Last weekend Hamilton and I made the trip to Stockholm to attend the Nordic edition of this year’s BattleHack. Suffice it to say, we were not disappointed. Matching Braintree‘s superb standards for hosting events, we were met with excellent food, atmosphere, and a remarkably high standard of hacks.
The format of the proceedings was familiar to us: at 11 there were introductory talks by Joe Nash and the King of BattleHack John Lunn. Shortly after the partners – ourselves, Twilio, Estimote and Flic – gave our pitches, we settled down to a fantastic lunch. At 1 o’clock, the gong was struck, and the 24-hour hacking commenced.
As I said before, the hacks at Stockholm were outstanding – perhaps, according to me at least, the highest I’ve seen at any BattleHack so far – and that’s saying a lot! Winning 2nd place was a very intelligent and topically apposite app called Haven. Alejandro Rodriuez and Gustavo Giudici, the two gentlemen behind it, built a physical totem to be placed at points around Europe for asylum seekers to receive financial aid via donations. By printing a single-use QR code, the totem allowed the recipient to receive money through ATMs.
The team behind Beer Tap built an awesomely slick and fun product – even though it didn’t fulfill the BattleHack motto of hacking for the greater good (depending on how you view ‘good’ of course). They built a bar drinking game, where tables would participate as a team. They could order drinks for the table on their phone, and whichever team drunk the most would win. Questionable though the ethics of it may be, they produced a beautifully designed mobile app with a fun UX.
Another hack that – for its skill and unconventionality – deserves special mention was ssh.rs, an SSH client library in Rust. It was particularly special as very few expect to use Rust at a hackathon, and even fewer would expect something as low-level as an SSH client. Nonetheless, it looked like an awesome library, which you can find here on Github.
The Pusher Prize Winner: Guardian
The team that produced the best realtime application with Pusher was also the winner of the 3rd place prize. Curt Harding, Jake Price, Jon Hazan, Mike Elsmore, the team behind Guardian, produced an amazing hack that addressed many people around the world suffering from depression. Guardian is a tool that lets people recognize the signs of depression and help them manage the symptoms. The app used data from social media, email, SMS, purchase history and recent music history to chart the any suspected swings of mood in realtime. They used Pusher not only for their cool data visualizations, but also to display any incoming events – tweets, for example.
The BattleHack Winner: HandiSendy
The winners of the Stockholm edition to BattleHack, and those who will be going to sunny San José in November to compete in the finals, were the team behind HandiSendy.
HandiSendy, by Andrzej Filipowicz, Kamil Lelonek, Mateusz Maciaszek and Michał Załęcki, is an assistant for sightless people. It aids the user in location awareness, using geolocation, and allows them to request support anywhere in a city.
Over To You, Tel Aviv
If you’re at the next BattleHack in Tel Aviv, do say hi to Hamilton and Olga, who will be in attendance. Stockholm was an awesome event, and big thanks go to Braintree for letting us be a part of it again!