Global communications agency Isobar has announced the winners of Create 32, Silicon Valley’s first hackathon exploring NFC technology on commercially available smart phones.
The event, held at APPNATION III from November 30 – December 1, 2011, attracted more than 40 developers and creators to develop new uses for NFC technology and produced seven working prototypes of applications in 32 hours. Each app was critiqued by a panel of NFC experts from Nokia, Google, eBay-PayPal et al. on its ability to impact a brand, business or consumer, its potential viability and its ability to change the way users experience the world.
The first place team, “OVOZ,” developed an interactive game called “TapThat,” in which users tap their NFC-enabled phones together to keep a beat. In TapThat, a user selects a character – everyone from Alexander the Great to Homer Simpson – and initiates the game by tapping on another NFC-enabled phone.
The game challenges users to keep tapping at a certain beat in order to keep their character “active” as the phones go in and out of each other’s near fields. At the end, users earn points by sharing the app with friends and keep track of who they’ve played against by creating a visual family tree.
Second place went to team “Ocean Park” for its holiday-themed “Pay It Forward” app, which lets consumers make easy and secure charitable donations outside of stores by taping their NFC-enabled phone against an NFC tag representing a given charity. According to Isobar, the NFC tag brings up the charity’s information and its IRS verification on the phone screen, then prompts the user to make a donation. All contributions can be managed online and shared with social networks to create personal donation campaigns.
Finally, team “Sweet Goats” came in third with “Beatz,” a multi-user app for collaboratively creating and remixing music. Combining aspects of “Twister” with GarageBand, “Beatz” invites users to place their phones on a selection of NFC pads, triggering the app to play the user’s personalized and unique musical sample. Using NFC technology, multiple phones are synchronized and orchestrated so that their loops play harmoniously together.
The hackathon took place at the San Francisco Design Center during APPNATION III, a conference on the growing global app ecosystem. Create 32 is the second hackathon hosted by Isobar, following Create 48, which was held in Boston last September, and was the first and largest NFC competition of its kind in the U.S.