Prototyping Teams win $12,000 in Prizes at MLBAM Hackathon Organized by NYC Media Lab

Teams imagined the “future of the sports fan experience” with projects ranging from virtual and augmented reality experiences to stat-driven data visualizations.

MLBAM Hackathon Judges with NYC Media Lab. From left to right: Amy Chen, Manager of Partnerships, NYC Media Lab; Alexander Reyna, Creative Director of Games, MLBAM; Debra Anderson, Faculty, Parsons School of Design; Dirk Van Dall, VP, Multimedia Technology Development, MLBAM; Don Vu, VP, Data & Advanced Analytics, MLBAM; Jeremy Braff, Director of Engineering, MLBAM; and Justin Hendrix, Executive Director, NYC Media Lab.

NEW YORK, New York — February 14, 2017 — MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), a full service solutions provider delivering world-class digital experiences, and NYC Media Lab partnered to celebrate new talent at the MLBAM Hackathon, a weekend-long event held at New York University’s Media and Games Network on February 10th-12th 2017. More than 70 developers, designers and creative technologists formed teams and rapidly prototyped multimedia applications and experiences along two tracks: virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) and data visualization using datasets provided by MLBAM.

Following an application process organized by NYC Media Lab, selected participants including NYC university faculty and students, young professionals and emerging entrepreneurs worked together to imagine “the future of the sports fan experience” and vie for cash prizes. The goal was to explore emerging media technology for sports content consumption, interaction and engagement. Participating teams experimented with a range of technologies, including augmented and virtual reality, projection mapping, live streaming video, animation, sentiment analysis, gaming, and wearable technologies.

Executives from MLBAM provided mentorship to the teams, applying their expertise in data science, data visualization, storytelling, design, and engineering to assist the teams with concept development. Mentors from MLBAM included: Jenny Goldstick, Designer; Matt Horton, Director, Advanced Analytics; Juan Sichon, Principal Designer; Emily Voyteck, ‎Manager of Android Development; and Don Vu, VP, Data & Advanced Analytics.

In a rapid pitch session on Sunday, 16 teams presented working prototypes and live demonstrations to a panel of MLBAM judges, including: Vu; Jeremy Braff, Director of Engineering; Alexander Reyna, Creative Director of Games; and Dirk Van Dall, VP, Multimedia Technology Development. Debra Anderson, faculty member focused on VR and big data at The New School, also served as a judge. Prototypes were assessed based on their demonstrated uses of technology, their levels of originality and innovation, and on the teams’ capacities to articulate their visions as it related to the competition’s goals.

“These types of events allow to really see what young people are up to,” said Van Dall at the hackathon’s closing reception. “It was important for us to have a lot of different datasets — user generated data, social data, tracking metrics, and VR clips — lay it out, get it in front of everyone, watch them mess around with it and see what they could come up with. We’re really happy with the results. There was a lot of variety, and it was clear a lot of energy and thought went into the prototypes.”

“NYC Media Lab has been a great partner in teaching us how to interface with students in a way that engages with them meaningfully,” continued Van Dall. “Having access to a public-private consortia of the city and its universities is really a boon for tech companies.”

The top winning teams, listed by prototyping track, prize, team members and project description are:

Data Visualization

Grand Prize Winners, Parsons MFADT

Grand Prize ($3,000): Parsons MFADT
Shenxun Wang, Aimee Abalos, Liang Shi, Jiaohao Su
A platform for MLB fans to interact with the game based on the mobile devices, evoking the feeling of engagement, in the context of the game field.

First Prize($1,500): Murmuring Mallards
TJ LaGrow, Nick Capaldini, Matt Almenshad, Joseph Yaconelli 
A dynamic interactive data visualization experience for the user.

Second Prize ($1,000): Swiss Harvey Knife
Michael Mallari, Yuka Fukuoka, Janak A Jain, Gary Sztajnman
Using data analysis to drive fan engagement and generate new data as result.

Third Prize : Leftfield
Agustin Indaco, Tahir Butt, Janet Yin
A data driven app for fans to be able to tie the storyline between the end of the last season and the beginning of the new one.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

Grand Prize Winners, DellinBetancesWithWolves

Grand Prize ($3,000): DellinBetancesWithWolves
Alex Fast, Rita Cheng, Tommy Diamond, Kyle Greenberg
An AR application that enhances the live baseball experience by allowing fans to interact with the ballpark itself.

First Prize ($1,500): The Cutters
Howard Olah-Reiken, Jay Van Buren, Tina Cheng, Victor Goh, Fabian Patino
The Pastime: A virtual augmented reality time machine.

Second Prize ($1,000): The Big Windup!
Justin Chin, Pat Sukhum, David Zadok, Pakigya Tuladhar
A way for viewers to relive historic baseball moments, allowing them to experience moments in the first and third person.

Third Prize ($500): First Timers
Sanghoon Han, Joohyong Han, Yihan Hu
Using AR to stimulate connections and interactions between users in the stadium, while gaining easier access to players’ stats.

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For more information regarding the MLBAM Hackathon, contact Alexis Avedisian, Communications Manager, NYC Media Lab at (alexis@nycmedialab.org)

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