My Weekend at a Hardware Hackathon

Awhile ago I wrote about how I wanted to explore the more technical side of marketing, so this past weekend I explored the world of wearables at Toronto Hardware Hackathon.

Thanks to a plug at the recent Girls in Tech event, I decided to step far outside my comfort zone and immerse myself in an intense 54-hour hackathon to learn all could about the world of wearable technology.

The experience was completely eye opening. Participating in the Hackathon with such creative, committed and passionate professionals was infectious and inspired me to want to learn more about this burgeoning industry.

PCH Toronto Hardware Hackathon logo

Toronto Hardware Hackathon badge

The hackathon included 100 makers, designers, engineers, entrepreneurs and innovators who came together in teams to make a working prototype over three days.

The scene at Toronto Hardware Hackathon 2015

Chris Anderson Q&A at Hardware Hackathon Toronto

The weekend kicked off with a virtual talk and Q&A from 3D Robotics CEO (and former Wired editor) Chris Anderson and from there we got right into picking our teams for the weekend.

I chose to work with a team who had the idea of producing a piece of jewelry that could help you get out of an awkward situation with the touch of a button. By discreetly touching a button hidden behind a piece of jewelry, a signal was sent to your phone, so that a phony phone call would be placed, thus giving you a reason to leave an awkward date.

Prototype building at Toronto Hardware Hackathon

To guide us through the process we had mentors listen to our plans as we went along so we could revise and improve our product as we went. Having these experts on hand to provide ongoing feedback helped immensely with crafting our pitch, so we had the best possible proposal at the end of the weekend.


Kali website screenshot

By the end we had a functioning prototype, website and pitch plan that we could showcase for the judges during the pitches, the final stage of the weekend.

Hardware Hackathon Selfie

This past weekend has been by far one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever decided to be a part of. Having only basic familiarity with wearable technology, I really went into this weekend with eyes wide open and attempted to expose myself to learning all I could about this emerging industry.

If you ever have a chance to participate in a weekend hackathon like this, I would highly recommend it.


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