First off, Hackference 2013 was a fantastic event with brilliant people. Made some great friends as well as played with some great code!
A little about the event: “A first-of-its-kind event in Birmingham, collecting 300 developers to look into different technologies, languages and best practices available in the development world. The team at Hackference will be bringing you internationally renowned developers to share their knowledge on a wide range of subjects covering different areas of coding and development.”
Read more about it here: http://2013.hackference.co.uk
We started the weekend by horrendously navigating around Birmingham to try and find where we’re meant to be! It wasn’t easy as none of us had been here before. After a great deal of traffic avoidance, and patience, we found the place and parked. Inside we were greated by a gang of eager hackers having a chat before the ‘frence’ side of the weekend kicked off.
Not really knowing where we were, we made our way into Birmingham city centre looking for any type of shop that may have a Kinect for sale, ideally second-hand to reduce costs. Luckily there was a Game in the Bullring selling one second-hand which we immediately snapped up. First part of the mission complete. So the next part was to get the Kinect working on an Apple Mac which by itself was an utter nightmare.
After hours spent in the hotel lobby using the slowest wifi known to man, and ‘hope-for-the-best’ type trial and error we eventually got some glimmer of hope when the Kinect began blinking. Not exactly what we had in mind considering the time we spend, and that the hackathon was starting the next morning, but progress is progress.
The next morning, the hackathon began. We had 36 hours to hack our idea with a half working Kinect and lack of sleep on our side. The idea was to create a Kinect based audio manipulator using the Soundcloud API to essentially produce a cool ‘composer’ like effect with the music to control pitch, tempo, and other various music type things. We coined the name Kinposer and kicked off!
We firstly assembled our team which comprised of myself (developer), Dennis (designer/front-end developer), Jonjoe (junior developer), and Hugh (super developer).
Although, unfortunately, come show-and-tell time, despite the team plowing ahead, we were just not finished enough to do a proper demonstration.
And even though that was a right bugger, no-one was in a downed spirit as we all learned a hell of a lot in such a short time. The main lesson is that next time we won’t be attempting to get a Microsoft product working on an Apple product. The pain was too much!
To end, I’d just like to say a massive, and overdue thank you to Mike (@ukmadlz) for organising the event, Andrew (@teabass), Syd (@sydlawrewnce), John (@r0cket), and especially Hugh (@hughrawlinson) for all the help on the day, and everyone else at the event as everyone was brilliant. Looking forward to the next one!
If you’re interested, take a deeper look at our hack project Kinposor which we’d ideally like to open-source soon (if we ever finish it!).