Learn.TV Wins TV Hackfest San Francisco 2014

written by: Richard Kastelein

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winnersThe Hackfest returned to San Francisco at the beginning of this month for 2 days of hard-core coding with a range of exciting APIs and SDKs to play with. After coding all day at the Moscone Center West on day one, hackers continued working on their projects at the official networking party and beyond - with some attendees getting only a few hours sleep as they worked on their creations ready for the day two presentations.

For more details on the event see Gracenote's Developer Blog here.

Learn.TV took the top title at TV Hackfest 2014 in San Francisco this year with a winning app that, in essence, was simple but effective, capturing the jury with an almost unanimous vote. Using the Gracenote, zeebox and Enyo APIs, the team, in less than two days, built an app for parents to control and gamify their children’s TV by allowing them to build a profile of the kids then giving them a balance (credits) for them to watch TV while pushing them to earn more credits by completing educational tasks to gain more TV watching time.

Joaquin Delgado Ph.D. - Head Of Ad Tech and Engineering at Intel Media headed the team and explained the essence of the application in their short pitch:

- Kids have a balance to play games or watch something
- So when they pick on his show, he does not have enough coins
- So he has to go back and earn the coins
- Going through a series of education material earns coins/badges
- Allows child to then view the material
- Account balance goes up after that

In the backend, parents can see what the children have done and also they may add things to their watch list. The question answered was... Is TV smart? 

- Doctors say no
- Kids should not see more than 2 hours of TV per day
- Should be about a half hour a day
- Solution is edutainment

ladshackfestOur panel of judges, which included experts from Disney, American Airlines, Mitsubishi and 2013 reigning champions, Reincloud, were impressed with all of the submissions and the high quality of entries given the time constraints. Some of the highlights included entries that combined APIs, and brought in other technologies such as augmented reality and Google Glass.

Here’s a list of this year’s winners and their prizes:

Overall TV Hackfest winner:
Learn TV

Overall Apps Hackfest winner:

Nexmo brief:
Winners of best use of Nexmo APIs:
Reach Out

Winners of best productivity app using the Nexmo API:
Android Back up

Bitcasa brief:
Winner of best ‘Bitcasa it’ app:
Android Back up

NDEV brief:
Winner of best entry for NDEV’s brief:
Reach Out

Winner of best built app with Enyo:
Bet TV

Winner of best entry for LG brief:
Learn TV
Special mention:

Smart TV Alliance:
Winner of best entry to Smart TV Alliance brief:
Up and Down

Winner of best entry for Alphonso brief:
Like TV

Winners of most innovative use of Zencoder API and most amazing use of video.js:
Reel Reactions
Thumbnail Curve

Winners of best response to the Gracenote brief:
TV through the looking glass
Thumbnail Curve
Gracenote Powered 3D

Special mention:
Mad Tags

Winner of best use of Zeebox APIs:


Congratulations to all our winners, we’ll be catching up with them over the next year on their Hackfest experiences and what has happened to their projects since winning. Find out about more about Hackfest and upcoming hackathons here.

There was also this futuristic mashup of TV Listing data with a Leap Motion sensor.

About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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