Hack Manchester – Roll on Next Year!

I’ve just returned from the awesome Hack Manchester, a coding marathon for the hardiest of developers. Expectations were high and we weren’t disappointed. Thanks to Gemma Cameron, Sean Handley and Joe Swan (and everyone else who helped) for putting on such a great event. Aside from some Wi-fi glitches it was a triumph! Thanks also to the Museum of Science and Industry for an inspiring venue.

As ever we challenged hackers to come up with great ideas incorporating the Pusher API. Fifteen teams took up this challenge. Teams delivered everything from multi-player games, crazy solutions to the Rube Goldberg Challenge (set by Web Apps UK) and live interactive experiences.

After considerable deliberation I narrowed down the field to two teams. A team from Manchester University called The Foot Injury Clan produced a superb answer to the Rube Goldberg Challenge passing a string between at least 8 languages, numerous encodings and an impressive variety of hardware. This was all syncronised via Pusher, and they seemed to use almost every Pusher client & server library that is available all in one hack.

The Foot Injury Clan were eclipsed only just by a team from Lancaster University called ‘TeamNFCBeerCup’. This team created a social music system for use in bars. People visiting a bar would be given their drink in a glass with an RFID tag attached reflecting their taste in music. As people move around the bar their music preference would then be picked up by NFC sensors at tables and music reflecting the mix of music tastes at the table would then be played. Now that I write this I realise it’s hard to do justice to the idea, but let’s just say the result of the above was an interactive live social music experience where all communication between devices is driven by Pusher. Worthy winners of my prize!

It was great to meet everyone up in Manchester. See you next year!


Pusher at Hack Manchester

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