The #HackbrightForGood hackathon at Hackbright Academy on May 3-4, 2014 in San Francisco was attended by over a hundred developers with the intent to use their powers for good that weekend. Hackathon shirts featured a White Hat, which historically has been used to symbolize computer security hackers that futz around in other people’s stuff for “good” (often, to expose security vulnerabilities that companies should know about so that they can better protect the data of others) and not “bad” (AKA Black Hat).
Developers ranged from beginners to experienced ones, many of whom were at their first hackathon! Projects developed ideas for good – how to increase happiness, expand access, utilize SMS for greater good, etc.
Here are the winning projects/teams from the #HackbrightForGood weekend:
Winner of “Most Creative” Prize from Akamai: NGO, GO!
A simple way for NGOs to create an SMS reminder system and enroll people in it. Many people have access to text messaging but no access to internet, making texts an important method of communication for NGOs with a wide variety of applications. For example, text message reminders for taking medication on a schedule significantly improves adherence. Setting up text message communication systems generally requires an NGO to hire a developer, which is expensive and time-consuming.
SMS Campaign Manager “NGO, GO!” provides an easy graphical interface for setting up text reminders. The interval of recurring reminders is customizable for each reminder “campaign” (e.g. each medication), and you can enroll people in a campaign via SMS. People can respond to SMS reminders to indicate they’ve completed a task (e.g. taken their medication).
Winner of “Most Scrappy” Prize from SparkFun: Flowbright
Flowbright is a cost-effective solution that will allow us to transform our relationship with water. Flowbright hardware component (Electric Imp) sends water pressure data wirelessly to our Firebase database. Flowbright then analyzes the collected data using Keen IO and present in various charts via Hichart API. This allows users to closely monitor their water consumption and provide analytics on a granular level. Flowbright also allows users to set up alert when abnormal water usage activities occurred via Twilio APIs. We partnered up with Charity Water, where users can easily donate any portion of their savings from using Flowbright. Check it out on GitHub!
Flowbright Team: Tom Byrne, Kelvin Law, Joe Anderson, Emily Lam, Devaraj Rajagopalan, Sushma Yadlapalli, Rachel Thomas and Filip Anderson.
Runner-up “Most Scrappy” Prize from SparkFun: Delta Work
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Delta Work Team: Heather Hargreaves, Natt, Bill and Jordan Luyke.
Winner of “Best Use of Twilio API” – Txt.us
No smartphone? No problem. Tired of trying to coordinate with your colleagues and trying to figure out who’s in what office on what day? Text your schedule to a central number. You or your friends/colleagues can query the system to see who’ll be where when. Phase two will be a text resume builder, where you’d SMS our number with content for a resume, and it’d auto-generate one so you could build resumes without a computer.
Txt.us Team: Christine Matheney, Steven Edouard, Katherine Harris, Livi Erickson, Matt Foster.
Winner of “Best Use of Kloudless API” – Photo Kloud
To win the AR.Drone prize from Kloudless, Matt Green developed a Chrome extension to easily save images to your Dropbox.
Thanks to the judges: Camille Ricketts, Pamela Fox, Zac Witte and Emily Leathers.
Thanks again to our sponsors Akamai, Intuit, Mozilla, Amazon Lab126 and Salesforce for the support and helping make this hackathon a reality!
Hackbright software engineer Meggie Mahnken led the beginner developers through tutorial resources all weekend.
Thanks to everyone who came out – especially for those who came to mentor!