On 36 hours of mobile development…

A Guest-Post event round-up

By Julie Gould, Citizen Cyberlab

Image you are asleep in your home, comfortably wrapped up in your duvet, oblivious to the burglar that is making their way along your drive.

Also imagine your dog is deaf and your burglar alarm has stopped working, how would you raise the alarm?? How would you know there has been a break in? How would you scare the intruder away?

The answer comes from the Nottingham University coders team at this year’s Over The Air event (27th and 28th September), an overnight Hack Day. Their solution: your bog-standard (a-ha) toilet.

Using an accelerator like the one in your phone, you can measure the ripples in the toilet bowl water, which are created by vibrations. If the ripples are sufficient to raise an alarm, the accelerometer would tell another device to automatically flush the toilet, leaving the burglar to think that you are awake and in the house, and hence frighten them away. Obviously.

This is just one of the weird and wonderful creations to come out of last weekend’s event at Bletchley Park.

Bletchley Park3Bletchley Park, a beautiful country house just a few hundred meters away from the rail tracks is the birthplace of modern computing. Seeped in code-cracking history, what better place than here to host a hack-fest weekend.

Dan Applequist, one of the ‘Three Hackateers’ that organised the event described OTA as “a celebration of software development as a creative discipline.”

OTAOTA is a combination of a traditional developer conference, with sessions led by people from within the community and an overnight Hack Day competition. The talks were about all sorts of things: relevant issues that the developers can use over the weekend, for example building applications on a Windows phone, or  something a bit more futuristic like white space radio, a new radio technology that might replace the wi-fi and GSM that we rely on today.

Groups of computer coders, hard-ware coders, soft-ware coders, tinkerers, gamers and more come together to learn, play, and work. And the results are quite unique.

I’m not a computer tinkerer myself, I understand how to use one for what I need it to do, but those that attend this event understand the ins-and-outs of modern technology, and can make it do some great things.

3D LED Cube 1One hacker put together a 3D LED cube that he could control using a roller ball. He had brought all the materials with him, soldered it all together, and then built some software on the day.

Another used his phone network to give a light instructions as to which colour to shine.

A third made a tracking device for a house pet so that the owner would know which room of the house the pet is in.

Air Pollution meter5An other group put together a device that would measure the level of pollution in the area you are in. You could combine this with a bike ride and GPS tracking system, and them know which areas you’ve travelled through have the highest levels of pollution. You can thus avoid the route to work with the worst air pollution, or provide your local council with more information on levels of pollution at different times of the day.

These are just some of the wonderful things created at the 6th edition of Over the Air. You may be thinking, what is the point? Why not make something financially viable? Well,that’s exactly opposite to what the event is all about. Although the things created at OTA may not become the next lucrative app for your phone, they may one day develop into something people will use every day. OTA was the first place where phones were turned into “light sabers”, which can now be found on many apps and games.

So who knows, maybe one day your toilet may become your bulgar alarm! But for the meantime, I would recommend a dog, or you know, a regular one!

Whilst I was there, I thought I would hack together a bit of a podcast about it. You can find it on the Pod Delusion episode 207 (4th October 2013).



Today’s Round-up from our Citizen Journalist

This year we have invited long-time Over the Air attendee “Phone Fighter” and “Teen Dragon” Peter Price to be our Citizen Journalist and give us the word from the ground.

Peter started off his journalistic duties by interviewing our Keynote speaker Ariel Waldman:

After Ariel Waldman’s awesome (official description) talk we took a moment to talk some more on various questions that you the reader deserve to hear the answers to.  First of all we have her assurance that the moon landing actually did happen, so myth busted.

Through the short interview it was very clear how important Ariel believes events such as OTA are, playing part to the renaissance of science and technology that she sees happening in this decade. She sees the role of the general public very large in this wildfire of progress and development and emphasises the need for both science projects with obvious end goals – such as landing on the moon – but also projects with no clear purpose – such as a gimp mask you can wear in which you can feel light.

No matter how random it is it’s all technological and scientific development. So remember that on hack day. Thanks Ariel for your time, and lets all make OTA 2012 is the best one yet.

First up, Peter’s report of Bruce Lawson’s Session:

In watching Bruce Lawson’s ‘Responsive Web Design – the specs before sex’, I felt a complete neanderthal in this area, at many times confused and I always feel awed by those around me who understand coding and resolution. But Bruce’s funny and informative talk makes some sense of something I see like the enigma which the code breakers at Bletchley had to solve.

He gave me a good picture of the alarmingly fast rate of innovation in the area of responsive web design. The things that I take for granted such as the format of the websites I browse on my newly obtained free I-pad (thanks OTA!), and explained the colour and sizings of them in all its extreme complication and insanity. This talk is evidence of the science and technology renaissance that Ariel told us of. Updates, tweeks and improvements come in constantly at a rapid rate, some of which I hope will be created through this great event.

Peter’ also sat in on Kevin Prince and Sam Machin’s session:

‘TheLab: Demo Cool Things’ was a fascinating look into ‘the lab’-  a creative development group working for O2. Creating various interesting and of course cool things such as an app that allows individuals to see which place around the world is the most popular through collection of dialling code data. In their own words they’re like a hack day everyday creating various innovative apps, working on the foundation of the phrase ‘get excited and make things happen’, and perfectly fitting into the ethos of Over the Air. Keep up the good work!

Peter then joined one of PJ Evans’ tours of Bletchley Park:

The story of Bletchley Park is one of secrecy, espionage and innovation. On the Bletchley Park Tour we enter what many would call a geek heaven. I don’t know what’s better – the enigma machine, the replicas of the Bombe, or the first ever computer. Lead by Paul Evans our guide, we are brought to the replica of the Bombe. Unfortunately all were destroyed by order of Churchill, as our guide said “it is better for secrets to not even exist then keep them”.

This machine was used to crack the Nazi codes vital to success on the Western Front and of course the Enigma Machine and the ‘Colossus’ computer which made computer technology as we know it today possible. I leave this guide with knowledge of many things, including that the odds of getting the code right with the Bombe was 138 trillion to one, and that there is a large pile of cups at the bottom of the lake left by a disgruntled code breaker. I strongly recommend that all OTAers check out the museum, there shall be live code breaking tomorrow using the replica Bombe it’s something that all geeks cannot miss.

Peter helped us close off the day with an excellent Ignite Talk on the use of mobile & social tools to empower youth engagement and political activism – but more on that in a future post!

Beanbags – the very soul of a Hack Day

Back in 2007 a gang of us got together from the BBC and Yahoo! and brought Hack Days from the States to the UK. The event was called Hack07 and there was a great deal of talk about how we’d create a space that was comfy, informal and easily reconfigurable. The answer, rather obviously, was beanbags. So off I set… I toured the worlds manufacturing facilities at great expense to the public purse (this was the BBC after all) and eventually settled on a company called greatbeanbags.com (it took literally seconds of googling).  They’re based up Nottingham way and are responsible for the now iconic Hack Day Bean Bag – the wedgie.

These bags have become a tradition at Hack Days that I’ve helped organise – especially the big ones. At every event we order about 100 of the things, print a logo on the front, chose the loudest colours and then… we give them away at the end of the event. The great thing about the bags is that apart from being all the useful things I’ve already alluded to – they’re also cheaper than hiring a pile of boring furniture that would make our Hack Days look and feel like a corporate conference.

Photo by mmorr on flickr

So here’s the thing – this year we’ve not yet quite got to our sponsorship goal so are still short enough money to buy bean bags – we’ve never not had bean bags and it’s a terrific opportunity for an amazing company to come in, pop their logo on a 100 bags and be the hero of the event. They’re properly cool, people get to keep them, they’re useful and even more importantly – it’s a damn site funkier than a stand!

So what do you say? Know someone who can help us? Point them in our direction and drop me an email…

And that’s a wrap.

It’s taken us a couple of days to catch our breath – Over the Air 2011 was a truly amazing gathering of creative and talented developers, informative and passionate speakers, and companies that are wonderfully supportive of the whole community. Not to mention the weather. Wow, the weather! (An October record apparently)

It’s exactly this buzzing combination of community & creativity & energy that makes all of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes absolutely worth it. When I see that first stream of attendees arriving at the registration tables, I always think “it’s yours now, my part’s done”.

In fact, we hit a new record ourselves: over 600 people came to the event over the weekend, with nearly 500 with us for lunch on Friday. For any of you that were at the Friday evening Ignite Bletchley Park talks, I think you’ll agree that an epic amount of pizza was consumed as well! The head-count in the Mansion at 2:00 am (which doesn’t include those in the Marquee or in tents on the lawn) was 120. Amazing.

Although OTA11 was free to attend as always, we did ask attendees this year to make a small donation to the Bletchley Park Trust, and we’re thrilled to announce that we managed to raise (at the time of writing this post) £2,293.77 on their behalf. (Please note that the National Museum of Computing is a separate charity, who would very much welcome your support as well.)

We’re also chuffed that the BlueVia team chose OTA11 as the time and place to not only debut their new BlueVia t-shirts, but also to launch ConnFu (which is still in closed beta).

There is an Over the Air Group Pool over on Flickr, if you’ve taken photos, please add them there.

Many of you have taken Instagram shots, like this glorious view of sunrise over the tents on the lawn taken by mdales – we hope you upload those as well.

We’ve asked all of our speakers to upload their slides to Slideshare and tag them ota11 and overtheair; as well as adding them to Lanyrd.

Feel free to add stuff to our Facebook Page as well.

For those of you who missed it, you may want to check out the Twitter feed to get a feel for the goings-on.




Adam Cohen-Rose’s Workshop Session Notes at OTA11

Ubelly’s Interview with Lyza Danger Gardner 

Ubelly’s write-up of Day One at Over the Air

Simon Judge on Over the Air and Kirin

Caroline Mockett’s blog post about attending OTA11

Stephen Nicholas on his QuickR entry

Giorgio Venturi on Cracking the User Experience at OTA11 

Ashley Burton’s OTA11 Mobile Web Notes and Wrap-up

Dan Murphy’s post on the Pearson Blog

Novoda on their Wearable Build Status Bot

Andrew Savory on Over the Air 2010, 2011

Tom Hume on Andrew Betts’ talk about the FT  iPad web app


Tom Hume on Open-sourcing Kirin at OTA

Franco Papeschi on One Day at Over the Air 


Dale Lane on his competition entries at Over the Air 2011 

Dale Lane on using BlueVia APIs



photo by spiritquest on Flickr

Forbes – Bletchley Park Coders take on the Mobile World

BBC Internet Blog – Camping in a Digital Public Space: Over the Air 2011

The Fonecast – I’m no developer, but I still fell in love with Over the Air

Huffington Post – Hackers get Hired at Bletchley Park

TechCrunch – Mobile devs need to get to Over the Air this week

Guardian Apps Blog – London to become mobile centre of the world – for a week 



David Vella’s “hastily put together video” on Vimeo.

Bill Thompson’s Ignite Talk on YouTube

Terence Eden’s Ignite Talk on YouTube


Audio report – The Fonecast – Interview with Dr. Sue Black, Daniel Appelquist & Paul Johnston


4 Years of Hacking Competitions

photo credit Benjamin EllisOne of the key features of Over the Air is the in-event competition, which gives you a chance to show off the clever and fun ideas you’ve been coding and hacking away at over the course of the event. We’ve had some really great entries over the years, and hope to hear plenty of stories of how they were developed further after the event (in which case we’ll link to them for you).

There are some basic Terms & Conditions for entering the competition, which you can read here (and which you implicitly agree to when you submit an entry).

We’re making some small changes to how the competition works this year, in response to your feedback and our experience over the past years. If you have any suggetions do get in touch! We’ll be posting the details over the course of the summer.

Where are they now?

We’d love to feature our past hack-a-thon entries and where those ideas went… if you’ve got a video or a blog post about what you did, if you’ve launched the idea you worked on in ’09 or ’08 – please get in touch! We’d love to brag about you….

Also, if you have an footage of any of the past entries, please help us complete the links list below!


The 2010 Hack-a-thon Competition:

  1. Best in Show (judges selection) – an iPad from Alcatel-Lucent, and $1,000 worth of services from Mob4Hire The Ben Collins Appreciation Society for First Gear
  2. Audience Favourite (audience vote) – $1,000 worth of services from DeviceAnywhere – Light Blue for Lobster
  3. The Nokia Qt Challenge – a Nokia N8 – GeekYouUp for Hot UK Deals for Maemo
  4. The UnLtd Better Net Challenge – £2,500 – Intohand for Freecycle Mobile
  5. The Telefonica #Blue Challenge – a Playstation 3 – Jose Palazon for OTA #Blue Chess
  6. The PayPal X Challenge – an HTC Android Smartphone – The Bill Collins Appreciation Society for First Gear
  7. The Ericsson Labs Challenge – a Sony Ericsson Android X10 Mini Pro – Intohand for Freecycle Mobile
  8. The Orange Mobilise Challenge – an iPhone 4 – Alistair MacDonald for Hole Mapper
  9. Best User Experience – $500 of In-Network Ad Spend from InMobi – Melinda & Christiano for GeoHunt
  10. Best use of Open APIs and Open Data – a Motorola DEXT – Dale Lane for UK Traffic
  11. Best Android App – a Motorola Milestone – Paul Johnston for FindMyMates
  12. Best use of Mobile Web – a Sony Ericsson Android X10 Mini Pro – Me Myself & I for Light Blue
  13. Best Game – an Xbox from Microsoft – Feel the FP-ness for Dance Dance Evolution
  14. Best Use of other features (RFID, Camera Bluetooth, Light Sensors) – Monotype Imaging Poster – Adam Cohen-Rose for The Eyes Have It
  15. Best iPhone App – Monotype Imaging Poster – >2.5k for Vibe
  16. Best Visual Design – Monotype Imaging Poster – Feel the FP-ness for Dance Dance Evolution
  17. Best use of Widgets – Monotype Imaging Poster – Geek You Up for The Cleaner
  18. Best Hardware Hack- Monotype Imaging Poster – Adam Cohen-Rose for The Eyes Have It
  19. The Most Fun – Monotype Imaging Poster – Thom FP for Doodle Message
  20. The Most Useful – Monotype Imaging Poster – Sam Machin for BlueBabelTextFish
  21. The Most Cheeky – Monotype Imaging Poster – Light Blue for Lobster

The 2009 Hack-a-thon Competition:

  • OMTP – Best BONDI Widget = BONDI Password generator by Kai Hendry; Prize = a BONDI surf board
  • LiMo Foundation – Best user experience on BONDI widget = 0870 Widget by Simon Maddox; Prize = £100 book voucher
  • Lonely Planet – Best Lonely Planet Hack – Your choice from the Lonely Planet Library
  • BBC – Best Dr Who Hack = Mind the Dalekby Adam Cohen-Rose; Prize = Dr Who Magazine interview and other Dr Who goodies
  • Yahoo – Best use of Yahoo APIs = Something Around You by Alfredo Morresi, Stefano Zingarini, & Robert (Jamie) Munro; Prize = a Nespresso Machine
  • Most Fun Entry = Friend Hangman by Makoto Inoue; Prize = iPod Touch donated by Yiibu
  • Best User Experience = Bottle rock it by lastminute.com labs: Sam Dean, Russ Anderson, Richard Lewis Jones, & Mathias Dahlstrom; Prize = Nokia Ovi Launchpad Membership
  • Service Design = FollowMyContactCard by Owen Griffin; Prize = iPod Touch donated by Yiibu
  • Best Visual Design = Drinkr by Anže Cesar & Tomaž Štolfa; Prize = a Netbook donated by Vodafone
  • Best Use of WebApp / Widget technology = Widgbay by Andy Vizor; Prize = Nokia Ovi Beta & Support
  • Best Android App = Buzzword Bingo by Elliot Long; Prize = an HTC Hero donated by Orange
  • Best Location Aware App / Service = BatNav by Saqib Shaikh; Prize = Nokia Bluetooth Headset donated by Nokia
  • Best Use of Wireless, Bluetooth, or RFID = RFID Coffee Cup by Sam Machin; Prize = 100 hours of the Perfecto Mobile service
  • Best Hardware Hack = Mind the Dalek by Adam Cohen-Rose; Prize = 100 hours of the DeviceAnywhere service
  • Best of Show (Selected by the Judges Panel) = Project BlueBell by Future Platforms: James Hugman, Thom Hopper, Tom Hume; Prize = Nokia mobile phone donated by Nokia
  • Audience Favorite (Selected by all attendees) = RFID Coffee Cup by Sam Machin; Prize = A SonyEricsson Walkman phone donated by O2 Litmus

The 2008 Hack-a-thon Competition:

  • Overall Best Prototype – Mr. Tomm (Future Platforms)
  • Best Mobile Widget – Auto Widget Configurator (Owen)
  • Best Hardware hackPhone Fight (lastminute.com labs)
  • Best Use of Multimedia – 21st Century Fridge Door (Orange Pirate)
  • Best Use of Wireless, Bluetooth or RFID – Bluetooth FOAF (Owend)
  • Most elegant solution – Twitter Client for Windows (Dale Lane)
  • Most over engineered – Clever Social Tool (Alex squared)
  • Most practical / ready for market – SNOB
  • Best mobile web application – Browser SyncBest design / user experience prototype – Phone Fight (lastminute.com labs)
  • Best Location Aware Award – Capture the Flag (Location based games)
  • And the winners in our “unofficial categories” were:
    • Fun Award – Phone Fight (lastminute.com labs)
    • Most likely the succeed with the CIA – (Social Tracker)


Over the Air 2011 – September 30th & October 1st

The 4th annual Over the Air was held on Friday the 30th of September and Saturday the 1st of October at Bletchley Park – for two days we were be based at Station X, hacking in the shadows of the WWII Enigma & Lorenz code-breakers, and hanging out at the home of Colossus the world’s first programmable computer….geek heaven!

Over the Air is a unique tech-agnostic event for and by the developer community,  featuring technical workshops where attendees can roll up their sleeves and tinker with new platforms, operating systems, APIs & SDKs; and tutorial sessions that feature real business cases, new insights and a healthy dollop of inspiration. Attendees are invited to stay overnight so that they can work on ideas, apps and hacks on the fly – to be entered into the various hack-athon competition categories and demo’ed on the second day. It’s a great vibe of bean bags, gadgets, knowledge sharing, hacking & lots of good geekery.

Stay on top of the latest plans by following us on Twitter: @overtheair

Friday night Ignite Bletchley Park talks:

In 2011 we introduced an exciting new element to the programme on Friday evening:

Ignite is a global event, organized by volunteers, where participants are given five minutes to speak about their ideas and personal or professional passions, accompanied by 20 slides. Each slide is displayed for 15 seconds, and slides are automatically advanced. The Ignite format is similar to Pecha Kucha, which features 20 slides displayed for 20 seconds each. The presentations are meant to “ignite” the audience on a subject, i.e. to generate awareness and to stimulate thought and action on the subjects- Wikipedia

The event-within-an-event was organised by Ignite Cardiff’s  very own Claire Scantlebury. The rule is – you can’t talk about yourself or your job (so no blatant self-promotion is allowed), but instead something you’re passionate about.

Venue – Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park

The Mansion, Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, MK3 6EB

The venue at Bletchley Park is a stunning Victorian mansion with modern conferencing facilities. There are 7 main rooms within the mansion, a Marquis tent outside, and other buildings to spill out into if needed.

This year we asked all attendees to donate a small  £5  (or more if feeling generous!) towards the ongoing repair & upkeep of  Bletchley Park. This historic location has been sadly neglected over the years, and we can make a real difference to the salvage of a Hut or the repair of a roof….

Some stayed in hotels nearby on the Friday night , but many brought their tents to camp right on the grounds, or rolled out their sleeping bags in the Marquee tent.

At first glance, even second glance, Bletchley Park could easily be just another beautiful British building deserving of some loving care and attention. But for many years its walls guarded one of the best kept secrets of the 20th Century. During the Second World War it was the top secret home to the cryptanalysts, mathematicians and military personnel later credited with shortening the war by at least two years and saving millions of lives by breaking the secret ciphers used in Nazi communications. Read more on Gizmag

Check out the video that our very own Matthew Cashmore made in 2010 (when the event was at Imperial College London) explaining what Over the Air is all about:

Who comes to Over the Air?

Curious who comes to Over the Air? Here is a break-down of job titles from 2009 & 2010:

These are the places that people come from

And these are companies that have been represented at Over the Air in the past:

3 Sheep Ltd, 3G Dating Agency, 3G Doctor, 7Digital, 90:10 Group, a r k h, Abou bekr belkaid University, About Time Group, ABRS , ABS, Adledo, AdMob, Admoda Mobile, Advertising, aemcom, Aerial, AgoraWorX, AKQA, Alchemy, All About Symbian, Amoo Venture Capital Advisory, Androidbloke.co.uk, Anej Mehadzic s.p., Animal Systems, Apadmi, Ape TV, Apple, Apps For Good, Appskraft, Appswork, Architap, Art Public, Artlogic Media Ltd., Assanka, Atlassian, Attic Sound&Music, Autoquake, Avar Enterprises Ltd. Awesome International, BBC, BBC Future Media and Technology, BBC Mobile, BBC News, BBC World Service, BBC Worldwide, BCS Lichfield, Bebo.com, Beyond, Big Orange Software, Binary PR Ltd., Bing, Bizkital Design, Black Phoebe Design & Development, BlaseApps, Bloc Media, Blue Latitude, Boss Level Ltd, Bossa Studios, Brand Regard, Break Through I.T. Ltd, Brighton University, British Waterways Board, BSkyB, BURSON MARSTELLER, Bytemobile, C:insights, Candy Pulse, Canvas8, Capital Partners, Captives Global Ltd, Carbon Hero Ltd, CBSO, Cellcrypt, Cesvin, CETIS, CGB Digital, CGIA Limited, Chemistry Group, Chimera Solutions, Chopstix Media Limited, Cimex Media, circle-d, Cisco Systems, City Unviersity London, CLCH, Cleveratom, Closertag, Cloud9 Interactive, CloudMade, CMG Research Ltd, coANDcoUK.com, Codehouse, Cogapp, College Corp, Collinson Group, Composed Communication, Conjure, Convergis Ltd, COOKTAIL, Cortexica Vision Systems, Cronic Ltd., CrumbBucket, Cryptikware Communications Inc., Cthulhu, cxpartners, D2C, Dancing Icon Studios, Danish Broadcast Corporation, dentist, Department of Computing, Imperial College, Designers Collective, Deutsche Telekom, DevelAngel, Device Anywhere, Dharmafly, Dialogic, Diary.com, Digital Jigsaw, digital nerve, digitas, Distilled Ltd, Distinctive Edge, DMD, dotMobi / MoMo London, Dunedin Capital Partners Ltd, E magazine, e-bloc interactive , easeltv, eBay Inc, eCourier.co.uk, Edentity Ltd, Edinburgh University, Elastik Mobile Ltd, Elementi, Emot.io | ‘Emotalytics’, Endava, Entelliz Limited, Ericsson, Ericsson Research, Ernst and young, Eternal Visionz Ltd, Everything Everywhere, Everything Everywhere / Orange, Evolving Systems,,, Feedzilla, Fifty Sixty Software, FILMOBILE, Firewolf, Fjord, Fleasome Ltd., Flexewebs Ltd., Flirtomatic, FM, FoR, Forum Nokia, Frame of Reference, Frontier Silicon Ltd, FrontlineSMS, Fun Text / Mobispine, Functional Elegance, Futura PR, Slovenia, Future Platforms, Futuresight Mobile, G2way Limited, Garlik Ltd, Geomium, GetItWithMe, gigjunkie.net, GigLocator, gigs4charity, Goldsmiths, Gomogo, Gonzohack Struldbrug, Google, Grapple Mobile, GSM Association, Habanero, Hackney, Hai Media Group, Hedgehog Logic, Help We Need, Herbalife, HG Apps Store, Hickery Associates Ltd., HIIT, Hockeystick, Hodgetastic, Hogarth, Home, Hotwire PR, HSBC, Humanoid Events Ltd, IBM, iBuildStuff, IC, Icicle Lab, IET, IF Communications, igfest / simon games, Ignite London, Imagination Ltd, Imperial College, London, Incisive Media, Independent, Index Ventures, indigo red, Infiniscale, Informa Telecoms & Media, Infosys Consulting, Injoit LTD, InMobi, Insitu, INSITU Mobile Software, Instantview, instinctif, Intel, Intelligent Lime Ltd, Intensify Group, Intercorp Software UK, Into Mobiles, Intohand Ltd, Intomobiles, iosc.NET, iPALS Ltd, IPC Media, iris Digital, Iterex Ltd., ITM, Jack Wills, Jungla, Jungle Candy Software, JUPIX, Kaonashi, Kerb, Kimia, Kiss-Design.biz, Kizoom, KPN Mobile International, lastminute.com labs, latham and watkins, LBHF, LBi, Le Catalyst, Lean Agile Machine, Learning Technology Research Institute, Lee-Cann Creative, Liberte Studio, Limitless Learning Ltd, LiMo Foundation, Limov, Liquidbit Ltd, Little Fluffy Toys Ltd, live nation, ljmu, , Lloyds Banking Group, Loc8 Solutions, LocoMatrix, Logic Colony, London Business School, London Calling, London College of Communication, London Hackspace, London Met Uni, London Metropolitan, Longreach Mobile, LOVEFiLM, LSBF, LShift, LTRI, Luck Laboratories Ltd, ludofy, Luup, Maha Ventures, Makatyjas LLP, Man Woman and Child, Mantic Point Solutions Ltd, Mappibiz.com, Marand / Qootia, Masabi, MasterCard Worldwide, MATERNA Communications, MCQN Ltd, mcr consulting, Media Soft, Mediagility Ltd, MEF, Mendeley, Metaswitch Networks, Metomo.com, MetricoWireless, Microsoft, middlemachine, Middlesex university, MillionBrains Milo creative, Mind Unit, Mingels design, MinuteBox, Mippin, Miss Geeky, mjelly.com, mmh, mo-tiv, Mob4Hire Inc, Mobile Acuity Ltd., Mobile Entertainment / Music Ally, Mobile Market Development Ltd., Mobile Marketing magazine, Mobile Minded, Mobile Monday London, Mobile Productivity, MobileMonday London/Chelsea Apps Factory, Mobilize, Mobilize Systems, Mobilizy, Mobilizy GmbH, Mobispine, Mobstar Media, Mogotion, Momentum, Momu, Monmouth Coffee co., Monotype Imaging, Morganic, MORGANIC, Moshing, motirot, Motorola MOTODEV, Mozilla, Mpelembe Network, MRMedia Group, Multilab Consulting, musicDNA Ltd, Mute Publishing, MWink Software, My Agency, mycitymate GmbH, Myers Design, Myitstudio, Namics, National Policing Improvement Agency, natts.com, NEC, Neil Dodson, NEMIS, nerdvana.gr, net mobile (UK)Ltd,  Netbisucits,  netinfluence,  NetTek Ltd, New Bamboo, Nexmo, Next Generation – Squared, NHS, NHS Choices / Department of Health,  Nitro Digital, NMA, NOKIA, Nokia Siemens Networks, Nonyelu, NovaRising, Novoda, NSN, Nuance and MoMoLondon, Nudge Social Media, O2, O2 Litmus, Ogilvy, OLPC Australia, OMTP, One Laptop Per Child Australia, OneChocolate, OpenMundi, openWAiR, Oppian Systems, OptiRisk Systems, Orange. Orange – France Telecom Group, Orange Labs UK, Orange R&D Labs UK, Overlay Media, Ovum, Oxfam, Oxidant, Padajo, Pancentric Digital, PavingWays Ltd, PayPal, Pearson, Pentura, Perfecto Mobile, Pfizer Ltd, PhoneThing Ltd, picklive, PlayNice.ly, Playphone EMEA, POD1, Pragmaticomm Limited, Product Doctor, Propel London, ProtonMuffin, Proxama Ltd, Psonar, Public Creative Ltd, Pyramid Research, Pyxis Ventures Ltd, quest IT, Quirk, Radical Robot Ltd, RDF Group, re-creative, Realmac Software, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Red Sky Vision, redbend, RedCat Solutions, Redkey, Redwire Design, Research In Motion, Rho Consult Ltd, Ribot, RIM, Riskcare, Rmit university Melbourne, Rock Chicks in Mobile, RUBICS Business Solutions, Ruder Finn, rui barroca designer, Rummble Ltd, Russell Studio, SAID Business School 2011, Sainya, ScotchMist Design, Screenreach, Seedcamp, Sensible Duck Ltd, Seren Partners, SEVEN PRINCIPLES, Shapeshiftmedia, ShoutEm, Siruna, SIX Creative, Six to STart, SKARP, Skype, Skyron, Small Science,, Snaptu, Social Computing Group, Social Media Strategist Ltd, SocialOptic, Somo, Soniqegg, Sound London Primary School, South East Essex College, Sphere Systems Ltd, Spotlight Kid, Spy, Staircase3, Steel Media Ltd, Stem73/Orange, Story worldwide, Subsify, Sun Microsystems Startup Essentials, Sybase Inc, Symbian Foundation, Symsource, Syzygy UK Ltd, T MOBILE/DEUTSCHE TELEKOM, T-Mobile International, Tactotum Ltd, Targetbase, TBFL Ltd, TBWA Media Arts Lab, TechCrunch Europe, TechHub, Telecom Markets Erjo, Telefonica, Tertius Advisory Services, Tesco, Tesco.com, The Cloud, The Mews Post production, The Open University, The Rich Media Company, The Startup Digest, The Times, The Two Percent Ltd, TheCustomer, thefonecast.com, Third Eye, TigerSpike, Tilkie studio, tinkerlondon / rix centre, tinyHippos Inc., TM Forum, tommorris.org, Tonic Limited, Total Hotspots Ltd, Total Media, TouchTech Consulting Limited,TouchType Ltd, Toumetis, Travel Daily Media, TravelBloggers ltd, TravelBloggers.Tv, travellerwithatale.com, Tribal, tuenti, Tui interactive media, Tumika, Turned On Ventures, tweetalondoncab.com, Tweetflex, TweetMeme, U-Dox, uanl, UCL, Unboxed Consulting, Universal Music Group, Universit of Wales, University College London, University of Bolton, University of Brighton, University of Cambridge, University of Leeds, University of Murcia, University of Oxford, University of Wolverhampton, Universityof Leeds, Unspecified, uPBeat Product Development, ustwo™, UVd, uxebu Consulting Ltd. & Co. KG, Venture Lectures,, Venture Lectures / W3V, Vision Mobile, VITU,Vodafone, Vodafone / Betavine, Vodafone Group, Vodafone R&D, Volume, VP, VTB Capital, W+K, W3C, WAC, Warp Networks, We Are Social, Weaver Digital, Webcredible, WebMobility Ventures, White Bear Yard, White Fuse Media, whymandesign, Wieden & Kennedy, wildkey, WildKnowledge, WIP, Wireless Expertise Ltd, Wireless Industry Partnership (WIP), Wolfstar, World Archipelago, woZZon.com, www.goldengekko.com, www.letthegeekdoit.com, X-Arcis, XIAProjects, Yahoo Inc., Yamaha R&D, YASSSU GmbH – Media For You, Yell Labs, Yiibu, You’re So Limited, Your Productions, yourdirtydog, Yousability, YumYum Labs, Zebra People, Zeta, Zing Media, zolmo, Zonerider Networks, Zoonou Limited




How to get involved


Registration has now opened!


Our session suggestion form is now live. If you’d like to lead a session at Over the Air 2010. If you want to run a session covering any aspect of mobile technology, development, design / art or user experience, please visit the form and let us know by answering a few simple questions.


The generous financial support of our sponsors is the key to keeping this great event free to attend, and there are levels for everybody – from Premium Sponsorship all the way to competition prizes. Drop us a note if you’d like to help us make it all happen!

4 years of Over the Air

 2011 – September 30th & October 1st – Bletchley Park

For the fourth year in a row, Over the Air is going to make the impossible possible: a free developer event (well almost – there”s a small donation to Bletchley Park this year) and hack-a-thon that is non-aligned (not pushing a particular technology or approach) but instead seeks to inform, energise and empower mobile “builders” to work with each other to create great stuff.

Over the Air is a place where developers, designers, enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and academics can come together to celebrate, discuss, learn, chill and geek out for 36 hours of intense fun. We promise the following: if you attend, you will learn about stuff you didn’t know about before. You will have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with people you haven’t met before. You may be inspired surprised at what you find. By the end of the day Saturday, you will definitely be exhausted. We’re not saying it will change your life, but we’re not saying it won’t either.

2010 – September 11th & 12th – Imperial College London

Over the Air 2010 was hosted at Imperial College London on the 10th and 11th of September. Approximately 400 people attended two days of Keynotes, Workshops, a Hack-a-thon and lots of general fun.

Some of the highlights included a Keynote from Sir Tim Berners-Lee, some inspirational design thinking from Aral Balkan, the Nokia digital grafitti screen + t-shirt printing, iPhone controlled AR Drones & a fantastic Hack-a-thon.

The range and quality of the Workshops was excellent this year, thanks to the involvement of so many clever and interesting members of the OTA community. We will keep all of the session descriptions for posterity, and will be adding slides to them as they become available. Slides can also be found on SlideShare tagged #ota10.

Photos of the event can be found in the Over the Air Flickr Pool.

Coverage of Over the Air 2010

The Fonecast – One man’s summary for the wider mobile industry

The Fonecast – Podcast on the 10th

Kirstie Haxby – Over the Air 2010

Geek.com – Lobster, a ‘free bus travel’ app is audience favorite at Over The Air hackathon

Geek.com – Over The Air mobile developer event: afternoon roundup

Geek.com – Aral Balkan at Over The Air: “The age of features is dead”

The Digital Youth Project – Advice for Developers – Product Doctor Diagnoses (OTA 2010)

The Register – Over The Air: Losing drones and forging bus tickets

Telefonica Developer Communities – Over The Moon About Over The Air

Android Operating System – Over the Air 2010

License to Roam – Impressions from Over the Air

MobBlog – Mob4Hire Awards $1000 to Winner of Over-The-Air Hackathon in London … Good job everyone!

Robin Berjon – Introducing DAP

Dale Lane – Making National Traffic Control data more useful

Tom Hume – Over the Air 2010

PR Week – Over the Air report and mobile goings on

Answer My Query – Iphone controlled flying drone with Video

2009 – September 25th & 26th – Imperial College London

Over the Air 2009The second annual Over the Air was brought to you by Betavine, Lonely Planet and OMTP : Over the Air: 24 Hours of Mobile Development, hosted at Imperial College London. More details to be posted soon.The second Over the Air, was on September 25th and 26th, brought to you by Betavine, Lonely Planet and OMTP : Over the Air: 24 Hours of Mobile Development, hosted at Imperial College London. Check out Ewan Spence’s  BBC article on how to ‘Hack a handset‘!

The recipe is simple.

Take as many mobile phone developers, hackers and builders as you can find; put them in The Great Hall at Imperial College; add a liberal helping of heavyweight companies talking about new tools, developer aids and techniques to program mobile phones during the day; then challenge them to come up with “something new”.

Leave this to simmer as hackers work through the night and have everyone present their new programs to the rest of the conference the next day.

That sums up the Over the Air hackathon. Now in its second year of bringing together the UK’s mobile developer community, it continues to have a huge impact on those who get involved with the overnight competition.

Read more

Other great Blog coverage from

2008 – April 4th & 5th – Imperial College London

Over the Air logoThe inaugural Over the Air event ran on the 4th and 5th of April, 2008, at Imperial College London. Mobile developers from all stripes descended on the campus for 2 days of fun, learning, hacking, and socializing.The coverage of Over the Air was great, with online stories from The Guardian, The Register and many bloggers. Some of the best coverage however came from Mark Kramer with his videos on the popular video site Qik. There were also plenty of photos on flickr.There has been a range of comments and blog posts about Over the Air including,

Then there was the hacking in the evening. I wasn’t as hardcore as some, and did have a nap for an hour or two at about 5am before finishing my stuff off after breakfast. Most of what I wrote was in C++ but I also got to hack together a little Javascript – not a language I often use.

– Dale Lane

What did I learn there and was it relevant for my project? Well, first, it was an opportunity for me to get a brief overview of current developing technology for the mobile platform.There are many and a lot of different technology to learn which I am not familiar with. Of particular interest was a presentation by Brian Fling from flingmedia.com on developing web apps and native apps for the iPhone and mobile applications.

– Alex Craxton of Mobile Monday London

We went to the excellent overtheair event over the weekend, with an amazing concentration of mobile developers (and gadgets). Our entry to the 24-hour hack development contest was a bit of fun dreamt up by Richard Jones and Russ Anderson. Disappointed that someone had beaten them to it by working out how to connect a Wiimote to a phone handset via bluetooth, they decided to go one better and do away with the need for the Wiimote at all.

– Lastminute Labs

Kudos to the whole team who made this happen, this was more than just a developers’ conference, more than just a workshop or a barcamp… It was a 48 hours of mobile and wireless development experiment bringing together some +400 developers and mobile industry experts with great sessions on various industry related topics… Lots of great people and ideas gathered during these 2 days

Rudy De Waele at m-trends.org

Thanks to all who spoke, presented, attended, developed, organized, ushered, registered, hauled, evacuated, waited, partied, slept and generally made this such a fantastic event. Watch back here for updates on what happened and and after the event, presentations from speakers, related news and announcements about the next Over the Air!