APIs are one of the most important ways companies can help extend their products, giving developers the opportunities to build new tools and features that may never have been thought of before. There’s no better place for APIs to be utilized by a developer community than at a Hackathon, where techies spend 24 hours or more seeking to create something impressive (often with no sleep).
Last week, Comcast, along with NBCUniversal and our strategic partner Zeebox, sponsored the TV Of Tomorrow (TVOT) Hackathon in New York City. The event, hosted by [itvt], was part of the TV of Tomorrow Show (TVOT) conference series, bringing together hackers and creatives to envision and build the TV of Tomorrow… in 24 hours.
Eight hacker teams came from across the country to take on the challenge. To do this, they had to conceive, design and build TV/video apps and experiences, primarily—though not exclusively— using technologies, platforms, content and knowledge contributed by the Hackathon sponsors. They were then judged on the originality, elegance and usefulness (viability, scalability, monetizability, etc.) of the app or experience they created.
With Comcast, NBCUniversal and zeebox, we offered the grand prize of $6,000 to the app "Matchmaker." Brian Fountain, the developer behind Matchmaker, chose to build a TV show that also happened to be a game, rather than build a game for the TV. This "choose your own adventure" game was an overwhelming crowd favorite, and it really challenged the way we think about TV content being produced and incorporated into second screen mobile applications. We loved how Matchmaker put TV under the microscope and designed a show (and technology) that would make users want to play/watch over and over again.