Noel and the AT&T Developer Summit

Noel (@noelportugal) is a bit of a serial hackathon participant, and earlier this month, he attended the AT&T Developer Summit in Las Vegas.

The event was actually several competitions, each with a different focus, and unsurprisingly, Noel joined the Arduino hackathon. While browsing MAKE yesterday, I found a full writeup on all the entries in that category, by Sara Streeter (@saranicole) at Axeda, co-sponsors of the M2M, the latest way to abbreviate IoT, competition.

Anyway, Noel’s entry is described therein.

6. Smart Hackathon

Creating the best way to run an organized and productive Hackathon

What it is: Check into an event such as a Hackathon via RFID or NFC and get real time updates on the stats and skill sets of the other people there.

Why we like it: No one attends an event so they can get stuck listening to the wrong pitch with the wrong people.  Getting real-time intelligence at the event about who to meet feels like getting hours of our life back.

Team Members: Noel Portugal

Sensors: RFID / NFC Sensor


  • Axeda APIs: Groovy scripts, Expression Rules
  • AT&T APIs: SMS

Sara also includes a picture of Noel’s work.


Bit ironic that Noel had to work alone on this project, but it’s definitely a need area for hackathons. While you can assume people have a certain skill based on the contest, e.g. you can bet the Arduino competitors know some Arduino, beyond that there’s no way to know unless you ask.

Of course, polling a bunch of people takes valuable time away from the hack itself.

Given Noel’s implementation, you could reasonably set up a hackathon to include badges with RFID that registered when people arrived and updated a skills market of sorts that people could monitor for potential teammates. Plus, the chip could help you find them in a crowd.

Maybe there’s something bigger here.

Anyway, Noel didn’t win, but he lost to a team with rockets. Tough sledding.

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