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Digital Sizzle 9: Art Hack

Techmog is a liquid network of engineers, programmers, designers and entrepreneurs in and around London who report on the industry we work in, from an insider's view. We're always looking for Londoners with something interesting to say. Send an email to info@techmog.com if you would like to contribute to the website.

Peter Bailey

Freelance Wordpress Developer in London (peabay.xyz) @peabay
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Check out: Arduino Day 2015

Hackathons conjure images of energy drink, beanbags and furious coding. The brief is curt – make something within a few hours using whatever skills you have or can find in the room. Detached from corporate protocols and client indecisiveness developers have a chance to show their peers what they can do unfettered and with complete focus. The humble hack is now a worldwide phenomenon and attract some of the most versatile makers in the business.

3Beards decided to take the hackathon one step further and introduced art into the equation. We went to see what the contestants had gotten up to at the Digital Sizzle Art Hackathon.

A hardware hackathon wouldn’t be complete without an Arduino strapped to a bicycle. Creative Technologist Samuel Cox and Web Developer Gloria Chiang merged minds to create a bike designed to encourage an emotional connection with another cyclist in another country. By monitoring revolutions of the wheel a soundtrack and visualization was created. Differences in speed caused the sound to soften or increase in volume.

Graphic Designer Christoph Sassenberg and Developer Mark Durrant wanted to mock the NSA and our governments with their project which sniffs connections in the local wifi and displays the details on an iPad. While amusing, it’s a stark reminder how easy it is to get this kind of information.

Without doubt the work of Anita Leung, Richard Leigh, Stephen Chan and Tom Berman was the most engrossing. Combining a Kinect with a projector and some clever coding a mortal combat game was formed, using gestures to launch fireballs and block.

Since Little Printer thermal printers seem to have made a major dent in the hacker space. Alice Woods, Betsy Fore, Seb Potter and Tim Regan used theirs to create the technological equivalent of shouting insecurities off tall buildings. Combined with an Arduino, a shredder and phone communication API Twilio the setup was able to receive messages via SMS, print them off and immediately shred them.

Posted 20th Aug 2013
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