Between a video game playing Yeti, snow cone producing snowman, therapy dogs and epic Nerf gun battles – HackIllinois 2015 saw plenty of hackathon awesomeness over the weekend that kicked off the season of Spring!

Acting as our eyes and ears, Swift & Shy were entrusted with the pleasure of giving us the low down on some of their favorite hacks from the weekend!

1. MetropoliPin

(ChallengePost entry)

Made by two hackers who were supposed to be at HackDFW as one of our Hackathon TV teams, canceled flights resulted in Erin Hoffman & Caitlin McDonald driving to HackIllinois from the Detroit airport (DTW) early on the Saturday morning instead.

Despite being 12 hours late, they managed to hack together a distraction free app for travellers and explorers to “drop pins” on their current locations to share travel advice. Integrating a NeuroSky MindWave Mobile EEG reader headset, this was done by deliberate blinks and revisiting these “pins” later to leave brief ratings.

Basically you can check in to places with your brain, which is pretty cool.

metropolipinMetropoliPin won Factual‘s Best Use of Location Data in a Mobile Context prize

2. OculuScooter

(ChallengePost entry)

Se-Joon Chung, Seungwon Shin, Yosub Shin, and Ji Oh Yoo built their hack to help a friend alleviate the side effect of heavy motion sickness from using virtual reality (VR) applications.

Testing a hypothesis that users are less likely to get motion sickness if their movements in a VR application are direct results of physical ones, they hacked parts of a scooter and a roller skate shoe to create a hybrid of digital/physical inputs for a scooter game utilizing the Oculus Rift.

Watch their video demo below:

OculuScooter came out on top in the Hardware Hacks category and made said friend noticeably more at ease when he used their VR application!

oculu scooter

3. SimpliciTea

(ChallengePost entry)

The team behind SimpliciTea (a puntastic name, if we may add) combined their hardware hacking skills with numerous APIs and services to give us a glimpse into the future of automated tea-making robots.

We would happily welcome this hack in our offices!

4. LeapFashion

(ChallengePost entry)

Last but not least, lighting up our weekend at HackIllinois was this Leap Motion controlled dress. Inspired by the trend of infusing high fashion with technology, the LeapFashion team, made up of Chi Huen Man, Faye Li, and Elena Chong, embedded color changing LEDs in a dress that reacted to different hand gestures.

We absolutely loved this hack and the idea of extending the influence of fashion beyond the wearer!

LeapFashion won Trunk Club‘s award for Most Innovative Way to Connect to Someone

Click here to see all project submissions from HackIllinois 2015 on Challenge Post

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