Excitement Builds as “The Great IoT Hackathon” Registrations Hit Limit

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

In what may be billed as the world’s longest Internet of Things “hackathon”, the Technology Incubator has teamed up with the faculty and staff of Winthrop University, York Technical College and Rock Hill Schools to conduct a high-powered educational event aimed at college and advanced high school students. The Great IOT Hackathon is officially titled Wired Hack 18.1-4, symbolic of the year and months the event takes place as well as the version numbers found in software and hardware products.  

Sponsored by Comporium, Wired Hack 18.1-4 is a 4-month long collaborative interdisciplinary hackathon with two major 24-hour events, beginning with a January 12th kick off (at 4pm) and an April wrap up installation session, with bi-weekly mini-events for participants to work on and learn about IoT projects.  Dr. Andrew Besmer, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Winthrop University says, "We are so excited to be able to work with Comporium to offer this one-of-a kind experience. Students will be working on cutting edge hardware and software to build IoT devices similar to those being developed at Research & Development labs across the country. We can't even begin to image what they will come up with."

Designed to accommodate 30 participants, this event will challenge the technical skills and creativity of each student to transform the Technology Incubator space into what may be the world’s first “connected” technology incubator using custom built IoT technology.  Instead of a competition offering cash prizes as in the past, Wired Hack 18.1-4, will provide each participant who completes the full event with programming devices and IoT-related hardware worth well over $100.  Students will work on both predetermined project ideas, such as programming an IoT IR blaster to turn on TVs, as well as their own ideas for further connecting the space through the creation of IoT technology (i.e., novelty lighting, window games, activity monitors, etc.)  According to Besmer this will "challenge students to work creatively, technically, and most important collaboratively, to transform the Technology Incubator." Also, "participants will be able to take the devices they build that are not available commercially and use them at home."

Technical mentoring and assistance will be provided with the help of faculty/staff, volunteers from the Knowledge Park Coders group, and other experts.  Student participants will begin on January 12th by being given an Amazon Alexa and Particle Photon tutorial on how to create an Alexa skill that works with the Particle Cloud. They will then spend 24 hours prototyping their own devices/skills and determining the pieces of hardware they will use over the next 4 months.  

More information about the event can be found at http://wiredhack.eventbrite.com or you can contact Andrew Besmer (besmera@winthrop.edu) for more information.