Internet of Things Hackathon

Tech Valley Center of Gravity is hosted an Internet of Things (IoT) Hackathon on Jan 30th & 31st, 2016, powered by AT&T and our awesome sponsors! This was the first of our quarterly hackathons, we had 110 registered hackers, 14 hacks and 26 mentors, judges and spectators.

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Hackathon Recap

Press Coverage

The IoT Hackathon generated alot of media attention before, during and after the event, a partial list of the coverage is below:


The original press release – Composed and distributed by Duncan Crary Communications.

All Over Albany – “Internet of things hackathon at TVCOG” – Dec 11th, 2015

Troy Record  – Dec 17th, 2015

Hackaday – Dec 19th, 2015

IoT Revolution Feature News – “Lets Get Ready to Hack!” – Jan 19th, 2015

M2M Connectivity – By Chrissie Cluny – Jan 19th, 2015


News 10 Coverage – Jan 29th – There were 5 spots on News 10, including:

5:30am – Interview featuring Tom Tongue

7:30am – Interview featuring Mayor Patrick Madden

12:15pm –Long piece featuring Jeff Branson, Mayor Patrick Madden and Ed Bergstraesser (AT&T)

WRGB Ch 6 news – About midway through the hackathon – including short clip from Ed Bergstraesser (AT&T)


Hackaday – Fantastic article by Dan Maloney!

Makerweb – Coverage of the “Noisy or Nice” team featuring Union College students

Troy Record – Jan 31st – Also from the print: (Page 1)(Page 2)

Times Union – Feb 2nd – Also from the print edition: (Page 1)

Capchips – Feb 2016

Intelligent Product Solutions – Feb 2016


IoT Resources

To prime the pump, we gathered some resources (by no means exhaustive) we thought would be helpful for teams and individuals prepping for the Hackathon! They are listed below in case they are still helpful!

General IoT Information

The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value Beyond the Hype – June 2015 –  McKinsey & Co put together a comprehensive overview of IoT application spaces and provide a rich analysis of where value is going to be delivered.

Hardware Platforms

Particle – This hardware platform encompasses the Photon (WiFi), Electron (Cellular), and Sparkfun Photon Redboard, as well as modules that can be designed into custom boards for deployment. The platform uses Wiring, so if you’re familiar with writing code for Arduino, this is going to be very similar.

ESP8266 – WiFi module started out as a Serial-To-WiFi bridge, but is actually a microcontroller which can now be programmed with Arduino using Board Manager, NodeLua, Espressif’s SDK, and a variety of other platforms. There are hundreds of posts on Hackaday showing off projects using the ESP8266. A limited supply of ESP8266’s (ESP-12 breadboard-compatible form factor) will be available for a low cost at the Hackathon, and they can also be purchased from Adafruit or on E-bay. Other resources:

Neil Kolban’s ESP8266 eBook – Free, though you have an option to provide a donation when you download it. Well worth a read, an exhaustive reference!

Udemy class on ESP8266 – Taught by Thomas Tongue, one of the mentors & judges at the IoT Hackathon.

TI Launchpads – Texas Instruments makes connected launchpad development boards that are supported by Energia, a fork of the Arduino toolchain to support MSP430, Tiva C, Stellaris and other microcontrollers made by TI. The launchpads can be purchased from TI directly, or through vendors such as Mouser.

Arduino – In addition to WiFi shields for the most common Arduino boards, the Arduino YÚN is specifically designed for IoT applications.

Raspberry Pi – With the addition of a WiFi USB adapter, or using the built in wired internet connection, the Raspberry Pi is a complete platform for IoT applications running under Linux and other operating systems. Resources:

10 Raspberry Pi Projects For Learning IoT – Information Week Article from June 2015

Raspberry Pi Project Archive – How others have used the built-in connectivity and processing power of the Pi for IoT.

Software Platforms

Node.js – is an open-source, cross-platform runtime environment for developing server-side web applications. Node.js applications are written in JavaScript and can be run within the Node.js runtime on a wide variety of platforms.

Johnny-Five – Javascript programming framework that works on Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel Edison and other platforms.