Hack Upstate XI: The Results Are In

Images courtesy of Daniel Viau — djviau@gmail.com
  1. Reduce Upstate NY’s talent churn rate. We educate the best and brightest STEM talent in the country. We’re determined to keep them in Upstate, NY.
  2. Facilitate cross-collaboration between the regional tech communities (e.g., Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and the Capital Region).
Images courtesy of Daniel Viau — djviau@gmail.com

Grand Prize

Every year, thousands of people lose money to telephone scams — from a few dollars to their life savings. Stephen Shaffer, a Hack Upstate veteran, sought to address this problem and built VoCat, a phone fraud protection application.

Images courtesy of Daniel Viau — djviau@gmail.com

First Runner-up

The First Runner-up, BookUp, sought to mitigate the financial burden students bear when it comes to buying and selling textbooks. The College Board estimates that the average student in this country spends around $1,200 a year on books. After students are finished with their textbooks, they can then sell them back to the bookstore. However, they can only do so at a fraction of the price. To address this problem, the BookUp team built a platform for students which enables them to sell their textbooks directly to other students and to name their own prices. Winners walked away with $500.

Images courtesy of Daniel Viau — djviau@gmail.com

PUBG Madglory API

This year we were extremely fortunate to have PUBG Madglory join us as a sponsor and offer up some great prizes and swag to the team that submitted the best hack using the PUBG Developer API. The PUBG Developer Portal introduces opportunities for developers to create tools, websites and add-ons that leverage data and APIs from PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

Buffalo Civic Innovation Challenge

Back in March, Buffalo’s Mayor Byron W. Brown launched his inaugural Mayor’s Civic Innovation Challenge Powered by AT&T, which seeks to create solutions that address social and civic issues that impact City of Buffalo residents. Using Buffalo’s Open Data platform the team behind Buffalo Crime Data built a data visualization tool which geographically depicts where crime is most prevalent throughout the city of Buffalo. The project’s underlying intent is to help provide the city with meaningful information that will help them determine where they should focus their efforts when it comes to combatting crime.

Images courtesy of Daniel Viau — djviau@gmail.com

Best UI/UX

The Best UI/UX prize, provided by ITX Corp, was awarded to GlassCycle. Buying new glasses can be very expensive, so they created a platform to help users buy and sell old frames. GlassCycle provides a very unique and intuitive interface which enables buyers to specify their sizes and their preferences when it comes to purchasing frames.

Images courtesy of Daniel Viau — djviau@gmail.com

Best Hardware Hack

Last but certainly not least, the team behind the The Digital Bridge to Reality project took home the Best Hardware Hack for their augmented reality application. Using an Activia yogurt box, lots of tape, and some software, they built a box that uses a screen to project light onto an angled piece of plastic. Doing so, coupled with the software they built, allowed for the illusion of 3D holograms that could be displayed in front of viewers. During their demo they showed off 3D holograms of pets (e.g., rabbits), Princess Leia — Help me Obi Wan Kenobi you’re my only hope — and a dragonfly fly they were able to control and manipulate. They built their project using C# and Unity — a cross-platform game engine.

Images courtesy of Daniel Viau — djviau@gmail.com

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Hack Upstate

Hack Upstate

Advancing Upstate New York's tech community through events and education. http://hackupstate.com/ && https://careersincode.org/