Marcus Noble


Emerging Tech Weekender & Digital Oxford

For those who don't know, Oxford is the place for digital, and Digital Oxford is a community group dedicated to promoting this fact.

Their latest event offering was hackathon going by the name of Emerging Tech Weekended, a weekend long event bringing together designers, developers and business brains to explorer new ideas and technologies revolving around three technology themes: Multi-device web, Internet of things and mesh networks. There was tech and business mentors floating about providing help to teams all weekend.

The weekend kicked off on Friday with something of a surprise to me...

STFC helped sponsor the event. Who knew? (I know I sure didn't).

After the tech mentors gave their presentation & demos we began mingling over drinks and coming up with ideas for teams to work on. When we all came back together we had a large number of good ideas suggested.

We each had two votes we could give to an idea and then teams were formed out of the top voted. I joined the "Dude, where's my cat?" team. The idea was, we never have any idea where our cats are, wouldn't it be great if we could track them somehow?

Dude, where's my cat?
Dude, where's my cat?

So... we discovered pretty quickly that the idea has been done, repeatedly. 😞

So I joined SenseSpace! The ideas was pretty simple, create a gaming platform that could be used on mobile devices to take digital games into the real world using things like geolocation and mesh netowkring. Our proof of concept was a game of tag. Each player has a mobile device, they access our web application and their position is plotted on a map. Other players in the area are then shown as opponents. A single player is "it" and must catch an opponent by getting close enough for long enough.

Our final project didn't quite make it that far but we did get enough to convey the basic idea to people.

As part of our pitch we did a short example video of us playing tag with our devices. I was even able to make use of a pair of Google Glasses to get some pretty cool point-of-view footage.

I thought Google Glass would be a cool platform to be able to actually play our game on (if you ignore the cost for a moment). Unfortunately...

When it came to Sunday evening it was time for the pitching and judging. There was a lot of goo pitches and a lot of impressive work done in just a couple days.

SenseSpace was getting some very positive feedback.

There was a lot of good ideas from Queue controlling...

Q-Control
Q-Control

...to audience roulette...

CrowdLighter
CrowdLighter

But my personal favourite, and the one that got my vote during the audience voting, was Team Brush!

So... the results are.........

Audience Favourite

Team Brush!

Best Technology

SenseSpace (Woo!)

Best Commercially

Team Brush!

All in all it was an amazing weekend with a lot of effort put in and fun had by all.

I would like to thank everyone involved in organising and running the event, truly amazing work.