Perceptual Computing Hacknights: Highlights from Munich and San Francisco

June 2013 was a good month for perceptual computing, as multiple workshops and hacknights were held in both San Francisco and Munich.


There was one free perceptual computing workshop planned in Munich in June, created with the intent to help developers become familiar with the Perceptual Computing SDK and the Creative*Gesture Camera Kit:

  • Perceptual Computing Workshop: Saturday, June 8, 2013 at 2:00 PM, Munich, Germany. The training provided in this workshop is designed to help you get familiar with the PerC SDK (download it here) and the Gesture Camera Kit.

These workshops were interactive events where developers could connect with Intel personnel and get hands-on training with the SDK, Creative* Gesture Camera, and Ultrabooks in order to create an immersive perceptual computing experience. The workshop had to be attended in order to compete in the Hacknight.

Once coders had a few more perceptual computing development skills under their belts from attending the above scheduled workshop, it was time for a bit of friendly competition at the Perceptual Computing Hacknight, scheduled for June 22, 2013.   Developers who participated in the Perceptual Computing Workshop had the opportunity to bring a new idea or existing project into a 24 hour coding challenge and compete for up to €4.500 in cash prizes to win in Germany at the Perceptual Computing Hacknight, June 22-23. Here’s a few video highlights from that event:

Here’s a report on the Munich Hackathon winners from BeMyApp, who orchestrated these events:

“The best app is Sign in, developed by Birgit Plötzeneder who win 2,500€ – this app allows people to log in severals app on desktop, internet,… the idea is to provide a very simple, safe and a very quick way to log in.

The most innovative app is the Parroteer, developed by Martin Förtsch & Thomas Endres who win 1,000€ – this app is a virtual flight controller with which you can control an AR Drone with your hands using the perceptual computing camera.

The best user experience app is Thumbrate, developed by Julian Schmidl & Markus Gschwendtner who win 1,000€ – this app recognize the thumbs gesture and allows people to rate or to evaluate without touching anything.

Two teams were also congratulated as the jury’s favorite and went back with an Intel Ultrabook Finger Yoda by Vladimir Mitrovic & Perceptual Windows Manager by Thomas Schöps & Mark.”

San Francisco

In the States, we offered two free workshops, both with the intent to help developers become familiar with the Perceptual Computing SDK and the Creative*Gesture Camera Kit:

  • May 23, 2013: Helios Interactive, San Francisco, CA.
  • June 13, 2013: Intel campus, Santa Clara, CA.

After attending one of these workshops, developers could move on to the Hackathon, which was scheduled for June 21-22. This event was a true “hackathon”, as was the Munich event. While developers could bring in existing projects, they were required to code Perceptual Computing features within a 24-hour period. Projects were arbitrated by a panel of judges, looking for the best technical implementation of perceptual computing features, effective perceptual computing user experience, and overall completion of their original objectives. Prizes included a $3,000 Grand Prize, $1000 for the Most Innovative, and another $1000 for the Best User Experience.

Here’s a report on the San Francisco winners from Intel Community Manager Monika Lischke, who was in attendance at the event:

Grand Prize $3k: MyPetShadow game by Cyrus Lum: pet on the hand appears which can be feed with different fruits and then changes appearance, voice recognition: pet stated name when it was asked. Pet also follows hand around and you can play with it.

Runner up $1k: Motion Map by team of 3 devs (Jeremy, Mike and Austin; their first hackathon) - wrote a Chrome plug in and used Google Map API for scrolling and zooming with different hand gestures

Best UX $1k: education app for kids to learn to count using Unity - team of 2 devs and 1 designer. Tasks need to be answered by finger gestures or voice

Honorary Mention (awarded an Ultrabook SDP): Tim for his 3D Space Palette - additional wood palette to act as a 3D mousepad (ported from Kinect): use your hand in the different areas of the palette and different music and visuals appear. Worked very well and will probably be seen at next Burning Man :-)

Honorary Mention (awarded an Ultrabook SDP): Larry for working on 3 different projects at the same time (virtual keyboard, PingPong app and virtual piano).”

Here are a few video highlights from the San Francisco event:


Were you there?

Perceptual computing is a rapidly moving field and it’s just getting started. These events delivered a first look at what the promise of perceptual computing truly holds for developers who are eager to lead the way. Were you in attendance at either of these hack nights or at any of the workshops? Share your experiences here with us in the comments!





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