorize and index the clips using the audio. (Top 10)
  • Parrot - A voice controlled text to speech email reader.
  • Jarvis - A multi-featured, voice controlled personal assistant for OS X.
  • Silicon Man - A team of one who taped an iPhone to a visor and hacked an augmented reality system controlled with gesture and voice. (Top 10)

We’ll be featuring some of these awesome hacks in our community showcase and on the blog in the next few weeks.

Next up for Wit.ai is the CalHacks hackathon at UC Berkeley, October 3 - 5. We’re looking forward to another huge, successful weekend of hacking right in our own backyard.

Congratulations to all of the hackers and the Hack the North organizers who put on a great event!

Finalists and Judges

The top 10 teams and judges take the stage.

Team Wit