Google IO Extended hackathon June 2012

Google’s annual developerfest, “I/O”, now includes live screenings in numerous locations. Not having time to schlep over to Mountain View, I thought I should checkout the London event. This is essentially about sitting down and listening to presentations of announcements and updates.  These had a distinctly marketing flavour, although I did not sit through many of them. They were, of course, announcing some cool stuff including the new 7″ tablet and the “Q” home entertainment system.

Also featured was a 48 hour, international hackathon. In London the turnout was minimal but the 4 of us decided to be a team and hack something. (Maybe others were hacking in secret.) What we actually did is covered here. The idea is to make energy monitoring more interesting (ideally “fun”) by making it quick, easy and social.

What can you really do in 48 hours, especially when the 4 of you are not all working through? Well, we did get an Android app done (@kduzo did most of it) and a database, API and number cruncher that I did. Our 2 other team members, @JamesNocentini and František, helped us with important contributions. All this worked together. If only we had time to enter enough data to make it look convincing.

Next: we should productionise this as there are numerous volunteer groups tackling the same problem. A number of them are collecting and processing data *manually*. Can that be fun? Watch this space as we see if any of them are interested.

PS. We have since heard that we won a prize of a ChromeBook.  This duly arrived and certainly does what it says on the tin.  This is pretty close to the vision of thin clients that was touted all those years ago, much more so than a netbook. I hope soon to find time to develop an app or two for it.

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