PCH hackathon in Canada invited hackers to "create the next Pebble"

Over the course of 54 hours, the organisers of the PCH hackathon in Canada challenged innovators to create the next big tech hardware product and follow in the footsteps of recent hit devices such as the Pebble smartwatch and Nest thermostat. 

The event held at the Tannery Event Centre in Kitchener this past weekend was graced with around 100 people consisting of engineers, software designers, and entrepreneurs who all put their talented minds together in order to create a hardware prototype to show-off on the final day. 

Competitors pitched their ideas and formed teams on the Friday night before embarking on a 54-hour mission to progress their vision from paper to prototype. To assist the teams in devising their product; each table was lined with intricate hardware tools, coloured wiring, and strong tape. They also had access to a 3D printer to help create early mock-ups. 

The organisers of the PCH hackathon in Canada challenged innovators to create the next big tech hardware

One seven-person team created a "GPS for robots" which provides autonomous machines with a low-cost sense of whereabouts and direction. The device was pitched as being able to potentially aid robots used in a hospital setting to navigate their way around wards and check-in on patients or provide medical supplies to those who need it. 

This could be combined with a project from another team which consisted of 11 people who built an object which can listen to patients in hospitals and build a heat map which provides staff with an overview of how patients in different rooms are feeling based on their responses. 

All 10 teams which took part in the hackathon presented their final prototypes on the Sunday night with the winning team to take home a $3,000 prize, the option of company incorporation, and an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles (where PCH Hardware Hackathon is based.) 

Later in the year the PCH Hardware Hackathon will travel to Hong Kong and London. To stay up-to-date with upcoming events – take a look at their website here

Have you taken part in a hardware hackathon? Let us know your experience in the comments.

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