If you’ve been following our Outside Hacks coverage up till this point you know that this year marks Outside Lands first ever hackathon. One hundred-plus developers pulled all-nighters this past weekend to create apps for festival-goers ranging from Boogles, an augmented reality app for finding beer, to Outside Lines, a way of crowdsourcing information about the length of Porta Potty lines.
Wednesday, the 15 finalists demoed their products on stage at the Independent. The best two teams would receive VIP Outside Lands tickets to test their products in the fest. The celebrity judges included Sarah Lacy, MC Hammer, and Rick Farman, co-founder of SuperFly, which puts on the Outside Lands festival. Hackers got the full-performance treatment, including bright lights blinding them on stage. They presented their video demos one at a time, and judges asked tough questions afterwards about whether their product met a real need among festival-goers.
As expected, Boogles drew the biggest laugh and seemed to be the crowd favorite. In an unfortunate twist, a few hacker teams composed of under-21-ers were banned from entering the Independent venue because of their age. The youngest group banned was 15- and 18-year-old high schoolers who developed Parkr, an app for renting out your parking spots if you live near the festival. The other group, Wats’on, created an app that tracked what song was playing on each stage in real-time. They had to let their products speak for themselves, although Wats’on did think on their feet and shot a quick iPhone video outside that hackathon organizers played for the audience. In it they apologized for not being able to demo live.
At the end of the night, the judges picked a runner up and a winner to hack from inside Outside Lands. Nope Dumbass, a trivia app for attendees to answer questions about their favorite bands during downtime at the fest, got second place. First place went to LOAF Outside Pants — the team that developed a system for festivals to deal with lost and found, by sending out alerts when specific items are turned in. Farman, Outside Lands creator, thought that one was particularly useful.
Nope Dumbass and Outside Pants will keep working on their apps at the Outside Lands festival today, tomorrow, and Sunday. They’ll go out into the crowds and get people to test the apps to give feedback. Stayed tuned for the next Pando installment!
[Image via: Jay Blakesberg]