The Hack Day Entries

The following Entries and Teams entered the OTA15 Hack Day Competitions:

Entry & Team Description
Yakilium, by Terence Eden & Sareh Heidari A wearable… FOR YOUR CAR!nSpeeding? Automatic donation to charity! Speeding? Change your Radio 1 Roadshow to THE ARCHERS. Speeding? Upload your naughtiness to an open data set – and Tweet a photo of your criminality to the police!
Tweet Me News, by Sara O’Connor 16-34 year olds share, on average, six pieces of content a day on social media, which is a lot of data about what they are interested in. They spend up to 14 hours per day consuming media, across several devices, especially on the platforms they are sharing content, which is a great place to reach them to show them articles that they are interested in.

What if we took data from what they shared and cross-referenced it with the news of the day? We could personalise a set of articles that are highly likely to be of interest to them. And rather than ask the user to visit some website, we’d send the new articles to them on the platform they are already using.

Tweet Me News delivers personalised news stories to you, via Twitter, based on your tweets, courtesy of the BBC Juicer.

Woof RTC, by Sam Machin Using a Raspberry PI with the Camera Module and a Mic as a WebRTC client running ‘headless’ The pi can be set up as a remote monitor on for example my puppies crate so I can check on him from any browser.
Because the Pi itself has no input or control method the answer/hangup controls for the Pi end of the call are implemented remotely on a mobile browser using pusher’s web sockets to control that end.
The Transcriptinator, by Tristan Roddis The Transcriptinator is a desperately exciting game designed to run on the British Library’s Crowdsourcing Arcade Machine (

It takes information from the hundreds of thousands of scanned documents available on the Qatar Digital Library website (e.g. . These documents have OCR transcriptions attached (same link, scroll down) but these are imperfect, having been done by a stupid computer rather than a clever human being.

The Transcriptinator enlists the help of the aforementioned human being by presenting them with the OCR words, alongside the source image, and inviting them to mark which words have not been correctly transcribed.

The way it does this is by using the open API available on the QDL site, which presents images via the International Image Interoperability Framework ( – possibly the world’s most underrated protocol). This allows selective zooming and cropping which, when combined with positional information from the raw transcription XML, allows game players to compare the two at the level of each word.

Performance Budget Calculator, by Jonathan Fielding Performance is very important for responsive websites which is why performance budgets are becoming a lot more popular. The problem is that they are painful to put together so I decided to put together this tool that would allow you to put together a performance budget easier.

In doing this I am hoping to open up performance budgets to a much bigger audience, as it means both developers and designers can quickly play and experiment with different performance budgets and the impact they have on the end users.

video at

Touch Free, by Alistair MacDonald A hardware hack that allows a mobile phone or tablet to be used without the needing to touch the screen.

This is of use when wearing anything from protective gloves in the cold to medical and industrial environments where touching a screen is not safe. It could even provide access to hardware otherwise unavailable to a disabled user.

The device is based around a microcontroller that emulates a virtual keyboard and mouse (and for games a joystick) and allows access to most of the basic functionality via a finger joystick.

DSC0073, by Oli Newsham When people come back from holiday they always tell you about the place they went to off the beaten path; the little local cafe, the old farm they stayed on, or the village in the middle of nowhere. This speaks of a natural human curiosity about the lives and cultures of others. DSC0073 is an API that seeks to satisfy that curiosity.

Digital cameras are so commonplace that 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Only a tiny fraction of that content gets shared, and an even smaller fraction gets shared widely. A vast quantity of content is uploaded with no description, gets no views, and only has the name given to it by the device on which it was recorded. That is the key to DSC0073.

The DSC0073 API hosted on Azure searches YouTube for content with a camera-bestowed title and serves it up as a single serving view into the lives of people all over the world. I’ve built a website and a Universal Windows 10 app that consume data from the API to present a stream of video.

The KeyGlove, by Tom Durrant The KeyGlove is a keyboard in a glove that allows the user to type by simply pressing their fingers against a solid surface. Keys are entered by pressing binary combinations of the 5 fingers at the same time.
This entry method can be a little hard to get used to at first so there is also a game to help learn to type.
BODY TALK, by Moira Morrison My solution is a handshake between a microsoft band, an azure site, and a virtual reality headset. My desire is to integrate the vr device seemlessly to the owners activities by scraping websites for content, setting up the headset sending operating instructions and status notifications and then recording body statistics during the hr experiences. The stats can then be compared for best experience reaction, fastest desensitisation, and across users ‘how was it for you’.
Baby Swipes, by Dom & Heather Hodgson Tinder for Baby names or what happens when you suggest Buckles as a baby name to your wife
IFTHT – If this, then help them, by Stephen Nicholas The problem: I want to give more money to charity, and I want to encourage more people to give more to charity.

“What’s stopping you / them?” Laziness / I’m never sure how much to give.

“How about just a % of what you earn?” That could work, but what about people with fluctuating incomes or need to save for a bit. And what if we could make it more interesting…

The (original) idea: interface with Google Pay / Braintree on my phone and give a dedicated % of my ‘luxury’ purchases to a nominated charity.

Turns out this is tricky: unsurprisingly the payment data is not generally shared and so I can’t really do this (short of a purposeful man-in-the-middle attack).

So this has evolved into a general service on the device that can be used to automatically trigger a donation to a charity of my choice. Other apps can then plug into this (with the appropriate permission) to do cool stuff (some of which I may also try to hack together).
* A pomodoro timer than punishes you if you don’t complete the whole pomodoro (i.e. if you use your phone as a distraction)
* Geolocation interaction
** E.g. whenever I go to McDonalds, make me pay. Or if I go to McDonalds more than once in a day, make me pay.
** Or an app that can determine the charity for an event I’m at, and I can easily donate.

Lego Coward, by Janos Potecki Lego Coward is basically a LEGO Mindstorm robot which is driving autonomously. To program the robot I used Python, which I have just rarely used a couple years ago.
The robot is called coward, as when he bumps into something/somebody he makes a ~90 degree turn and drives away.
Furthermore, there is a remote control which can change the direction and the pace of the robot.
CazKnit, by Caz Mockett A way of getting your favourite knitting patterns read to you while on the move.
Sentimental Juice, by Matt Lacey It’s a news reader based on the BBC News Juicer that uses sentiment analysis of the stories and a learning algorithm to surface the more interesting stories. Once it’s learnt interests it can use that to filter breaking news alerts to only those that are relevant to the person receiving them.
Ripple, by Jon Kelly, Viviane Li & Olivia Chou Ripple’ gives context to News.

Help viewers to better understand:
• news from other points of views (‘World views‘)
• how a news incident may affect their daily life (‘Ripple share’)
• current affairs via archive news articles

The ‘World views‘ demo shows a part of the whole concept.


*and relax*

Basically, those things that you’d call 101 for if you could be bothered.

Why not just tweet it quickly and forget about it?

So I’m using ionic (!) to create an Angular and Cordova based HTML5 and iOS and Android (and possibly even other platforms) app to do this.

Dancing R2D2, Judith Boldt & Elgin Candoleta We built a dancing R2D2 out of LEGO Mindstorms
Smart Home, Hercules Fisherman Technologist , artist interested in innovation in general