During last weekend’s Disrupt SF Hackathon events, 147 teams had 24 hours to design, build, test and present their products to judges. Only three teams had the chance to demo their projects in front of the crowd. The first place team was awarded a $5,000 grand prize.
Techcrunch, the sponsor of the event, invited hardware hackers to “Build toys, robots, Arduino cases, or whatever you want and enter the Disrupt Hackathon as an inaugural hardware hacker. We dare you.” 400 hackers took TechCrunch up on their challenge.
While the Sirious Margarita Maker “a highly complex system that allows you to tell Siri to make you a margarita, and the Memstash app “that helps you memorize anything” gave the winners a run for their money, three other teams beat them and everyone else out of the top prize.
First Prize: Livebolt
Livebolt is a cloud-based identity management system. It consists of a metal block that slides on the back of a physical lock. The block responds to an order from an iPhone app. Once a user passes authentication, the iPhone app can authorize the metal block to lock or unlock the user's door.
Runner-up #1: Autopus
Autopus is an app that lets sellers on sites like Craigslist to conduct auctions on their own listings. As bids are placed on their stuff, sellers gets notified and can monitor activity in almost real-time.
Runner-up #2: HeatData
HeatData provides a way to track the gestures of mobile website users. Knowing how users interact with pages helps vendors determine how to improve the design and UI for their mobile app.
Many of the other teams didn’t go home empty handed. Sponsors like AT&T, Evernote, dotCloud, Ford, Locu, Microsoft Bizspark, Dropbox, New Relic, Pearson, Qualcomm Innovation Center, Qualcomm Labs, SAP HANA, SkyDrive, TokBox, Twilio, and Zypr all awarded prizes to the teams that made the best use of their services.
TechCrunch Disrupt is one of the most anticipated technology conferences of the year, and it's underway this week through Wednesday.
Hold onto your smartphones, tablets and any other device with a broadband connection. There's a lot of innovation going on out there.