My experience at Sequoia Hackathon and Designathon

Sequoia Capital recently conducted it’s annual Hackathon and Designathon in India at Bengaluru. I was fortunate enough to be selected as one of the 600 participants from over 5500 applicants across India. This was my first experience at a Hackathon that completely left me speechless with the kind of raw talent that bundled together at one place.

The halls of ITC Gardenia were full of energy and excitement from the word go. An unstoppable army of geeks leashed out code and pixels powered by unlimited supply of food and energy drinks. In less than 36 hours, coders and designers had to come up with innovative solutions in specialised tracks. Coders had to work with the following 6 tracks:

Tracks for Hackathon

Designers had 3 tracks:

Tracks for Designathon

The environment was abuzz with geek speak as algorithms started interacting with the present and future of hardware tech — Amazon Alexa, Oculus, Leap Motion, Beacons, 3d printers, and Gesture bands.

Designers also unleashed their creativity as useful product designs emerged from a mix of ingenious UX solutions and beautiful interface elements. It was great fun interacting with fellow designers. We exchanged numerous ideas related to information architecture, interaction design and motion design. It was just euphoric to see so many great designers working on really interesting projects at the same time. And if this was not enough, Sequoia provided us with some finger licking food coupled with unlimited supplies of energy drinks and snacks. Truly, a geek’s paradise — tech, food and brains!

My Designathon Project

KitchenSense — Changing your Kitchen, One Jar at a time

I created my project under the smart acceleration track. Here’s the core concept:

We all have various grocery items like dal, sugar, salt, etc kept in jars. It’s difficult to manually keep track of all the items.

I proposed an IoT device that you can place beneath any jar. As soon as something is about to get over, the device will notify the companion app and a grocery list will be populated for you. This list can then be shared with a local grocery store and everything will be delivered at your home in no time! Automation for the win! Here’s a prototype of the device:

KitchenSense Prototype

Arduino Yún and Flexi force sensor were primarily used for the prototype. You can also play with the companion app here — https://invis.io/RW8KCRHGC

And here’s the vendor side app — https://invis.io/UJ8L8LWSZ

The project won the second position in the designathon! :)

Overall, it was a very fulfilling experience and I would certainly be going again next year. Thank you Sequoia for organizing this event. A job well done! :)

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