Young entrepreneurs, engineers and coders who dream to make Minority Report a reality will have their chance at The Next 36’s first 24-hour Hackathon which focuses on Wearable Computing as its theme. The Hackathon will be hosted at Google’s Waterloo and Toronto offices from September 13-14.
With wearable tech & Canada at the center of the Hackathon, it is no surprise that we see Thalmic Labs, creators of MYO the gesture-control armband, as the major partner especially since Thalmic Labs founder, Stephen Lake, is part of the The Next 36 alumni. The event organizers are working with Thalmic Labs to gain access to developer units for MYO for the event. They are also in the process of confirming other wearable devices contestants will have access to at the event. In total they expect 10-12 wearable technologies to be at each location.
“We are hoping to allow students the chance to hack on some cutting edge technology ahead of almost anyone else and since Thalmic is in the process of rolling out their development program, it is also a great way for them to learn and get instant feedback from some very talented students,” Jon French, Director of Marketing & Events.
The Hackathon will be judged by Senior Engineers from Google and Thalmic Labs as well as CTOs and technical cofounders from other successful startups. Winners of the Hackathon will receive over $1,500 in cash prizes and the first place team will also be given a set of team MYOs. But it’s the grand prize to nab a spot at the National Selection Weekend which contestants will be vying for since the Weekend provides them with an opportunity to get into The Next 36 program.
Building software for hardware is a true sign of the times as we continue to see more and more wearable computing form factors enter the market, many of which are from Canadian companies. And with 171 million wearable devices forecasted to ship in 2016 worldwide, the business potential for any of the ideas that come out of The Next 36 event are very real.
“We have broadened the scope of what N36 entrepreneurs can build as part of our program,” explained French. “In previous years, the focus was on mobile apps and software but we have expanded to include any technology venture that can achieve significant milestones within the 9-month duration of the program. Many of the students who apply to the program have expressed an interest in hardware and specifically wearables”.
Those interested in applying for the Hackathon need to get a secret registration link by completing a quick developer challenge. For more details, visit The Next 36 Hackathon event page.