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How TV hackathons can help an industry going through huge change

TV hackathons offer a great opportunity for an industry going through huge change and following the success of last October’s first ever TV hackathon from Hackfest.tv, Apps World US played host to the second event in San Francisco in February.

The challenge once again was to find solutions to everything from the impact of technology enabled time shifting on advertising to mobile and tablet multitasking whilst watching TV.

Participants were given the APIs, SDKs and data they needed for the challenge and were able to submit their hacks ahead of the event via Hackerleague – an online hackathon events portal. They then fought it out for $3,000 of prizes, judged by representatives from Twitter, Google TV, Facebook and CNN.

The winners included an innovation award for Silicon Valley based ReinCloud Corporation for its ARGTV (Augmented Reality Gamification TV platform) which allows viewers in-content discovery of products and goods allowing them to literally play with goods on screen.

The best commercial award was presented to Work At Play for their Applause product – an app that allowed real time audience reaction by allowing viewers to react by “applauding” on their smart phone by tapping their smartphone and sharing what they liked via social media on the second screen. The trio were also the only dual winners of the hackfest after also winning the Vobile TVSync Sponsor award for best use of their API.

Meanwhile the best design was won by a four strong team including Scott Eklund, Josh Kennedy, Nick Norton and Eunsook An for their concept Movie Night – a fun app for anyone who has ever argued over what film to watch on TV. The games based app allows the person who graciously concedes on the what to watch the ability to receive brownie points as a reward which can later be redeemed for their own choice of movie as well as the ability to share how nice they have been via Facebook and Twitter.

The next TV hackfest will take place at Apps World Europe in London’s Earls Court 2 on October 22-23 as one of three hackfests taking place at the event.