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Hack The Home

The “Hack The Home” hackathon is now in the rear-view mirror and we’re taking a look back at everything that happened during the 30+ hours of making that took place at FirstBuild on Friday and Saturday.


The hackathon focused on hacking existing appliance and even making new appliances to improve the overall home experience. More than 250 people attended the event and many of them stayed at FirstBuild for the entire 33-hours. In addition to the participants, more than 30 sponsors attended the event and offered prizes to groups that most effectively used their software/hardware/etc. These sponsors included AT&T, Intel, Atmel, Renesas, SmartThings, and many more. In total, more than $60,000 in cash and prizes were awarded.


Teams worked around the clock and came up with some really cool ideas, including an automatically opening refrigerator, a smarter baby monitor, and a kitchen cabinet greenhouse. Participants were given access to a wide range of tools and even GE appliances, like refrigerators, ovens, washers, dryers, and more. Anyone could “hack” these appliances and create their own home innovation.


Each sponsor chose which team won the prize that they were offering, but there were also a few overall winners, which were chosen by FirstBuild. The teams that were chosen as the winners of the FirstBuild prizes were:

Rob Lewis, Joshua Longenecker, Ali Faraji-Tajrishi, Nick Dillon, Rick Suel


The winners adapted a conventional GE wall oven to roast coffee precisely using an Arduino control. Their invention, House Roast, adjusts the oven temperature automatically to mimic the professional roasting of coffee beans.

2nd Place: FIX OF WATER
Nelson Tanquero, Mark Shelton, Michael Large, Jose Padron


Use voice commands to control the water dispenser on your GE refrigerator from a mobile device or tablet. The Fix of Water team hacked a GE fridge to provide filtered water by voice command to illustrate the possibilities for interaction with the appliances of tomorrow.

3rd Place: CROCK WATCH
Jason Chodyniecki, Taylor White, Bill Piepmeyer, Keith White, Eric Sage


Wifi-enabled remote control crockpot with video that gives you greater control without being there. Crock Watch lets you control your crock pot from afar with an app and even monitor the cooking process with a unique video capability, so not only can you see the cooking process, when it’s done you can shut it off without being there. Slow cooking is a popular trend, but existing crock pots stay at the present temperature until you return to adjust or shut them off.


There is also a “Community Favorite” prize of $1,000, which has yet to be awarded. We want you to vote for your favorite idea that came out of the hackathon; the group with the most votes by Sunday, April 19th will be awarded the prize money and will earn the title “Community Favorite”. Click here to vote!


So that was the “Hack the Home” hackathon! We had an incredible time hosting so many hackers, makers, engineers, sponsors, and just all-around fun people. We learned a lot from our FIRST hackathon but we’d like your input; tell us what you thought of the event overall and what we could do to make it better in the future.

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