Hackathons are a tradition at Silicon Valley startups. Some of the best technology companies in the world—like Facebook, for example—rely on them to surface up the next top projects for the company.These marathon coding and hacking sessions aim to build new working products within the designated timeframe—typically 24 to 72 hours.
Sometimes you get fantastic new products. Sometimes you get some weird pieces of technology.
Like a hovercraft—built at a hackathon which happened over the past weekend hosted by SoundCloud, a startup that helps you store and share clips of sound and music online.
Jump straight to photos of SoundCloud’s Hackathon weekend
Surprisingly, the hovercraft wasn’t the project that won the 48-hour-long contest—it was an actual service that could be useful to SoundCloud in the future called Never Ending Story.
Here are some of the other neat projects built during the hack weekend:
- Toybox: A toddler’s toy built on Arduino, an open hardware platform, and Raspberry Pi, a $25 computer, able to play back custom SoundCloud sounds in reaction to the physical world.
- Never Ending Story (We Hack 2012 winner): The age-old kid’s game: start a story and pass it on. The narrative begins with a SoundCloud file; you create a never-ending playlist of new people who tell new parts of a story.
- Soundifyificationizer: Turns text into music by mapping groups of characters to MIDI notes for melody and drums.
- HOVA: The hovercraft mentioned above.
- StreadCloud: A meme-ifying tool to turn a photo of SoundCloud’s chief architect into a joke. Includes voting.
- Ruly: “R U Lost Yet” gives your friends a map with audio-powered step-by-step directions.
- Graphiz: A visualisation of connections on SoundCloud
- Deutsch Dienstag: An English-German phrasebook. Click an English sentence to hear the German translation
- BunnyStall: Build custom applications for the Nabaztag “rabbit.”
- SoundCal: Allows users to add SoundCloud tracks to a calendar via the artwork widget.
- Foodbaby: A website for collecting favourite recipes via an “Eat Later” bookmarklet. Once you cook the meal, you can connect the recipe to an Instagram photo of the dish.
- Desmond: A port of the Android SoundCloud app to Google’s new experimental media streaming device, the Nexus Q.
- Day In Sound: A day in the life of a SoundClouder in 2012.
- SoundChain: Record a sound and send it to someone to continue and eventually make into a chain of sounds.
- TweetSpeak: Allows you to speak your own tweets. Pick your best tweet, record it, and post it to Twitter.
- Wedoc: A documentation of the weekend from audio interviews and montages.
- Lunchbox: A mobile app enabling SoundCloud staffers to meet for lunch.
- Message In A Bottle: Short message broadcasting with anonymous replies. Think of anonymous twitter.
- The Passion Project: Stories of individuals sharing their passion with the world, arranged in a sensible way—kind of like Pinterest.
- Screen Printing Workshop: Screen print “We Hack” t-shirts, thanks to Etsy Labs in Berlin.
The whole build looks pretty straightforward. A wood base with flexible fabric over it to allow it to inflate with air.
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