Garage48 has earned reputation with 48-hour hackathons where typically mobile and web applications are built over the weekend and can-do attitude and entrepreneurial spirit boosted among participants. Last year the team ventured for the first time into the realm of physical gadgets with Garage48 Hardware & Arts, the second edition of which gathered last weekend in Tartu 140 engineers, developers, designers and artists.
“We saw even a bigger number of participants than last year as well as a broader range of ideas from defence to beekeeping, which shows there is growing interest in hardware,” says Priit Salumaa, chief organiser of the event. Out of 38 ideas pitched on Friday night 18 went into production and were presented on Sunday night to a packed audience and jury, which among others included Estonian Prime Minister, Taavi Rõivas.
The victory was taken home by Hitafly, an electronic handgun coach for shooting error correction. More specifically Hitafly is a little handgun accessory, which analyses the gun’s movement just before firing and displays errors (such as jerking a wrist or recoiling) on a mobile device. Literally, a killer app – which just works, as the team convincingly proved by fitting into the tight schedule also field tests in a shooting range.
The first runner-up Do You Even Lift – DYEL is a device that attaches to gym equipment and relays the number of reps and weight completed back to a mobile device. The second runner-up BeeHunter produced a smart trap for catching bee colonies during swarming. “The top three teams all presented prototypes where excellent execution meets great potential and which could definitely be turned into real products ,“ characterised Priit Salumaa.
Best design award went to Puca, a robot toy that teaches programming to kids, and best technology prize to Liquid Light, a shot tray with programmable lights and a robotic element for filling the glasses. Special mention was earned by Blackout who offered some of the most memorable moments of the finale by killing stage lights and sound as well as live stream broadcast online for several minutes when presenting their solution for cutting power via smartphone.
You can see all the projects from the weekend here.
According to mentors Rachel Rayns and Ben Nuttall from Raspberry Pi Foundation, “at Garage48 the mixture of people from multiple disciplines such as design and marketing helps teams to complete their project in a different way to other hackathons. This provides an ambitious, professional environment that encourages teams to continue after the event”.
While it’s too early to tell what will happen to this year’s teams, we do certainly hope to see several of them continue and report progress in future. The odds for that are high, given almost one third of last event’s teams are still going strong one year later.
Photos by Reio Avaste