HackOTT: Ottawa represented!

Corey and I are not the only ones heading back to Toronto thinking that Ottawa seriously represented at HackOTT and blew our minds! HackOTT was just an awesome hackathon. AWESOME. There is no other way to describe the incredibly talented developers who came out on Saturday and built 15 applications in the span of 6 hours.

We have a gigantic list of people to thank for making HackOTT possible and we will get to that but right now, the spotlight is on the developers who came and built. For the record: this was our largest hackathon with over 80 people registered for the event – so mad props to the entire HackOTT team and volunteers for organizing an event that went out without a hitch!

For HackOTT we provided a total of 7 APIs for all the developers. The rules of our hack events are that developers can use any APIs they wish to use as long as they include one of the APis provided. There is no limit to the number of APis used and how they are used. APIs provided included:

Following our HackOTT schedule, we had an awesome breakfast provided by our sponsors and gathered to hear the 5 minutes API introductions organized by the API providers. Standing room only!

A bit of brainstorming, a bit of team gathering and planning and we were off to the races at 11 AM with a number of applications under development. We had a few more stickies added and a few more removed throughout the day but we ended up with a total of 15 applications built that Saturday.

HackOTT’s presentation rules for any application built during the day: were that the application had to be completed and could be demo-ed to the judges at 5 PM. If the application was not completed it was not considered for judging and if it crashed or could not be demo-ed while on the podium it was also elimiated from the judging. Each developer had 3 minutes to present their application to the judges and the entire HackOTT crowd. Pressure!

And drum roll… the winners of HackOTT are:

NUMBER 1: RESERVELY created by Brad Miller (@bradmiller) and Jevin Maltais (@jevy)

This is an application that allows you to make quick online reservations with any restaurant in the world. Simply find a local restaurant on a map and complete the online form. Reservely will get in touch with the restaurant automatically via voice and will get a confirmation of your reservation. Jevy tells us he has never won anything – besides his mother’s love – so we are very happy for him! His advice to future hackers: build your app end to end. Read his detailed blog post. I am looking forward to Jevy and Brad to find a few more hours to polish this application and fully release it.

NUMBER 2: BRIERWOOD created by Shawn Hyam (@shawnhyam)

This is an application that allows you to send a selection of coffee shops, restaurants or anything to your friend’s cellphone so that the two of you can pick a location that you are interested in. For example: you both would like to find a coffee shop that is nearby to work at. You can start by getting a list of the nearby coffee shops and via the application share them with your colleague so that he can pick the one he would like to recommend. Both users see the same list of available coffee shops and get to make recommendations.

NUMBER 3: ZIPIT created by Steve Brambilla (@stevebrambilla)

This is the easiest way to manage your zip list on the go. Using a bar code scanner and zip list, you can scan any DVD and directy add it to your zip list queue. As soon as the DVD is avaiable at zip.ca it will be shipped to you. Very practical.

Applications built that landed the 4th and 5th place respectively include: Icarus and DateShake.

NUMBER 4: ICARUS created by Christine Davis (@_hristine)
This is a photomosaic App. But rather than using a photograph for the creating of the mosaic, Christine is using a video! Christine used the iSight camera in her MacBook as a video source for the mosaic. For the first, simpler implementation, you could click anywhere on the video, and the app would show a collection of images that matched that colour. If you clicked a second time, it would show you a collection of images that were half of each colour, and so on (up to 5 colours – at which point the oldest colour is dropped).

Christine also pushed the envelop by creating a second type of mosaic: using a video as a constantly updating photo mosaic. Christine detailed her implementation in a blog post. For creativity Icarus gets a 10/10!

Simply enter your twitter handle, and shake your phone. DateShake suggests one of your twitter friends, a restaurant from the YellowAPI, and a movie from Zip. Don’t like the results? Shake again.

DateShake was also Zip.ca winner of the best use of the Zip API.

In the spirit of the best use of an API: we also decided to award Christine Davis a prize for the best use of the Piximilar API for her Icarus application.

And it is a wrap for the HackOTT hackhaton. It was a blast. And in the words of @mthistle:

Until next time.

and a GIANT THANK YOU TO SHOPIFY! for letting us crash their offices! Without kindness there is no community!


Our next hackathon will be in Waterloo, then Vancouver, then back to Toronto and anywhere else you welcome us. Stay in touch, sign up for our newsletter!

  • HackREGINA Location Sponsor

    Innovation Place - Innovation Place is home to approximately 40 clients in six buildings, employing more than 1,600 people.

  • HackREGINA Event Sponsors

    iQmetrix Software - At iQmetrix, we create great experiences for retailers, their employees, and the end consumer.

    GB Internet Solutions - We’re proud parents to GasBuddy.com and OpenStoreLoyalty.com, and while we don’t like to play favorites, the GasBuddy app has over 30 million downloads!

  • HackREGINA Community Sponsors

    YellowAPI - Our curated local search API is built off of the strength of the Yellow Pages database of over 1.5 million geo-localized business listings and associated rich content.

    Canadian Youth Business Foundation - Are you an aspiring young entrepreneur, aged 18 to 39, with a solid business idea? Are you looking for the financial support and expert advice that will help you bring your great business idea to life? The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) can help.

  • HackREGINA API Sponsors

    eHealth Saskatchewan - eHealth Saskatchewan employees and consultants are committed to making a difference for Saskatchewan residents by supporting health care providers through making important clinical information available electronically.

    Cashtie - InComm’s new Cashtie API opens up access to retailers point of sale (POS) systems, allowing any approved developer to sell online goods to consumers at these high value retail locations—opening up the possibility for web and mobile applications to accept cash payments for virtual goods, services and utilities at top retailers.

    Twilio - Twilio powers the future of business communications, enabling phones, VoIP, and messaging to be embedded into web, desktop, and mobile software.

    Wit - Wit allows you to build a Siri-like speech interface for you app in 5 min! It's an API that turns speech or text into JSON.

    Windows Azure - Add a cloud backend to your apps in minutes, enabling your apps to reach every user on every platform. With support for popular languages and open REST APIs, you’ll be ready to integrate Windows Azure into your apps in minutes. Use any of Windows Azure’s APIs to complete your hacks. You’ll need to activate a FREE trial or your MSDN Windows Azure benefits prior to using Windows Azure.

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