The WearHacks story
“Hackathons are more about the relationships that are built than the code that is written….We are here to depict hackers as heroes not criminals! We educate students to use their technical powers for good.” — Justin Brezhnev (http://Hacker.Fund)
My co-founder, Ari, and I love hacking on wearable and connected devices, but we could only afford a few at a time.
We thought: why not create a hackathon where we can give devices to hackers and say, “Go Crazy. Build anything for a weekend…”. It is a win-win situation. Hardware companies get a community and Hackers get to build ☺
For example, if a developer from Germany buys a wearable, s/he will have to wait four or more weeks, and the company will subsequently get one hacker. If we hold a hackathon there, we can reach 300+ hackers in one weekend!
We founded WearHacks in July 2014 and registered it as a nonprofit organization. On September 26th-28th, we held our first event in Montreal. WearHacks is now expanding to Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York, Berlin, Strasbourg, Paris and potentially your city in 2015.
At the Montreal event, we had projects ranging from a virtual drum to a belt that helped the visually impaired navigate. The latter project was completed by a social science major. She learned how to solder for the first time that weekend with help of a mentor.
We had a fully-equipped workshop to help hackers create their own wearables. The breakdown: 90% software on existing wearable/connected devices and 10% created their own wearables.
“Neural Drift” and “MYOMusic” featured by Intel
As a non-profit, we can optimize for the hackers and give back to the community. If it wasn’t for a competition organized by Datastax, I would not be here in Seattle. I built a little deal finding Android App, and I was flown to OSCON, where I met my team at Expedia. Hackathons are shots of espresso that supplement education, build creative confidence, and help students find their life’s work or potentially a co-founder.
Andre Yousefi, co-founder of Lime Lab, said on Aug. 2012, “something that once took three months to make now takes less than a month”. On May 2015, hackers at WearHacks Toronto built their 3D printed fully functional prototypes in 36 hours. We have dramatically shortened the time from idea to implementation.
“Hackathons are a recognition of a new truth in the digital age: the cost to create has gone down exponentially in terms of time and money. Innovation has become distributed. Small teams of people can indeed come together to change the world around them.” — TechVibes
Hackathons are a new way of creating and recognizing innovation. The term, coined in 1999, has become ubiquitous with…www.techvibes.com
MOM, we are on T.V!
WearHacks brings dozens of students and tech developers to Montreal to brainstorm new ideas for clothes and accessories…www.cbc.ca
If you think hackathons are dope and you want to be a WearHacks ambassador…let’s talk!