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Build-It Hack-a-thon is on!

Live-blogging the TechCrunch Hackday, as we attempt to build a truly welcoming welcome mat.


And that concludes the TechCrunch Hackday! We successfully built a welcome mat that would welcome you with personal greetings based on your Foursquare and Twitter information, including empathizing with your emoticons, laughing out loud with you, asking about your activities and friends, and celebrating your badge wins with Price is Right music and blinking LEDs. An awesome time and a Build-It success!

final photo

And now we eat and sleep.


Winners are about to be announced... Lots of interesting projects, looking forward to seeing who will be presenting tomorrow!
And the winners are...

Future Mario
Twitter Demographics
Worst Phone Ever

Runners up...
iPad Strap
Mr. Stabby

Congrats to the winners!

1:17pm : Etsy hack! first of the day. shopping for your friends on etsy based on their facebook profile info.

3D terrain engine for the iPad! 3(D) cheers for OpenGL acceleration!

another iPad project - custom gestures to open/close/reload/etc.

AND WE'RE DONE!!!! 60 hacks in 3 hours! now for the judges' deliberations...


And we're push. Some trends from the day:
 - Facebook Open Graph API seems popular, quite a few projects are using it.
 - judges getting stricter with time limits...90 seconds people!


Demo demo demo.  

12:00 pm - noon

ProductBar - plug-in for wordpress so people can purchase products from reviews.  

RescueTime - facebook UI for a background service that shows you how much time you've spent using different applications, viewing certain websites.

ITP - API For the World - API that turns any item with a cord into a networked object - social network for physical objects.

HackNY - matches up technologists & people who want to hire technologists based on graphs.  hosted on github.  


Shallow Dating - uses facial recognition to match users with people based on facial features.

Worst Phone Ever - A parser for iPhone crash logs.  Crowd-sourced class-action lawsuit against AT&T.

NewsCred - voice-recognition to news information.  Open API.

Humans Know Best - Web app for asking questions based on images via Twitter.


WebHD - uses google animation to put gratuitous animation on existing sites  

ClassIO -  API/service for classified ads

Welcome Mat is stoked that we're done presenting.


Dogshare - facebook app for dog walkers and dog lovers

APPSiGOT - an app that uses twitter & facebook to share Apple apps you have installed.  Built using Adobe AIR.


Lots of tweeters.  Flymodo is presenting now - analysis of tweeting from people getting on and off of airplanes.


Welcome Mat was the fourth demo.  It went smoothly.  People laughed.  People danced.  We were the only team that brought flowers.


Intro!  There will be almost 60 presentations - 90 seconds each.


The subways ran smoothly this morning.  We're back, setting up speakers & checking the schedule.

We're number 4 & need to set up NOW!

3:47 am
Done testing. Cleaning up.

3:30 am
Still testing.

3:18 AM
Final testing! And demo planning. (What a nice plant.)
final test

3:03 AM

Still going... ate more pizza. Moved onto beer. Michael and Ron are putting the final touches on the flashing LEDs. We're trying to wrap things up! Hoping to clean up, pack up our stuff, snooze and then get back in here in the morning. Our mat is quite a lovely home companion. Elliot is loopy. Something is beeping. Boys are smelly.

2:24 AM

Kinda tired?  The Welcome Mat is kinda awesome.  We decided to pass on the XBee but to add blinking LED lights when a user "unlocks" a "badge" in foursquare.


12:57 AM

It's all coming together!  And we're kinda tired.  

11:42 PM

Sensors hooked and the welcome mat is getting smarter. Elliot is blending the  the APIs together while Ron's tuning the input form the FSR. The Xbee connection are not in a good place at the moment but Vicky and Michel are making progress.

10:26 PM

We've got the mat working sensors working! Some rubber pads, foam, and pressure sensors hooked up and talking to the Arduino which is talking to Processing.

Michael has smooth-talked his way into a borrowed Xbee shield so we can make our mat wireless and Elliot is plotting out the master scheme for foursquare, twitter, voice, and sensors. Mwahaha.


ron and elliot coding

working away

8:50 PM

The FourSquareLibrary for Processing is complete!  (at least as complete as it needs to be for the Hack-A-Thon!) 

8:05 PM

Ron's got the voice talking! And codes with extreme style.
ron coding

Here's Michael and the pressure circuit:
michael with circuit

Our work station (thanks to Ron for bringing the plant. With the welcome mat we definitely win for best table decor.)

7:47 PM

Ate some pizza and drinking Mountain Dew. Wondering what this place is going to smell like in the morning...

Meanwhile, Michael has one pressure sensor circuit working on a bread board. Elliot has written the code to retrieve recent foursquare check-in and user information and is working on retrieving badge data.

The hacking continues!

6:55 PM

Vicky is working on the physical interface.

Michael is looking into a Processing library that allows direct control of Arduino inputs & outputs.

6:51 PM

Vicky arrives!

6:30 PM

Elliot Winard, Ron Rosenman and Michael DelGaudio have a little table in the corner of a room of innovators at the TechCrunch Hack Day.

The weather is a cloudy, humid.

Ron is sitting in on a session about the Facebook's new Social Graph API.  

Michael is testing out Arduinos.  

Elliot is about to start building a library to connect Processing applications to foursquare.  He just realized his beard is getting a little unruly.