“I’m a hacker, not an engineer!”

Report from the first Gesture Control Hackathon

We at Flow love to share. Share ideas, feedback, even sales figures and this time share hardware. Why not organize a hackathon, where everybody can touch amazing gesture controllers and create amazing stuff? Building the reputation at Leap Motion apps and games, we were approved to the Myo Developers Program and were also selected among a few Kinect 2 developers. We don’t know about the other team in the country who owns these gadgets. Therefore, we feel kind of committed to share them with you, talented developers. So, what could be built in 24 hours? A lot!

Player / Scroller / Sorcerer Game (Myo)

A strong team, Ge4Sound from the Faculty of Information Technologies in Brno, created three apps in less than 24 hours! The team focused on the Myo Armband and explored it’s gesture capabilities. Myo player is an app which allows the user to control the music, so you can feel like the guy starting the Myo presentation video. Myo scroller is obviously controlling your web browser or any other content by hand position. The last integration was a game between two Myo “sorcerers”  – the first, an attacker, performs a set of three gestures, the second, a defender, has to repeat the gestures. Then the players order changes and the fight continues until one player misses the defending phase.

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Jedi sword (Kinect2 + Myo)

Two guys from the commercial TV channel came in with huge experience with Kinect 1. The team is working in a Real-Time-Graphics department and their major achievement is the interactive weather forecast controlled by a presenter’s gestures. It was clear they would focus on Kinect 2 capabilities. Vladislav and Petr couldn’t have chosen a better theme than Star Wars to impress the crowd. The yellow stick became a jedi sword and Myo tracked hand movements to generate the iconic buzzing sound while moving the sword. I felt sooooo powerful and the dark side was really tempting!

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Myo with balls (Myo + Sphero + Android phone) – OVERALL WINNER

Three graduates from the Czech Technical University in Prague originally planned to connect Myo with Google Glass. Once they saw the Sphero ball their plans changed immediately: “To control the movement, that’s the best reward,” described David on the reason why they changed their minds. The biggest challenge was to merge several Android SDKs into a single app which was achieved on Saturday at 4am. The team took a short nap and continued the next day. First, they started to control the ball as in the Myo ad and later the team came with a gaming layer on top of that. Up to four players stay in the circle around Myo with their hands steady. Shaking your hand works as a magnet for the Sphero ball, which starts rolling to the player. Once the ball comes too close, the player looses the match. The “rock&roll” version of the game is the opposite, you must shake your hand like hell to attract the ball. 

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WiiFlie (Drone + Wiimote) – WINNER OF THE TECHNICAL CHALLENGE

On the spot, an international team consisting of a university lecturer names Seba and a university student named Jan, worked with their own hardware: a tiny drone and a Nintendo Wii remote. Some might say it is a controller from the stone age but from our point of view it was an interesting challenge to hack proprietary hardware and stay alive controlling the small and crazy drone. Seba from Argentina says he is a researcher that loves to learn about machines, botnets and arduinos, which was a good assumption as he won the “Technical challenge” with his young teammate Jan Jedlicka, who deserves my respect to be able to speak in fluent technical English even after 24 hours without sleep.

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Two other teams dropped from the competition after realizing the technical limitations of their selected devices. But that’s an integral part of the process and the risk of coming with something new. It’s an experience which can’t be bought and for me those guys are as great as those who stayed in front of the crowd and prayed that their demo will work. 

The next Gesture Control Hackathon will probably be in September and will have the theme: interactive visuals. We will gather art directors, animators, VJs and all those crazy motion artists at one place to connect them with technical minds, coders and hackers. We truly believe this will be an amazing experience and the output from such an event will be stunning. See you then!

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Photos from the event

Set 1 – Friday and Saturday

Set 2 – Pitches and the Ceremony

THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS AND SUPPORTERS:

Techsquare for the space and breakfast

Red Bull for the energy

Damejidlo.cz for the lunch

Pioneers Festival and StartupSummit for prizes

Keen Software House for Oculus Rift (we had a lot of fun during the weekend 🙂

Inmite for Google Glass (everybody wanted to try it!) 

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