A 16-year-old built the winning mobile game at Baltimore Hackathon - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Nov. 17, 2014 1:21 pm

A 16-year-old built the winning mobile game at Baltimore Hackathon

We recap that and other creations from the weekend event.

Participants at Baltimore Hackathon make last-minute tweaks ahead of Sunday's presentations.

(Photo by Tyler Waldman)

Until Friday, Peter Collins didn’t even think he was participating in the Baltimore Hackathon.

But when Collins — only 16 and a student at Towson’s Carver Center for the Arts and Technology — got an idea worth pursuing, he texted his mother from school and asked her to register him.

Good thing for Collins.

His app, NodeSwipe, took home the prize for top individual software project and audience favorite at the third hackathon, held over the weekend at Advertising.com in Tide Point.

“This is my first hackathon, so it’s quite unexpected,” said Collins, a Towson resident.

NodeSwipe is a simple touch-screen web-based game, kind of like Simon Says. If the screen is green, the user swipes the direction shown. If it’s red, the player swipes the opposite direction. The game was only live during Collins’ demo, but check it out in his demo below.

Collins won $600 in cash prizes, plus a choice between two free months of Betamore membership or $200 off a web development course at the Federal Hill incubator. Collins said he didn’t even have an idea what he’d be doing with that.

“I don’t even have my driver’s license,” he said.

Collins’ project was joined by several other hardware and software projects that either built off of or repurposed existing technologies or created something totally different.

  • The Duoflo is a 3D-printed device presented Sunday that would speed and ease flossing.
  • The Auto Nav robot used reworked power screwdriver motors to serve as its own.
  • Traitify Classroom used Traitify’s personality quiz to create a model to allow teachers to know what kind of students they’re getting.
  • And finally, a laminar flow fountain that — had its developers not run into a last second glitch — would have been controlled using a “Dance Dance Revolution” dance pad. (The project’s developers still had the fountain set up outside, just without the color-changing function. “That was definitely something we couldn’t keep indoors,” said organizer Jason Denney.)

“We’ve been busy the entire weekend. We’re both really tired,” Denney said after the awards presentation, talking alongside Advertising.com’s Paris Pittman.

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Denney said that though the event had roughly the same ticket sales as the second hackathon in 2012, participation was up.

“People were less focused on the competition and more focused on helping,” Denney said. “Just the camaraderie in general was really awesome.”

This is Denney’s third and final time organizing the hackathon. Pittman said she may take the reins next time around.

“I’ll definitely keep it going, maybe not call it a hackathon,” she said. “Buildathon, makeathon, createathon.”

The other winners, besides Collins, were:

  • Individual hardware: Positional lighting (by Shea Frederick)
  • Group software: Bikestack
  • Group hardware: laminar flow fountain
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