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Toronto to host hardware-focused hackathon


Toronto will play host to the largest-ever hardware-focused hackathon, focused on building projects for a wide range of next-generation interfaces and wearable devices including: the Raspberry Pi, OUYA Console, Kiwi Move, and Intelligent Headset (the world’s first 3D audio headset), among others.

The 24-hour programming competition called Consruct: Mind and Motion, will include more than 150 programmers and developers that will gather to compete at the Ryerson Digital Media Zone (DMZ) on February 22-23.

Unlike other hackathons, the fast growing tech meetup community, is on the verge of wait-list status. The event’s judging is based entirely on creativity and the innovative use of technology, not business plans or commercial viability.

“Construct lets us highlight new emerging technologies while underscoring the incredible talent we have right here in our local community,” says HackerNest founder Shaharris Beh. “We’re uniting developers and putting shiny new devices in their hands to unleash their creativity: this weekend will generate never-before-seen applications and use-cases for the technology of tomorrow.”

Given the hackathon’s clear focus on tech and innovation, the Ryerson DMZ was targeted as a prime venue to complement the Construct vision.

“The Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University is proud to host the HackerNest Construct hackathon,” says Valerie Fox, executive director of the DMZ. “HackerNest and the DMZ share many of the same goals: fostering openness, collaboration, and growth for Toronto’s growing community of innovators. I look forward to seeing the connections that are formed between our region’s best and brightest tech talent.”

Small teams (5 member maximum) will develop new apps and programs for HackerNest-provided devices over 24 hours, finally demoing their projects to an impressive panel of judges from leading firms across the tech community including:

• Keith Liu (VP, Klick Healthcare)

• Leila Boujnane (CEO, TinEye)

• Mark Buchner (Professor & industry liaison, Sheridan College)

• Yamil Asusta (developer evangelist, SendGrid)

• Raff Paquin (head of technology, Frank & Oak)

• Robin Toop (director of technology, HackerNest)

Judging starts at 3pm on Sunday, February 23rd, with winners announced by 6pm. Participants vie for cash ($2500 Grand Prize, $1337 Runner Up) and hardware prizes, including Datawind UbiSlate tablets, PUSH Strength bands, Myo Armbands, and thousands in hosting credits from SoftLayer and Digital Ocean. All ‘hacked-on’ devices will be given to participants with numerous additional giveaways throughout the event. Perhaps the most highly anticipated is a draw for a single Oculus Rift, the much-hyped virtual reality 3D gaming headset which has yet to announce its release date.