This last weekend, AT&T held a developer hackathon at the Palms resort in Las Vegas.

The Palms resort welcoming hackathon participants
Image from https://www.facebook.com/attdeveloper

The event attracted hundreds of developers from around the world - all competing for tens of thousands of dollars in prizes.

Participants in hackathon room starting development
Image from https://www.facebook.com/attdeveloper

The Event

The hackathon was split into two primary tracks: wearables and mobile APIs. Each track had an impressive $40,000 prize pool, with $25,000 going to each of the two winning teams.

To be eligible for the wearables track, you had to integrate with one of the pieces of hardware provided by the event's sponsors, including the following:

To be eligible for the API track, you had to utilize one of a handful of APIs, including the following list:

The Results

In the end, over 600 developers submitted an impressive 106 entries. It took over four hours for each team to present their entry to the crowd. A panel of judges selected three finalists for each track, and the next day attendees voted to select the winners.

The wearables track was won by team Safe Necklace. Their app tracked a series of Gimbal proximity beacons, and would notify the device when a beacon left a configurable range. The use case they presented was kids on a field trip: each kid would wear a beacon on a lanyard, and the supervisor would be notified when a child left the group.

Winners of the first track on stage
Image from https://twitter.com/charliekarstrom/status/420267206379712512

The API track was won by team "M". Their app turned mobile devices into ATMs. The app used Gimbal proximity beacons to see people in the area with cash available, esri's mapping APIs to place those people on a map, and AT&T's payment APIs to perform the actual transactions.

Winners of the second track on stage
Image from https://twitter.com/HapticsDev/status/420272484298915840

If you're curious and were unable to attend, the keynote containing the finalist presentations was recorded.

What About Icenium?

Almost all wearables require a corresponding mobile app. Icenium and Kendo UI Mobile make it easy to build cross platform mobile apps quickly; therefore, they're perfect for building iOS and Android apps in a limited amount of time, such as a hackathon.

Several teams used a combination of Kendo UI and Icenium in their applications, and we helped them get up and running. Telerik also provided a number of prizes for the event, including five iPad minis and two MakerBots.

Wrapping Up

The hackathon provided a glimpse into the future of mobile development. It was amazing to see the things that people were able to do with wearable technology in a limited amount of time. It'll be fascinating to see how many of these wearable advances make it into our everyday lives.

If you're interested, AT&T holds a series of these hackathons around the world. You can also follow them at @attdeveloper.

TJ VanToll

About the Author
TJ VanToll is a web developer, speaker, and writer living in Lansing, MI and working as a developer advocate for Icenium. He is an open source advocate that is on the jQuery UI team and publishes his blog open source. When not on the internet, TJ is generally found helping his significant other chase their twin sons in circles. TJ is on Twitter as @tjvantoll and tjvantoll on Github.


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