The first-ever global hackday, with a theme of tangible interfaces, was a whole lot of fun. Highlights:
- The creators of Trackmate and reacTIVision joined in on IRC and livestream (still editing those chat logs, folks – tons of helpful tips and troubleshooting techniques!)
- Participants from around the world joined in from Germany to Argentina, as well as our folks in NYC.
- We got a whole bunch of projects started and a few finished, with interfaces for music, visuals, and learning using everything from simple tags to soda bottles and drum heads.
- In NYC, we had a few surprises, including digital magician and “augmented magic” creator Marco Tempest in for a demo, plus an interactive glove interface.
- On chat, we had both Spanish and English being spoken (and native speakers of many more languages)!
At top, a look at some of the action at New Work City, the fabulous coworking space that donated Internet-connected workspace. We were able to absorb the lingering brain energy of lots of smart coders who work there during the week.
The event also generated some fascinating discussions. Jose (Estado Lateral Media Lab) and Valeria (jalea.tv) spoke to us about their experience in Argentina, what it’s like putting together communities of people to work and learn together, and about the experience of reading Processing code written in a mix of English and Spanish.
Jason Bunyan and gossip columnist (no, really) Kelly Will were on-hand from PepsiCo to cover Internet Week. They asked a really important question it’s easy to forget to ask – why do this? Here was my answer, off the top of my head.
We also used this event as an opportunity to experiment with live collaboration. I have to say, cobbling together blogs, social media services, Twitter, IRC, and live video streaming winds up being a less than seamless experience – though the challenges and failures there give us lots of ideas for how to build noisepages to make it easier. Still, the fundamental experience of knowing that other people are working together – to say nothing of the ability to chat with them live (and keep reacTIVision’s Martin from getting his thesis done) – is priceless.
Here’s a quick glimpse of some captured footage from the live video to give you a feel. And yes, next time, we’ll work on sound.