The CrateDB Data Challenge

Raspberry Pi 3 Ultimate Starter KitCrate are big fans of data. Big data, small data, open data. We want to see what you can do using the CrateDB, oodles of data, and the limitless power of your imagination.

Luckily for our happy hackers, a SQL database shouldn’t be too hard to integrate into most projects, letting us focus on judging entries that use CrateDB to build creative, compelling projects around interesting data. Libraries are available for Java, Python, Ruby, Go, etc. so choose your flavor.

We’ve put together some demo applications here to get you started! And you can also look for Jessica at the event to ask any questions.

As a prize we’ll be giving away awesome Raspberry Pi Ultimate Starter Kits



The Natural History Open Data Challenge

Setting the World’s Natural History Data Free

lysandra-coridon-butterflies-two-columnThe Natural History Museum in London is embarking on an epic journey to digitise 80 million specimens from one of the world’s most important natural history collections – documenting 4.5 billion years of life, the Earth and the solar system. Almost all animal, plant, mineral and fossil groups are represented.

Digitising the Museum’s collection will give the global scientific community access to unrivalled historical, geographic and taxonomic specimen data gathered in the last 250 years. We are committed to open access, open science, and open data.

nhm-data-portal-first-steps-toward-the-graphoflife-6-638Over the next five years we plan to digitise a quarter of the Museum’s specimens by establishing high-throughput digital capture workflows for all major collection types.

We have created an online Data Portal giving everyone in the world access to the specimen and lot-level data, and will develop flexible informatics and visualisation tools to analyse the data.

In our workshop on Friday the 25th at 15:30, on the Side Stage in the main building, we will be introducing you to our Data Portal and our open APIs. We will describe some of the digitisation challenges we face, and our desire to make this not only an indispensable source of data for researchers & scientists world wide, but also a source of information and knowledge for the amateur, the student, and the curious.

We will be showcasing our iCollections database in particular, and looking at what we can learn from it:

  • Do people collect specimens on nice days?
  • What was the collector who collected from the most distinct localities?
  • What can we learn about the collectors?
  • Are most specimens collected in rural areas? On a stroll through national parks?

Find out more about the Digital Collections Programme, and check out the Data Portal on GitHub.


The Natural History Open Data Challenge

We invite you to take a closer look at our iCollections data in particular, but feel free to explore of course!

At the moment the Data Portal is designed with fellow scientists in mind, but this information should be accessible for anyone, from school child to educator, from the curious to the amateur expert – from anywhere in the world.

  • How can this data be visualised in more interesting ways?
  • How can we make the interface more attractive to different audiences? 
  • What other queries can you think of?
  • Using the Data Portal APIs – what creative applications can come out of this data-set?
  • What other APIs would you be interested in seeing developed?
  • How can this data truly go mobile?

With thanks to our Sponsor

synthesysThis session and Hackathon Challenge are supported by the EC-funded SYNTHESYS project, which encompasses a wide range of natural history collections across all of Europe.

The CCL Citizen Science Challenge

CCLlogoCitizen Science is real science done collaboratively by amateurs, volunteers, and enthusiasts around the globe. People are classifying galaxies from their computers, monitoring the health of trees in their community, transcribing weather reports from old naval logs, and gathering data to make a real contribution to scientific research. One emerging branch dubbed “Extreme Citizen Science provides tools that can be used by any individual, regardless of their level of literacy, to collect, analyse and act on information by using established scientific methods. This allows any community to start a Citizen Science project to deal with the issues that concern them – from biodiversity to food production, involving
communities from
housing estates in London to hunter-gatherers and forest villagers in the Congo Basin.

The Brief:

Build a citizen science hack using mobile technology. Anything goes—mobile phones, sensors, wearables, outdoor monitoring stations, balloons, drones…

If you need data, London Air data download is a good place to start

If you need inspiration, check out the wide range of Citizen Science projects listed on SciStarter.

To learn more about Citizen Science, open platforms and tools that are available, and some examples for inspiration, join us on Friday at 12:15 in the Crypt.

CCL PrizeThe Prizes

A LilyPad Starter Kit as 1st Prize, and 4 Espruino Pico’s as 2nd Prizes.


About the Citizen Cyberlab

The Citizen Cyberlab is a consortium of several Universities (UCL, Imperial, University of Geneva & University Paris Descartes) + CERN + UNITAR + The Mobile Collective. Together we are building digital tools and platforms for Citizen Science. Follow us on Twitter at@citizencyberlab.

To find out more about the tools and platforms we’ve been building for Citizen Science, join us on Saturday at 9:30 in the Anteroom.

The JustGiving Charity Challenge

just-giving-logoPowering the #tech4good movement, the JustGiving platform helps not-for-profit organisations, brands and a growing community of developers to build applications that harness the power of online giving. Apps like these drive thousands of transactions on JustGiving every day, helping people around the world to make good things happen.

The Brief:

Use the JustGiving APIs in a creative or engaging way to the benefit of this year’s OTA15 Charity – the St. John’s Hoxton Fund.

With more and more people relying upon their mobile device we’re looking for exciting and innovative ways to “give” or “support” a cause in new ways and new spaces. To support this the JustGiving API allows you to:

  • Get latest donations made to a charity
  • Get data regarding the charity (activity, description, logo, SMS codes, etc)
  • Create a leaderboard of fundraisers
  • Get Donation details for fundraising pages

Whether it’s a Spotify app that asks makes people “donate” for their cheesy song of choice or an app that recognises charity logos on the go, the world of giving on the go is changing rapidly and it’s the growing #tech4good community that are best placed to build and launch the next great idea. If for example you want to use donations as a means of unlocking rewards then we also have the Simple Donation Integration service that allows users to construct bespoke donation links.

What We’re Looking For:

In short on the day we’re looking for hacks that make the best or most innovative use of our technology. Feel free to forget the business plan or the glossy market strategy, just show us the tech!

41bv+eCMivLThe Prizes:

For the winning team we have a set of Arduino Starter Kits as prizes, and of course throughout the event our JG Hackers team will be on hand to support and coach you as you get stuck into our APIs! We look forward to working with you.


The BBC Connected Studio Challenge

As well as having a range of general Hack Day Categories, patient we also always have a number of featured Hack Day Challenges, salve that are brought to you by the organisations and companies that make the whole event possible.

This year we are pleased to share with you the BBC Connected Studio Challenge

The BBC Connected Studio Challenge: Mobile Personalisation & Immersion


About BBC Connected Studio

BBC Connected StudioConnected Studio is challenged with driving digital innovation across the BBC. With audience needs at the forefront of development, Connected Studio devises work programmes and events that lead to the production of innovative digital pilots. These programmes include workshops and creative sessions designed to guide people through the digital idea-generation process, before further support is provided to develop selected projects into pilots. Working with teams from across the BBC and external digital agencies, Connected Studio and its innovation network – as part of R&D – provide the inspiration, support and platform to help keep the BBC at the cutting edge of digital innovation, and a world leader at delivering engaging digital storytelling experiences.


The aim of this Challenge for the BBC

We’re looking for innovative new ways to serve a younger audience on the devices they spend the most time with; their smartphones. We want to do this through clever use of tech, design and editorial direction around our content and public service remit. We want to build on and extend the BBC’s unique and unrivalled content experiences, from our unique music output and world-class drama, to our well-loved soaps, unrivalled sports coverage and essential learning experiences.

We know we create some of the best-in-class linear experiences. We also want to ensure that the same applies to our smartphone, digital ones.

The aim of this Challenge for hackers

To tackle one of the following challenges during the two days of OTA15 to produce a prototype

Challenge 1: Personalised Experiences

How can we use what we know about people’s everyday digital life (where they are, what time of day it is, what language they speak, motion sensors etc) to deliver personalised, immediate and interactive experiences with the BBC via a person’s phone? How can we use data-driven design to create intelligent News recommendations? (see below for further background)

Challenge 2: Immersive Experiences

How can we offer immersive, VR/AR-like experiences to people that feel personal and interactive? What might such an experience look like? (see below for further background)

What we’re looking for?

BBC Connected Studio has the remit to innovate, pilot, and test new digital ideas for the BBC in new ways. We want to offer the opportunity to take the best ideas to get them further developed by our experts and even funded, made, and showcased on BBC Taster.

About BBC Taster

Taster-256x256BBC Taster is the public-facing platform which asks our audience to try experimental ideas from across the BBC. It was built and is run through Connected Studio and is a website that invites audiences to try, rate and share the latest digital pilots from across the BBC, showcasing a range of digital innovation tools, techniques and content. Pilots that have been developed through the Connected Studio process are tested using this platform.

What’s in it for you?

We’ll provide expertise to help shape the best ideas with the teams, and get them into a ‘ready state’ for submission to our pilot process. If selected against judging criteria success will see ideas funded to make a live pilot on BBC Taster and tested with our audiences.


Find out more at the BBC Connected Studio Workshop Session

Friday 25th September, 2015 – 12:15pm to 1:15pm in Marquee 1.

Further Background to the Challenges


Challenge 1 – Further Background

Within a smartphone, there’s lots of data that allow us to enhance people’s experience of content or to bring stories to life. We’re interested in how we can harness that information to make News more seamless, relevant and unique for the end users.

  • For example think of a location context – what might an experience look like on a commute to work, rather than sitting back on the sofa watching the TV
  • How might the time of the day inform how we consume content on a mobile?
  • Maybe smartphone peripherals like wearable tech could produce different experiences to enhance content
  • Could native functionality provide different context for consuming BBC News content?
  • What impact does location have on the relevance of Breaking News?


Challenge 2 – Further Background

We have seen developments in 360 filming, and games engine driven immersive experiences. These give people new ways to watch, participate and interact with the world – a more human perspective. We would like to see how these experiences might be made more personal. What might people experience from us that they would be compelled to talk about to their friends?

  • VR/AR experience is often seen as solo – how might these experiences become social or have multiple participants?
  • If one person is experiencing VR/AR what are others doing in the real world
  • Cooperative gaming is established – how might VR/AR build upon this? What would be the VR/AR version of cooperative gaming be?

NB: To partake in this challenge you should ensure you have the relevant equipment to test and show your ideas at the hack.

Tools for the Challenges


Hack The Juicer

Hack The Juicer – from BBC Newslabs is a news aggregation and content extraction API. It takes articles from the BBC and other news sites, automatically parses them and (based on their content) tags them with related DBpedia entities.

The entities are grouped in four categories: People, Places, Organisations and Things (everything that doesn’t fall in the first three).

We’ve provided an OTA15 specific event page and API for use within your hack

NB: This API must only be used for R&D and Education. It cannot be used for commercial or commercial promotion purposes.

Useful audience background

The audience we’re targeting is 16-34

  • 98% own a smartphone
  • On average, they share six pieces of content a day on social media
  • They spend up to 14 hours per day consuming media, across several devices
  • This audience tell us their main reasons for using the Internet are emotional (to relax, to feel better), to connect with others, to get better choice over what they watch, and for pure entertainment. The searching/transacting nature of the Internet is taken for-granted nowadays, and we are seeing an increase in more media-related several devices
  • This audience tells us they expect content online to feel immediate, interactive, offer an irreverent take and feel individual

The National Museum of Computing Challenge

The National Museum of Computing is once again pleased to welcome the attendees of Over the Air to Bletchley Park!

The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC), physician located at Bletchley Park, online is an independent charity housing the largest collection of functional historic computers in Europe, including a rebuilt Colossus, the world’s first electronic computer. The National Museum of Computing is a separate entity to the Bletchley Park Trust.

TNMOC enables visitors to follow the development of computing from the ultra-secret pioneering efforts of the 1940s through the mainframes of the 1960s and 1970s, and the rise of personal computing in the 1980s. New working exhibits are regularly unveiled and the public can already view a rebuilt and fully operational Colossus, the restoration of the Harwell Dekatron / WITCH computer, an ICL 2966, one of the workhorse mainframes computers of the 1980s, many of the earliest desktops of the 1980s and 1990s, plus the NPL Technology of the Internet Gallery.


The Challenges:

1. Create an Android version of the iPhone App

We currently have an iOS TNMoC App  that was built by one of our volunteers to give an overview of the museum. We are looking for volunteers to help convert it to Android.

2. Create a Timelines App

There are many different timelines to explore at TNMoC. The development of software, operating systems, hardware, gaming, landmarks and women in computing (our latest one). It would be amazing to have an app visitors can use to explore these timelines and for us to be able to update the timelines remotely from a spreadsheet. This would add real context to exhibits on show.

3. Create an Interface to Video Content

 Many of are artefacts are too fragile to demonstrate. However, video exists of them in operation. Can you create  an app that scans via NFC or QR Code beside an artefact to stream video and information about that item to the user?

4. Augment the visitor experience using mobile technology in an innovative way

If you have your own spark of inspiration, perhaps after taking a tour of the Museum, we welcome any other creative ideas as well!

The Prizes

For each member of the winning team, the National Museum of Computing will put together a package from the store, such as a T shirt, Fleece, mug and lapel pin.


Souvenir Shop

The ‘Kids who Code’ Challenge

Kids should Code

padajologo_largePadajo are excited to announce the ‘Kids who Code’ Challenge. The team at Padajo believe that every kid should learn at least the basics of programming. The future is going to be more and more dictated by technology, and being able to understand will be the start of harnessing that power in the future.

This challenge is here to encourage all youngsters at Over The Air 2013 to code something, however simple or complex, and prove to themselves (and to the rest of us) that starting to code is easy.

The Prize

Makey MakeyThe best submission from an individual or team under the age of 16 (inclusive) is a MaKey MaKey kit. This kit allows you to start creating real-world technology, while having lots of fun (banana pianos anyone?). It also has expansion potential and some great projects online.

Creativity is everything for kids, so this is an open competition. It won’t necessarily be the cleverest or the most complicated submission that wins. We will take into account age and amount of experience in coding as well. It doesn’t even have to be finished!

Python Basics

We are expecting this to produce some of the most exciting hacks of Over The Air 2013 though. Prove that the grown ups have some competition!

There are 3 runners-up prizes of Python Basics which is a book for kids to learn to code. It’s taught us at padajo something as well as being fun and engaging for kids.


The submission can be a piece of coding that runs on a computer, the internet, a phone, uses minecraft or a raspberry pi or MaKey MaKey. It can do anything that you want. You could even aim to make an invisibility shield or a personal TARDIS but I think they may be a little beyond the realms of a weekend hack!

The only requirement is that you tell us who you are, how old you and any team members are, what the hack is, and then you will need to present it at the end.

Don’t worry about the presentation. Just stand up and tell us what it is!

Good luck!


The ‘Samsung Smart Apps’ Challenge

Put the new Samsung Mobile SDK through its paces with Samsung’s micro Smart App Challenge!

On the 5th of September, viagra Samsung Electronics launched the Samsung Mobile SDK, sale to provide developers with a more streamlined application development experience. Now Samsung wants you to put the Samsung Mobile SDK though its paces in an overnight micro “Smart App Challenge”!

To enter the Samsung micro Smart App Challenge, shop simply produce the most engaging, exciting app you can in the allotted time, making use of the Samsung Mobile SDK.

The Samsung Mobile SDK offers a more efficient way to develop for Samsung devices. Instead of downloading multiple SDKs separately, you can now just download one SDK and make use of the multiple packages available in your app.

When the hacking concludes on Saturday, the Samsung Developers team will pick the most innovative application made with the Samsung Mobile SDK. Apps that make use of Samsung Device specific features will naturally score the highest.

The Prize

img_2013_at_mwcThis micro Smart App Challenge has a fantastic prize for the winning team – Two tickets to the Samsung European Developer Day on the 18th of November 2013 at London’s Film Museum.

Galaxy Note III

The Developer Day will provide the micro Smart App Challenge winners with a unique opportunity to meet the Samsung team, gain insight into what’s new and next from Samsung and collect a brand new Galaxy Note III device.

One Galaxy Note III device will be awarded, with either an individual or a representative of the winning team collecting on the 18th November. Judges will be looking for the most innovative applications built using the Samsung Mobile SDK. Why not get a head start on the competition by downloading it before OTA at –

The (official) Samsung Smart App Challenge

Samsung Smart App ChallengeThe official Samsung Smart App Challenge for Galaxy Note will select 12 winners, receiving a record total of $1,100,000 in prize money along with a variety of promotional benefits. This year, Samsung Venture Investment will review the final winners for suitability for additional financial investment so if you are looking for capital, this is the challenge for you. Developers aiming to participate should sign up directly on the App Challenge website  and register their apps on Samsung Apps from 5th September to 30th November.


Entry Period – September 5 – November 30, 2013(GMT)

Certification Period – December 1 – December 31, 2013(GMT)

Judging Period – January – February 2014(GMT)

Winner Announcement – Scheduled for late February 2014



Samsung Mobile SDK

Samsung Mobile SDK – Getting Started Guide

Samsung Mobile SDK 1.0 API Specification

The ‘Innovation on Windows Phone’ Challenge

The developer relations team from Microsoft & Nokia UK are excited to announce the ‘Innovation on Windows Phone’ Hack Day Challenge.

The Prize

nokia_lumia_1020_2You and your team will get the chance to win a Nokia Lumia Windows 1020 Phone handset. This prize will be awarded to an individual or team that has worked on a new project which exemplifies tough problem solving and maybe even turning their ideas into a business. The projects will be judged on Saturday and winners announced at the prize giving ceremony.

Runners up will be awarded a Nokia Lumia 925 phone.

All Entries

Everyone who develops a Windows Phone app will be provided with a Nokia Premium Developer Program account. You will also be rewarded just for being part of the hack. Get your thinking caps on now and we look forward to seeing your idea during the event.

The Nokia Premium Developer Programme provides high value tools & support to help you be more productive, viagra develop quality apps and enhance your Windows Phone development experience. Get this package of benefits worth up to USD $1500 for free if you commit to using the Windows Phone platform during Over the Air.

* Special Nokia Music Prize *

EarphonesSpeakersThe best Windows Phone app developed using the Nokia Music API will win JBL NFC PlayUp speakers and Monster Purity in-ear stereo headphones.


Getting Started

It’s easier than you think as you can use many of the skills you already have. Create new generation Windows Phone 8 apps with .NET and C++ with UIs in XAML or DirectX. Realise more revenue from your mobile apps, sell your apps in over 200 markets worldwide. Learn more here

Getting started is easy, develop for Windows 8 or Windows Phone with the suggested starting points below to ensure you make the most of your time at Over the Air. Or, if you just need a great cloud service to go with your project, check out Windows Azure Mobile Services.

Windows 8

Windows Phone 8

Windows Azure

For iOS Starter

Click here

Click here

Click here

For Android Starter

Click here

Click here

Click here

For Windows Starter

Click here

Click here

Click here


For more help on the ground – Get in touch with the developer relations team coming to Over the Air this year.

Riaz Ahmed @TheRealRiaz – Developer Evangelist, Nokia UK

Andy Wigley @andy_wigley – Developer Evangelist, Microsoft UK

Alexander Bennett, @Alzando – Senior Developer, Nokia Music

Search for the Heaviest Mobile Website

Our friends at have launched to Heaviest Web Site 2013 Competition

Enter for your chance to win $1000

The web has a weight problem, and mobile devices are struggling. understands that in order to offer a great mobile web experience, you need to optimise your website for performance. This means slimming down your mobile page weight in order for it to load quickly and efficiently.

All over the web there are heavy, poor-performing mobile websites and wants you to find them!

To enter:

  1. Search the web for the largest mobile web site (in kbs) you can find
  2. Use the button below to enter the domain
  3. will perform the official weigh-in and announce the winner on the 28th of September 2013

If you find the mobile website with the largest page weight you will win a whopping $1000.

Unsure how to test a website for it’s mobile page weight? Follow the tutorial blog: Testing your website for mobile performance